Empowering employees to make it right

Glen Durbahn lives a ‘people helping people’ lifestyle.

August 21, 2019

For Glen Durbahn, “people helping people” isn’t just credit union philosophy. It’s the way he lives his life.

It started with his first job at a drugstore, where he took the time to go above and beyond for customers, whether it was finding an out-of-stock item, ringing up a purchase, or tracking down directions to another location.

Glen Durbahn

Click to enlarge. Glen Durbahn, center, and the rest of the staff at Hiway FCU “want to be the best.”

Now, as senior vice president of member experience and branch operations at Hiway Federal Credit Union, Durbahn continues to strive for excellence.

He seeks to ensure the $1.1 billion asset credit union in St. Paul, Minn., provides “GPS”—great personalized service—to members. Part of that includes an initiative to improve the credit union’s net promoter score (NPS).

“We want to be the best, not the biggest,” he says. “Our scores were good, but they were not the best.”

One area that needed attention? The new-member experience.

“We asked how, as a group, we could make improvements,” Durbahn says. “What changes would make onboarding a smoother process? How could we shorten the amount of time it takes? What hoops and hurdles could we remove?”

To answer those questions, Durbahn coaches the credit union’s associates to look at every situation through the members’ eyes. As long as the employee makes a decision based on what’s right for the member and the membership, Durbahn will stand by it.

“We empower employees to make it right by the member,” he says. 

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That mindset has had an impact on the member experience at Hiway Federal.

“NPS numbers aren’t easy to move,” Durbahn notes. “But we’ve had progress with a 10-point increase. The numbers are headed in the right direction.” 

It’s those moments when someone who’s had a negative experience comes into Durbahn’s office upset but leaves happy that inspire him the most.

“I find coaching enjoyable because I genuinely want people to be happy,” he says. “I want our associates to wake up every morning happy to come to work.”

That’s because improving member service is a team sport. 

“Nothing happens without a team,” Durbahn says. “All the pieces have to be in place.”

And Durbahn is helping them find the right fit.

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