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Client Story I Credit Union 1

Client Story | Credit Union 1

Client Story I Credit Union 1

July 2020 – In 2017, then president of Credit Union 1 received results of an employee engagement survey. This caused many sleepless nights. Could it be true that half of the employees are disengaged? How many of them, through their actions, might be sabotaging the organization? Something had to be done and done fast. That’s when Credit Union 1 partnered with Center for Practical Management to invest in coaching and people development that would lead to real and lasting change.

Leadership Development was focused on effective performance management and for emerging leaders to enhance their communication skills and create a culture of accountability

Relationship Management equipped client-facing staff with practical tools and frequent role playing to increase their confidence to deepen member relationships in every interaction

Service Excellence set the stage for exceeding service expectations to internal members

Executive Planning Sessions resulted in brainstorming sessions (Shark Tank) and strategic planning activities (StrengthsFinder) to support the credit union’s vision, mission and values

Mentoring Program Development provided guidelines for a mentorship program that matters. It created access to talent across the organization; helping team members grow skills and develop a career path

Facilitation Skills Training for New Employee Onboarding allowed Credit Union 1 to “own” the development of new employees going forward, creating consistency across the organization

“We quickly (and daily) saw the results of Practical Management training in our organization.”

“Managers were excited to use the tools we were provided; they were one page, customized for us and allowed us to put theory from the classroom into action with our teams.”

“The development of our core values – Be Great, Be Engaged, Be Open, Be Nice – was facilitated by Practical Management. It became, for our organization, more than just a slogan but rather a driving force. How we hire, who we hire, why we train, what we expect from our team members and the way we coach to performance each day are now inspired by these values.”

Over the three years of the engagement, both managers and staff have benefited from skill development programs. Every single employee in the organization received the opportunity to learn and grow by participating in engagement workshop sessions, reinforcement activities, and the use of customized tools. These programs included:

  • Leadership Development
  • Relationship Management
  • Service Excellence

Credit Union 1 is headquartered in Lombard, IL, offers 17 full-service branches and provides an average of $250 in individual member savings per year.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com

The Relationship Between Adaptability and Age

The Relationship Between Adaptability and Age

The Relationship Between Adaptability and Age

​Multiple generations in your workforce can create challenges around communication, especially when communication is now remote and dependent on technology. How many generations do you have in your workforce? Have pandemic-driven changes made you curious about the relationship between adaptability and age? 

We define the generational segments, their willingness to adapt, and their comfort level of technology and communication in the following way:

  • Traditionalists: For the most part they are Foreigners in a Foreign Land when it comes to technology. They prefer communication face to face, in-person and adapting to new technology (like video conferencing) may prove overwhelming. 
  • Baby Boomers: They can be described as Digital Immigrants. They have adapted quickly to technology, albeit with some struggle. They know to keep up with younger generations, they need to be willing to adapt. Their preferred method of communicating is usually by phone or in person. 
  • Gen X: We refer to them as the Second Generation of Immigrants in the digital age. They weren’t born with the all the technology available today, but it was introduced to them at a young age and they know the language. New technology is second nature at this point. Email is their go-to communication option.
  • Millennials: Essentially, they are Digital Natives. Technology has been a part of their lives from birth and they are able to adapt to the “newest” and best when offered to them. Their preferred communication is text and instant messaging.
  • Gen Z (Zoomers): What about Gen Z? If Millennials are Digital Natives, what does that make Zoomers? Let’s call them Womb Zoomers: born with a cell phone in their hand. They prefer to communicate through social media platforms and FaceTime.

How are you acknowledging and supporting each generation as it adapts? We recommend that managers demonstrate empathy and use these questions during touchbase meetings with employees:

  • What is your preferred communication method?
  • When some or all of us are remote, what challenges do you personally experience?
  • Which of our technology solutions do you enjoy using? How did you learn to use this solution? 

Be sure to keep as many communication channels open as possible when managing remote teams.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Staying Connected While Staying at Home

Staying Connected While Staying at Home

Staying Connected While Staying at Home

Many of us are well into our second month of social distancing, which may include working remotely. While expected to complete job duties in new ways and continue to manage our teams effectively, we may now have other responsibilities on our plate. We may also be responsible for  homeschooling, meal prepping and entertainment for our family, children and pets. While working from home can be successful, it takes a skilled leader to stay connected to their team members and keep them engaged and motivated.

Understanding the benefits and pitfalls of working from home is important when communicating with our teams and supporting them remotely. Effective managers recognize everyone’s situation is different. Here are some questions to ask when gauging how productive individuals on your team may be while working from home:

  • Does the employee have the technology to work remotely? (equipment and access)
  • What distractions might hinder the employee’s ability to complete his/her job duties? 
  • What does the workspace look like?
  • How will the employee stay emotionally connected to the team?

