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The Workers Fundamentals

Our mission as an organization is to improve the daily lives of our members. That is our sole purpose for being in business. As a not-for-profit credit union we aren’t in it to make money. We are in it for you, our members, our shareholders. That’s the difference between us and the big banks. In order to keep ourselves in line with the overall mission we have worked tirelessly to create a business culture where everyone is held accountable – from the top to the front line to the back office. Everyone has a hand in affecting our member’s ability to improve their lives. It is a self-perpetuating system of diligence.

Our Employee Blueprint

To make sure our employees are held to a certain standard a “blueprint” was created that we felt best encapsulates what it means to be a part of the WCU culture. This consists of a list of 30 fundamentals which are broken into six major categories;

  1. Lead By Example
  2. Take Every Opportunity To Create A Great Member Experience
  3. Working Together Builds Strong Teams
  4. Service Is Not A Department. It’s Everyone’s Job
  5. Communication Is The Foundation Of A Great Relationship
  6. Some Actions Can’t Be Measured – But Have Immeasurable Results

Employees are quizzed weekly on each fundamental with real life scenarios. There is no wrong answer but there is a best answer. Instead of penalizing an employee for not picking the best answer it is seen as a coaching opportunity to go over the expectations outlined by the Workers fundamentals.

Making a Fundamental Difference

Employees are encouraged to recognize any fellow employee for exemplifying a fundamental through our Making A Fundamental Difference program. Employees recognize their co-workers either in their own department or another department within the credit union by writing up the fundamental that they believed was being put into action. The nominees are highlighted each week across the credit union and celebrated for their efforts. Their example is used as motivation to help other employees embrace our organization’s culture. This has brought to the forefront many stories about employees going above and beyond on a regular basis for members as well as their co-workers.

The Fundamentals

We are all leaders. Leadership is an action, not a position.

1. Lead by Example. The best way to influence others is by example. We expect our employees to take responsibility to coach, guide, teach, and mentor each other. Enact change through our own actions.

2. Think and Act Like an Owner. At Workers, each employee is asked to think and act like an owner of the credit union. That means making decisions by asking “What would I do if this was my company? Will this help to serve the overall membership?” It’s important for us to do the best that we can for our membership and not make decisions without insight and forethought.

3. Honor Commitments. Being reliable is a staple of being a Workers employee. This includes being on time for appointments, meetings, and promises. Our aim is to do what we are going to do, when we say we are going to do it. If circumstances prevent us from doing that, it is our duty to reach out early and commit to a new agreed upon timeframe.

4. Treasure, Protect, and Promote Our Reputation. The Workers image is our reputation. Our actions at work as well as on the street during off hours affect the credit union and its stature in the community. Our employees must always act in a way that will bring honor to the credit union.

5. Embrace Change. What got us here is not the same as what will get us to the next level. We encourage an open mind at Workers. To see the possibilities of change and be flexible to new approaches that could better serve our membership.

Take every opportunity to create a great member experience.

6. Do What’s Right for the Member. The Workers mission is to improve the daily lives of our members. That means always doing what is right in every situation. To build trust every day in our actions.

7. Educate the Member. At Workers we aren’t just about the transactions. We encourage our employees to ask questions and listen to the needs of our members so that we may better educate on what we can fully offer. Go above and beyond what is simply asked for.

8. Deliver Legendary Service. We exist for no other reason than to serve our members. We recognize that our members have choice with whom they do business with. We aim to create member loyalty by doing the unexpected.

9. Make Every Interaction Count. Every interaction with a member is an opportunity to better that member’s life. Whether it’s as simple as a smile or uncovering a greater need. It all has an impact.

10. Do it Right the First Time. Workers isn’t about just checking off a box. The goal is to get things “right”, not simply get them “done.” This may mean slowing things down in order to speed things up.

Working together builds strong teams.

11. Practice Blameless Problem-Solving. Workers doesn’t tolerate pointing fingers. We encourage creativity and enthusiasm to develop solutions. Lessons are learned in order to improve processes not belittle a mistake or issue. Learn from every experience.

12. Think Team. There is no room for ego at Workers. Everyone is expected to step in when needed and help a co-worker in need. There are no “one-person” departments. We are all essential to the success of the credit union.

13. Bring Your “A” Game Every Day. Employees are expected to be fully engaged and be present during every interaction whether it be with a member or a co-worker. Work with purpose.

14. Find a Better Way. At Workers we aren’t satisfied with the status quo. We encourage employees to think differently and respectfully challenge old methods. “That’s how we’ve always done it” isn’t an acceptable answer.

15. Follow Operating Procedures. Financial institutions are highly regulated. That is why it is so important for our employees to follow policy and procedures.

Service is not a department. It’s everyone’s job.

16. Make Quality Personal. At Workers we take pride in the quality of everything that we do. We ask ourselves, “Is this my best work?” on a daily basis. Our employees know that every aspect of the job has their signature and is a direct statement about their work ethic. Our aim is to make sure that every statement is a statement of excellence.

17. Deliver Results. Workers sets itself high goals. We are an ambitious company and expect our employees to be as well. Everyone is to track their progress and to hold themselves accountable.

18. Be a Fanatic about Response Time. As a financial institution it is expected of us to respond to questions and concerns quickly whether it’s in person, on the phone, or by email. At Workers we take pride in resolving issues quickly and getting back to our members promptly. This is one of the many ways we like to demonstrate our passion for excellence.

19. Walk in Others’ Shoes. Our desire is to understand the member’s and our co-worker’s worlds to help alleviate any challenges and frustrations. The better we can understand, the more effectively we can anticipate and meet their needs.

20. Act with Integrity. At Workers we have an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action we take, even when no one is looking. If there is a mistake we will own up to it, apologize, and make it right.

Communication is the foundation of a great relationship.

21. Listen Generously. Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” At Workers we give members and non-members our undivided attention. Our goal is to be present and engaged in every interaction. We are here to listen and understand each need presented to us on a daily basis.

22. Speak Straight. Workers employees are encouraged to speak honestly with clear purpose. Be respectable in their words and address issues directly with who are involved.

23. Get Clear on Expectations. Clarity avoids misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Our employees are expected to confirm communications, ensure clarity, and agree before moving forward.

24. Invest in Relationships. Strong relationships are the foundation of a successful organization. At Workers, building relationships is essential. Our members, partners, and co-workers are what have made it possible for us to keep going for over 100 years.

25. Contribute to Financial Success. It is essential for us as a business to generate revenue that exceeds our expenses. This allows us to innovate, stay ahead of technology, draw talented employees and still maintain stability in an ever changing economy. Everyone at Workers plays a role in our successes and it’s pivotal that we take the time to celebrate accomplishments.

Some actions can’t be measured but have immeasurable results.

26. Keep Things Fun. Our passion for excellence is real but we also encourage our employees to keep perspective. Don’t take things too seriously without stopping to smile and laugh every day.

27. Be Positive. Attitude is everything. We can all choose to be optimistic and see all of the possibilities that life grants us each day.

28. Celebrate Success. Meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation is what keeps us running each day. Our employees are encouraged to recognize co-workers of all levels for setting the example of the Workers Fundamentals that we all strive to achieve.

29. Take Pride in Your Appearance. We care about our work. We show that by taking care in how we look, our offices look, and our branches look. We want all who come in to feel welcome and to have confidence that they have come to the right place.

30. Contribute to the Community. We live, work, and play in all of the same places that you do. Being an active part of the community just comes naturally to us. Our employees are encouraged to volunteer their time and efforts where appropriate to make the community better for all of us.

Team eating pizza and laughing

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