Membership Minute: Make Team Members Feel More ‘Involved and Trained and Retained’

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Jimese Harkley, CUDE, J.D., SPP, CCE Photo

3 minutes

Credit union leadership team members reap the benefits of pairing a Harvard ManageMentor course with a group discussion.

As I wrote in my last Membership Minute blog, “human skills” are where it’s at when it comes to talent development for 2024 and beyond. According to a LinkedIn survey, 92% of hiring managers say that human skills (sometimes called “soft” skills) that focus on improved interactions with people are just as important or more important than hard skills, which are required to perform tactical duties. The same report finds that 89% say bad hires typically lack soft skills.

So I had this in mind when I got enthusiastic about the efforts of $247 million Landings Credit Union, Tempe, Arizona, a CUES Unlimited+ member. While Landings CU is a learning institution, its leaders have mostly learned to sharpen tactical skills together rather than human skills.

This year, the CU’s leadership team members took advantage of one of the more than 40 Harvard ManageMentor courses that are a benefit of their membership in support of honing their human skills together. They each took the “Feedback Essentials” course, which covers how to give positive or corrective—to an employee or boss, plus how to receive feedback in ways that help you improve your own performance. 

But Landings CU didn’t stop there. It also used a resource included with Harvard ManageMentor to support a team discussion about the course. 

In June, the executive leaders had a very open and candid conversation, which might not have happened without the shared experience of taking the course, as it provided a framework for the discussion. Afterward, the CU’s leaders decided to choose a Harvard ManageMentor course every quarter to take and then discuss.  

CUES member Brian Lee, the CU’s president/CEO, emailed me after the program to say, “I just wanted to share an email I got from one of our long-term managers who was impressed with what we did: 

‘I just wanted to say that after listening to and reading the course and then having the meeting about it—I felt more involved and trained and retained more than just taking a course for the sake of taking it. Knowing we were having a group discussion and then having that discussion and listening to others was insightful, and I think we should do that more with management-type courses.’ 

“We have already discussed doing this at least every quarter and having a discussion during our management meetings,” Brian continued, expressing his appreciation for CUES’ coaching on how to best use the Harvard ManageMentor benefit of membership. “Thanks for giving us some good direction!”

The Harvard ManageMentor courses included with Unlimited and Unlimited+ CUES memberships are broken into three categories: leading people, leading the business and leading yourself. What are your talent development goals for your people, your credit union and yourself in 2024? I’d love to have a conversation with you about how CUES membership can help you reach your objectives.

Jimese Harkley, JD, CUDE, SPP, CCEis VP/membership for CUES.

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