Sarah Marshall

Create the right culture

Examine 3 questions when striving to create your desired corporate culture.

August 7, 2019

Create the right culture and you’ll turn a group of people into a team working toward a common goal.

The right corporate culture not only identifies your credit union’s focus and mission, it can eliminate toxicity, make hiring decisions easier, and set the tone for what your credit union wants to create, says Sarah Marshall, consultant with Your Credit Union Partner.

And the smaller the staff, the bigger the impact a single person has, says Marshall, who addressed nearly 100 attendees at the CUNA Midwest Small Credit Union Conference Monday in Madison, Wis.

To create the right culture at your credit union, Marshall suggests examining these questions:

  • What do you want to create? Identify the culture and values that embody your credit union.
  • What are you starting with? Identify the skills and talents your employees possess, available resources, and your expectations.
  • What skills does your team have and where do they excel? Determine who has excellent soft skills and excels in people-facing roles and who is more suited for a back-office role due to impressive hard skills.

Answering these questions will allow you to begin establishing your desired culture, Marshall says. While many different types of culture exist, she identifies four primary types of cultures:

  1. Clan is a collaborative culture that focuses on developing people and creating team cohesion.
  2. Adhocracy focuses on creativity and coming up with innovative ideas.
  3. Hierarchy aims to create efficiencies and craft efficient processes.
  4. Market focuses on staying competitive, achieving growth, and meeting goals.

Not all people will fit well in every type of culture, Marshall says, so keep your culture in mind during the hiring process.

Ask questions that will provide insights into each job candidates’ personality, work style, and how they might fit into your credit union’s culture and team.

“The people who will do best in an organization are the one who thrive in the particular type of culture that is in place,” Marshall says.