Demonstrate your integrity, competency, drive and positive attitude to elevate you and your credit union’s performance this year.
About a year ago, I wrote a piece entitled “Make this Year a Success”. I hope 2017 was a successful year, one where you were able to grow both personally and professionally in your abilities and have your work contributions truly make a difference at your credit union. Did you follow through with those resolutions you set at the beginning of last year? In the aforementioned article, I asked you to reflect upon what you personally achieved, to make a list of your accomplishments and review how you helped make your credit union better for members and employees alike.
This year, to take it one step further, I would like to ask everyone to think of defining traits that describe the value you bring to your position at the credit union. What are the attributes or character traits you want people to associate with you? What will set you and your work apart from your peers?
Is it your integrity? Are you dependable and reliable, trustworthy and sincere, willing to go that extra mile, creative and bringing new ideas to the table, thinking outside of the box? Perhaps it is your competency. Are you knowledgeable, professional and well-organized, flexible and adaptable, resourceful and practical? What about your determination and willpower, passion and desire, ambition and tenaciousness? Are you seen as a leader or trailblazer within the credit union? Are you easily approachable? Do people enjoy being with you? Do you enjoy your job?
All of these qualities are what make you who you are, and any credit union would love to have employees who possess any or all of them.
All of these traits basically fall into these four buckets:
- Your integrity
- Your knowledge and understanding
- Your motivation and drive
- Your overall persona
Integrity is often defined as doing the right thing even when no one else is around to see. It is being honest and consistent in your actions while having strong moral principles—an uprightness. Usually, it is a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards. Having strong ethics is important to anyone’s overall well-being. And when working in financial services, it is essential.
Knowledge and understanding are a must to be successful at your job, whether you are a loan officer, a front-line member service representative or managing your credit union’s public relations and marketing. You may exude confidence, but not arrogance, and you are competent in your knowledge of the credit union’s systems and processes. You are productive, resourceful and talented and make the most of your time. When someone works with you, they can rely on you to help them where they may be struggling. You are a go-to person who has the skills and abilities to do your job extremely well. Competence is essential to workplace success, professional achievement and personal satisfaction. Unfortunately, if you do not have confidence in your delivery, your competence will only be able to take you so far.
Motivation and drive are a combination of energy and desire to achieve a specific goal. Influencing someone’s motivation means helping them accomplish what needs to be done. Internal motivation may be thought of as an individual's personal drive to get something accomplished. Almost everyone has some level of personal drive that helps them focus on their goals.
Overall Persona blends all of these key elements together. Everyone wants to work with someone who is continually pleasant, non-judgmental, smart, inspiring and helpful and who has a great attitude at work. Now, of course there may be some instances where you are challenged, but you know how to turn a negative situation into a positive scenario. Your upbeat attitude is contagious. Remember, being able to bring an element of fun to your job is as important having integrity, knowledge and drive.
How do you want to leave your mark and be remembered this year? Do you want to be the person who thought of a new marketing campaign to better attract millennials? Or perhaps you would like to introduce videos into a marketing campaign to show how your credit union is making a difference in the community. Or maybe your idea is to propose a new credit card design that can be customized with the local college or university logos and promoted to student members through a series of personalized mailers. Whatever your personal attributes are, capitalize on them and share them with others around you. Once you demonstrate your ambition, passion and competency, others will quickly follow suit, allowing you and your credit union to reach new levels of success in 2018.
Catherine Laws is an executive vice president at William Mills Agency, the nation's largest independent public relations firm focusing exclusively on the financial services and technology industries. The agency can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or its blog.
CUES’ Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.