Center for Practical Management offers the following tips for managers to engage employees and connect with them:

  1. Visual is Vital
    • If members of your team are expected to video conference with clients or peers, it’s important that their background be minimal and professional, their audio and video capabilities sufficient, and that you practice with them before they are deliver a meeting to a client or prospect.
  2. Virtual Socialization is Imperative 
    • Many of your us  have close friends at work. Encourage your team to virtually connect to these people and do this with your team also. This could be a virtual coffee break or happy hour, or lunchtime “meetup.”
  3. Preparation is Critical  
    • A virtual meeting requires better preparation and more skilled facilitation. Send out an agenda and any pre-work in advance of the call. Print your materials. Create a list of participants so that you can take a “roll call” at the beginning of the call.

Social distancing doesn’t have to lead to emotional distancing. We can keep our teams connected, engaged and productive even when we aren’t all working in the same location. We’d love to hear what you’re doing with your teams to ensure they feel supported and connected while working remotely?

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Choosing Goals That Stick

Choosing Goals That Stick

Choosing Goals That Stick

It’s the New Year, which means millions of Americans are kicking off their 2020 New Year with resolutions. Whether it’s to quit smoking, lose weight, take up a new hobby or spend more time with family and friends, 80% of us will fail by February. (U.S. News & World Report)

So how can we make sure our resolutions stick? The American Psychological Association offers these tips to make sure your resolution doesn’t fail:

  1. Start small: Make resolutions that you think you can keep and are realistic.
  2. Talk about it: Sharing your goals with family and friends can keep it fresh in your mind and provide you with additional support.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up: We’re human, and sometimes we slip up. Recover from your mistakes and get back on track.
  4. Ask for support: Find support from someone else wanting to achieve a similar goal, or a mentor who can offer advice and guidance.

While many of us create resolutions for our personal lives, the same can be done in the workplace for you and your teams. Center for Practical Management curriculums provide skill development for making sure your professional goals are SMART goals!

Specific: Goals should include specific results you want to achieve, activities you commit to doing and knowledge and skill you plan to acquire. Be sure to answer Who, What Where, When and Why.

Measurable: Make sure you can measure your progress and the goals. If that means tracking your success on a spreadsheet or recording how many prospect calls you make each day, being able to measure your progress is imperative in successful goal setting.

Attainable: Is your goal realistic? Workplace goals should be higher and comparable to past performance but not so far out of reach that you won’t hit the mark.

Relevant: Ask yourself, is this relevant to my job functions or my teams’ performance? If the answer is no, reevaluate your goals so that they align within your team or department’s duties.

Timely: Goals should have deadlines. By having a deadline, you are committing to progress and will take the goal serious. Without a deadline, you may procrastinate and put your goals on the back burner when a more pressing project arises.

We recommend 30-day action plans, so that progress is easier to achieve. If your professional goal is one that will propel your career in 2020, your SMART action plan may be much longer (i.e., 9 months). It may also include more individuals to teach and support your development.

Whether you have personal goals or professional goals, following the SMART strategy will set you and your team up for success in 2020. Happy New Year, and Happy Goal Setting!

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Becoming a Highly Effective Facilitator

Becoming a Highly Effective Facilitator

Becoming a Highly Effective Facilitator

Andragogy (AN-DRUH-GAH-GEE): Try saying that three times fast. It’s harder to pronounce than it is to understand. All it means is that adults learn differently than children. When we’re young, we learn mostly through lecture, memorization and repetition. As adults, we learn by doing. Being actively involved in the learning process, adult learners process and remember more information.

So how can you become the kind of facilitator that impacts adult learning and “wows” your participants? With practice, and understanding the levels of learning (Awareness, Acquisition, Application, and Transfer), you’re bound to lead a more effective and memorable discussion.

Here are critical skills that a facilitator needs to possess to be effective:

  • Questioning: A variety of questioning techniques elicits group or individual responses and create active participation. Types of questions to include: Direct, Redirected, Reverse, and Group.
  • Listening: Good facilitators actively listen to their participants. This encourages a clear line of communication between the workshop leader and his/her attendees.
  • Mixed Media: Flip charts and PowerPoint help give structure, momentum and focus to a workshop. Keep in mind that handwriting, color, font and layout can add or disrupt to your workshop.
  • Body Language: A strong facilitator controls participants in a variety of ways. If you are leading a discussion to highlight important information, stand in the front of the room. Alternatively, when you want to increase participation or relinquish control of the room, sit with the group or stand/float around the room.
  • Transitioning: Transitioning from one talking point to another links content for the participants. Include benefit statements in your transitions, this encourages buy-in and motivates individuals to learn.
  • Feedback: Providing balanced feedback allows the facilitator to keep participants informed as to if they are on track with the workshop goals. Feedback should always be accurate and objective.
  • Time Management: Pace your presentation and allot time for breaks. Be specific about when you want participants to finish an activity or return from lunch. This eliminates the guesswork of when you can expect everyone to return.

You’ll need expert skills in Questioning and Transitioning for the problem participant. Participants who dominate the discussion or become argumentative can affect the entire group’s learning.

If you have a Dominant or Argumentative individual, try these tricks:

  • Reseat the entire group
  • Avoid eye contact and focus your attention toward others
  • Address their concerns during a break
  • Agree that people can “agree to disagree”

 Understanding how participants learn, and using the skills above, you’ll create an engaging and memorable training experience.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com. Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company