Do Your Employees Think You're "The Man?"

As a credit union, the answer is probably no.  But if you’re not fostering a strong internal communication platform, you might be distancing a staff that directly affects membership growth and retention.

Your staff is cross-generational- so what’s one thing that your Boomer and Gen Y employees have in common?  They don’t like “The Man” (good thing they work for a credit union).  But do you really communicate your organization’s brand - let alone your credit union difference to them in a way that compels them to embrace your internal culture, and stay with your organization for the long haul?

The Boomers are huge.  They are close to 80 million people strong, making it the largest living generation until Gen Y.  So, the early 1970’s brought a large mass of workers as the Boomers turned 25, and began their careers.  This was a terrible time for internal culture because employees became expendable.    By 1975, unemployment had risen from 3.8 percent to 9 percent, so if you wanted a job, you had to put up with “The Man”- meanwhile employers didn’t work hard to keep employees happy.

And then Generation X entered the workforce.    The problem was Gen X only has 67 million members, an 11 percent decrease from the Boomers.   The tide had turned.  Companies fought for the best employees.  Large corporations like Mazda, Google and Microsoft started building internal cultures that harvested opportunity and happiness.  Can you imagine being able to bring your dog to work in the 70’s?

So here we are- 2011 and the first of Gen Y is entering the workforce.  What do we know about Gen Y?  It’s huge.  It’s estimated that this generation is made up of 100 million people, and they have a median age of around 15.  Does this sound familiar?  It should.  Add in discos and bell bottom jeans and it’s the 70’s all over again.

Over the next 10 plus years, credit unions- like everyone else- will be able to pick from a large mass of people to fill positions.   With competition being everywhere, you need every member you can get.    There’s a difference between an employee who comes to work, and an employee who comes ready to work.  Happy, long-term employees gain and keep assets inside the credit union.

Don’t repeat the same mistakes made 40 years ago.  Remember that your employees are your moneymakers.   Gen Y will bring some great talent to the workforce, so embrace them and they will embrace your brand.

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