You make the difference

You make the difference

Small actions can have a huge impact on your members.

October 5, 2018

I challenge you. I challenge you to make a difference at your credit union. I challenge you to be the difference.

Does that make you feel intimated? Excited? Cautious?

As front-line staff, you’re the No. 1 person to exemplify the credit union difference, day in and day out. You make a difference in the lives of your members and in the lives of your co-workers. It just takes that one extra step, or that extra thought of “how can I make this situation, this person, this idea, better.”
But you’re only one person. You might wonder how you could make that big of a difference. It might sound overwhelming when you already have a laundry list of your own to-dos constantly running through your head.

Don’t worry. It’s the small things that make the greatest impact.

Think about a time when someone “made your day.” What did they do? How did it make you feel?

In most examples, the person most likely did something small that made a huge impact. Simply offering extra assistance or being reliable can make a world of difference.

So, challenge yourself to be creative and thoughtful in finding small ways to have a big impact. It’s your personal responsibility to make those moment-by-moment decisions to offer superior service to your members and your co-workers throughout your day.

Some of the small, yet extremely important, actions include:

  • Offer extra assistance. Ask how you can do more. If you’re willing to go out of your way to assist others, it’s more likely they will be willing to help you.
  • Take ownership. See the issue through to the end. Follow up to make sure the issue has been resolved and the member is satisfied with the outcome.
  • Give a compliment. The power of a genuine compliment can turn someone’s day around, and it only takes seconds to do.
  • Be creative. Offer alternative options. Rather than saying “no,” find a new option to see what could work best.
  • Be accountable and reliable. Follow through on your promises. Be on time and available for projects, meetings, and extracurricular activities.
  • Communicate openly and set clear expectations. Avoid over-promising. Know your abilities and tell others how you’ll be able to assist.
  • Show interest. Listen. Sometimes people don’t need an answer, but just someone to listen to their frustrations and offer empathy.
  • Volunteer. In the credit union industry, “people helping people” is what we live and breathe. Sign up for opportunities to get involved in the community on your credit union’s behalf. Show your pride in the great industry we are a part of.

These are not intimidating actions, and they take little time. You’ll be surprised at the positive changes you will see in your members’ attitudes, teamwork with your co-workers, and in your willingness to take an extra step in fulfilling this responsibility.

If you get into a consistent habit of finding ways to help others, it will help you succeed and influence those around you.

Now get out there and make a difference. Challenge yourself to be the difference.

KRISTIN RYAN is CUNA’s director of learning events. She’s responsible for product development and partner relationships for CUNA’s Creating Member Loyalty™. Contact her at