Century Federal Credit Union Earns a Rate of Return on Employee Engagement
There is no secret that small business drives the American economy and employees drive small business. Century Federal Credit Union (CFCU) of Cleveland, Ohio recognizes that it is their staff that will keep members satisfied and partners for years to come. In 2008, CFCU entered into what has now become a five year relationship with Legacy Business Cultures that would build on the company’s already-strong employee satisfaction ratings, and turn it into an active force to improve many areas, including member service, employee commitment and trust.
CFCU leadership recognized an investment in their employees’ personal development would lead to higher levels of career satisfaction and ultimately customer retention and growth. Michelle Gorczyca, Director of Human Resources said, “Increasing Human Effectiveness started with our leadership team and it was a life changing program.” Small businesses have a higher level of connectivity with both staff and customers. CFCU understands that if a staff member is not engaged in the workplace a break down in relationships will occur quicker than in big business. CFCU chose to have Dawn Zmecek, Training and Development Coordinator, certified through Edge Ohio in the Increasing Human Effectiveness (IHE) program. Dawn was then able to facilitate the IHE program to all staff members. She now offers the program at least twice a year internally.
About Century Federal Credit Union
Century Federal Credit Union (CFCU) is a not-for-profit financial cooperative. It is one of the largest credit unions in Northeast Ohio, serving the financial needs of over 28,000 members throughout greater Cleveland, Ohio.
IHE was a great place to start in developing a higher level of engagement, but the leadership of CFCU wanted to create a clearly defined respectful workplace. Gorczyca and Zmecek attended the Legacy Business Cultures public workshop Respect: The Source of Our Strength. During this program participants create a document titled “The Code of Cooperation.” This code drives respectful behavior in the workplace and is created by members of a given workgroup. The leaders of CFCU understood for lasting cultural impact they would need to create a code with their own employees.
The management group was asked to facilitate the code exercise and come up with statements that felt define a respectful workplace. CFCU then took the Code of Cooperation exercise and instituted the code as the key focus of the annual all employee day. Zmecek says, “The code gave every employee a voice.” From the development of the code at the employee day, Gorczyca took the lists and found twelve (12) common themes that CFCU employees identified as drivers for respect.
Once the official Code of Cooperation was complete, all employees signed it showing their commitment to treating each other with respect in the workplace. The twelve themes would lead to a level of impact that is still felt today. A survey was created based on the themes and all employees participate monthly to navigate ongoing change. Each month Zmecek dedicates a blog to one of the themes and as a result she says “levels of communication continue to increase.”
CFCU continued to make the presence of the code a lasting one by presenting each department with a framed version and creating an awards program around the twelve themes. The previous initiatives were not enough for leadership and they went one step further to ensure that all employees made the code a part of daily operations and interactions. All senior leaders decided to integrate the code as part of each employees performance review and assigned a ten (10) percent value to the code. Zmecek said “this ensured we walked the walk of respect.”
CFCU offers advice to fellow small businesses looking to impact their corporate culture. Gorczyca indicates “IHE provides a common language and a foundation for us to build on. In a small business one ineffective relationship can devastate an entire business line. Legacy Business Cultures provided the guidance and programming to help bring big business training and development to a small business atmosphere.”
“Legacy’s programs provide a common language and a foundation for us to build on. In a small business one ineffective relationship can devastate an entire business line. Legacy Business Cultures provided the guidance and programming to help bring big business training and development to a small business atmosphere.”