Why You Should Embrace Flexibility as a Cultural Value
The past couple years have been a case study in disruption, and one attribute that stood out among the most resilient organizations was flexibility. The shifts in consumer preferences and digital transformation didn’t begin or end with the pandemic, but were merely accelerated. Adopting flexibility as a cultural valuable can help your credit or community bank both endure short-term disruptions and thrive as the financial industry evolves.
The key to flexibility is investing in and empowering the people who drive your mission forward. Train them on your mission and values, give them the autonomy to solve problems on their own, and design flexible spaces that support them. Whether front or back of house, the financial institution employee of the future will no longer focus on routine tasks but instead be a dynamic problem solver.
This strategy not only makes your organization more resilient to change, it also helps you deliver excellent member experiences and gives an advantage in the war for talent by helping you attract, engage, and retain staff.
When the pandemic closed branches, the way financial institutions delivered services transformed overnight. Branch staff suddenly needed to deliver services through digital channels. Operations staff needed to support branches and work with others across the organization from their homes.
Top-down strategies and micromanagement broke down across the economy, and workers who had been trained to complete tasks needed to be retrained.
Yet employees who had a greater level of autonomy in delivering their organization’s mission were active participants in this transformation, thinking on their feet to deliver uninterrupted services and helping to optimize policies and procedures going forward.
These employees are an asset in innovating in the face of long-term industry changes as well. They can use their firsthand experience combined with professional knowledge and expertise to help build strategies with a stronger connection to the member or customer experience.
Deliver Better Experiences
As transactions are offloaded to digital channels, people are coming in to branches more for the human touch. They want answers to complicated questions, and they want the person they meet when walking in the door to solve their problems quickly and efficiently.
When staff are trained to complete tasks, it can create a disjointed experience with handoffs and delays. And in the worst case, a customer may leave the branch with their problem left unsolved.
By embracing flexibility and training staff on your mission and values and giving them the skills and toolset to work autonomously, you make their roles more dynamic and problem-solving in nature. Rather than handoffs, the member or customer entering your branches instead meets someone who can take care of any issue they come in with that day.
These experiences reinforce trust in your organization and establish a relationship where members and customers have confidence that they’ll be taken care of and that their interests are a priority.
A critical part of this strategy is designing spaces that truly support employees, breaking down barriers between customers and staff and creating a setting where conversations and relationship banking feel natural.
Win the War for Talent
Organizations across every industry are struggling to find talent, and a large part of this is that today’s employees are looking for more than just a job. They don’t simply want to show up, perform tasks, and get a paycheck. They want purpose, responsibility, and growth.
Elevating your staff and giving them higher level responsibilities can differentiate your credit union or community bank in a tight labor market. When the roles you list stand out as professional careers in a sea of “just a job,” the best and brightest candidates will take notice and seek you out. And the employees you’ve invested in will be more engaged and more likely to stay with your organization.
When you set out to embrace flexibility as a cultural value, you must take a holistic look at your organization that includes both your strategy and facilities.
Momentum can help you with this. Reach out to us today to learn more about we can help you build a flexible branching or workplace strategy.