Written by Matthew Gaspari, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
The Experience Sessions were launched in April of 2018, and the first year’s quarterly session topics were provided to the team in addition to two stories that drove the development of these meetings. The four sessions in 2018 were: The Employee Commitment, The Service Promise—Carry the Card, Service Values, and The 6th Star. After the third session, in the late summer of 2018, the card in figure 1.1 and 1.2 was created for each branch and experience center employee to carry at all times.
Figure 1.1 Figure 1.2
The Experience Sessions were developed and given by Operations Leadership. TFCU created and provided the training because we felt it was important that this be delivered by the team’s management group. The dynamics between the leadership group and the operations team were already well established, and having the team hear directly from us was critical because we were a part of this implementation as well. By that I mean, we have these same expectations of ourselves with our personal promise being to the team; the interaction during these meetings was emotional and inspiring. Below in figures 1.3 and 1.4 are a couple of PowerPoint screenshot presentations given to the team in the first year to provide context.
Figure 1.3 Figure 1.4
Figure 1.5 shows the trendline of NPS for all of 2018, with a noticeable recovery coinciding with these sessions being implemented. We have been able to sustain that level consistently. Many strategies were occurring during 2018 and certainly these sessions were not the only reason for improvement in scoring, but awareness of the importance of each interaction was a focus and I believe that played a significant role. As an example of discussion topics, we talked about a book I read years ago, “Blink” by Malcom Gladwell. The premise is that we make snap decisions, judgments and assessments of people in the first several seconds of meeting them and statistically these assessments hold up over time as being very accurate. The message to the team is that each part of their service delivery is critical from body language, to word choice, to empathetic engagement and authentic desire to make a difference. Members are making assessments very quickly as to the level of trust they feel for our team, so we need to set the stage ahead of time with branch presentation, personal appearance and proactive training so that we’re ready to knock their socks off the minute they call, drive up or walk in.
Figure 1.5 Courtesy TFCU Member Experience Operational Review
In 2019, the team came up with a departmental vision statement that would provide guidance and inspiration every day as employees walk through the door. If they ever question what we’re doing or why we’re doing it, the vision statement reminds them. It speaks to who we are and how we intend to treat each member every day: “To meet our members where they are and build a culture where individual exceptionalism and innovation inspire 6th Star Service and lifetime relationships.” We come to work to serve the members, that is the most important thing we do all day, and each of us has a unique and special skill set to create relationships that live into the future.
On a personal note, the Experience Sessions provided me a unique opportunity to get to know each employee on a much different level, one that I was fortunate to achieve because of months of close interaction. These sessions inspired me to be better at what I do, and how I do it in order to live up to the way our employees serve our members every day. During role plays, the answers given by branch or experience center staff were from an authentic and emotional place, it was easy to see the level of commitment everyone must have to TFCU and to our members. This all started out with the intention of teaching employees, but in the end, they each taught me.