The key to employee retention may be in taking a good look in the mirror, rather than salary structures, incentives and benefits packages, according to one expert who addressed the Texas league's annual meeting.
Linda Talley of Linda Talley & Associates, an executive coach and author, suggested that a good first step is creating a personal mission statement. "Your credit union has one, right? But how can you be true to that mission statement if you don't have one of your own, first?"
The second step is in helping others go through the same process. "I want you to talk to your staff when you get back and encourage each of them to develop a personal mission statement," she said, noting it will be one of the first steps toward leading them-and keeping them. "You have to go the extra mile. One way you can do that is to give feedback."
Most managers do yearly performance reviews-and dread it every year. Talley said she has the perfect solution: skip the annual performance review and go to weekly ones instead.
Sound like overkill? Not if you're doing it right, Talley explained. "Set up a weekly meeting, on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday because Mondays and Fridays are too commonly days we take off to make a long weekend. Then meet for no more than 10 to 15 minutes," she said. "Make this a high-priority meeting. No one cancels it."
Then, instead of making it sound like feedback coming from on high, ask the employee what's going on, how are things going. If something negative happened during the week, don't explain what went wrong or go into it any further. Instead, ask "what did you learn from that? How will you handle that kind of situation next time?"
"How can you create a meaningful experience? Challenge your staff to learn your members' names," Talley suggested. "Most people only hear their names used in vain. See what a difference it makes when they hear them in a positive way instead."
The next step is in understanding the different types of people in the office and how to connect with them. One of the easiest ways to figure this out right off the bat is to give a simple quiz, Talley offered. "I'm going to give you that quiz right now. It's only one question long, and I'm even going to give you the answer. I'm going to ask you, 'Who are you?' and you're going to say 'I am successful,'" she said. It's the way a person reacts and respond to this quiz that demonstrates what kind of person he is.
The Denier: this person answers the one-question quiz with, "Why are we here wasting time when I could be doing much more important things?" The denier is in a rut and has battened down the hatches. The first instinct may be to get rid of the denier, but deniers can offer important insights-particularly if the leader knows how to connect with them and help move them out of their ruts.
"They're critical thinkers, and you need them," Talley explained. "Instead of moving away, try moving toward the denier. When the denier says, 'That won't work,' try saying, 'You know, you're probably right, it won't work. But let's pretend for a moment that it could, how would you try to make it right?'"
The Resistor. This person answers the one-question quiz with the obligatory "I am successful," in a much put-upon voice, followed by a sigh. Like the denier, the resistor is in a rut, just not as deeply entrenched. "But if you try to help, they say 'I'll do it myself.' " The leader has to take baby steps with a resistor and help set goals for him.
The Meek: This person very quietly gives the obligatory "I am successful." The meek are the workhorses, they are happy to be doing their one thing, their routine, but balk when asked to adapt to change. Leaders often give workhorses more work because they've done such a good job with the work they've been given in the past, but the problem is, it's easy to overload the meek. The key is to avoid overwhelming them.
Go Getters: This person loudly and happily replies "I am successful and don't you forget it!" This is the racehorse. If you want to keep such a racehorse happy, the key is to have challenging projects and not let him get bored.