1st MidAmerica Credit Union, Bethalto, Ill., wanted to inspire every employee to proactively seek out the needs of members and then work to exceed them in a sales and service culture.
The results have exceeded goals in every area—membership, products per household, shares, and loans—garnering a 2010 CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council Best Practices Award for the $430 million asset credit union.
Equally important, the process of introducing a sales and service culture has prompted a workforce revival that continues to build momentum as employees embrace a new way to work.
Preparing for change
Creating a sales and service culture required every employee to adapt to a new approach to member services. To guide the process, 1st MidAmerica used organizationwide training and complementary materials that gave employees a common language and shared references.
Employees were introduced to the change process in January 2009 with training based on the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson.
Next, training in CUNA’s PRIDE model was provided in the summer of 2009 and complemented by the use of color identification codes for personality types and communication styles.
The credit union also developed a detailed products and service manual and a Team Leader Coaching Guide to provide a foundation for sales and service tools.
Managers began holding bi-weekly coaching meetings with employees to provide information about products and services, along with tips for starting conversations with members.
The sales and service culture also introduced new tools, reinforcement, and incentives for employees, including:
Sales teams are organized each month to motivate employees to reach or exceed goals using themes such as horse races, road trips, beach parties, and bobsledding.
Employees can also win individual “movie buckets” containing popcorn, candy, and movie tickets.
1st MidAmerica set four goals to measure its success. Over 12 months, the credit union exceeded its goals in every area by increasing:
Branch managers cite additional benefits such as higher employee retention, happier employees, a more positive workplace atmosphere, and a greater commitment to the credit union.
While employees benefitted from adapting to the sales and service culture, 1st MidAmerica emphasizes that members achieved the greatest gains.
By supporting a culture that exceeds expectations at every level, 1st Mid-America created a positive environment that keeps members coming back.