Often unseen, corporate culture is your essential power supply that keeps everything moving full speed ahead. And like technicians who conduct an energy audit, or engineers who design bridges, you need to ensure your institution is fit from the inside out.
Here are three ways to ensure your infrastructure supports a powerful financial future.
1) Use your WHY as your foundation
What are you here to do for both internal and external customers? Why should your brand matter to them? How does it make a difference in their lives? This should be the bedrock of every:
- customer experience initiative
- product innovation
- advertising message
- website content
- social media campaign
- recruitment program
- sponsorship choice
- ... and more
Take time to diagram every brand touchpoint in your institution. Be sure they build upon each other. That establishes solid footings.
If you don't have a clear vision, stop and figure it out.
Lack of a clear vision is a costly, time-sucking roadblock that devastates and discourages.
2) Promote challengers instead of "yes men"
Develop the people who share your mission, not your makeup. That means you seek out people of different colors, backgrounds, genders, ages, hobbies and beliefs.
Encourage people who share your vision—yet have different perspectives—to speak up. They have important ideas you should cultivate.
What you hear can chart new territory for delivering on your brand promise.
Get off the well-worn path of sameness. Foster an environment of safety for respectful disagreement, then listen. If you're not consciously doing this, your bank is already behind.
Model this behavior and expect it from others. It’s up to you to set the course that your colleagues will follow.
3) Build bridges between departments
If HR, operations, marketing, IT, business development, product development and others are working in silos, it’s impossible to deliver a second-to-none customer experience. It takes every department engineering, then pulling together to make your bank is different, better and future-forward.
Develop diverse in-house innovation teams with representatives from different levels in each department—not necessarily the department heads. Make sure those representatives have the authority and the tools they need to effect the changes that must happen. Then get out of their way and let them get to work.
What are you here to do, and how does it matter? If you plan properly, every banker in your institution can contribute to and activate your vision. That delivers a financial brand that's rock-solid and ready for anything.
For more strategies on building a better culture in your bank or credit union, contact Martha Bartlett Piland for a starter conversation.