Build Your Team Mentor!

Major League Baseball’s Postseason is in full swing and as the drama unfolds leading up to the World Series, the chants coming from the stands grow louder and louder. The chant we haven’t heard in October for 29 years – “Let’s go Royals, Let’s go Royals” – has made an entire city come alive.

Living in the Midwest, I have been up watching extra-inning games and witnessing a broad range of emotions from players and fans – heartache to pure jubilation. You’ll see grown men with blank stares on their faces after a loss while others jump around the field like kids or spray champagne in celebration like a college party that will never end.

As you look at the players, you start to wonder how they became professional athletes. As a ‘wanna be’ athlete myself, I know it takes great coaching and mentoring to help a player achieve the pinnacle of success.

The same is true for the Credit Union Movement. Our young professionals (YPs) need mentors who will build confidence, share knowledge and work with YPs to build a successful career advancement game plan. How many YPs in your credit union want to be a leader or move up? Are you taking them for granted or are you giving them a voice in the direction of your credit union?

United Federal Credit Union believes in Mentorship

Over the past year, United Federal Credit Union has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in the industry’s young professional movement. I was selected to represent Arkansas for the Crash the GAC 2014 in Washington D.C., and was also one of thirteen Young Professional Advisors selected to represent the Cornerstone Credit Union League (Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas). My leadership team has not only approved, but has also requested that I talk with others in our large organization about it.

That’s right, it doesn’t stop with me. I pay it forward to ensure the mentorship continues.

Recently, we hired a new manager from outside the credit union industry and we wanted to make sure she understood what our movement is all about. The Cornerstone Credit Union League and the Young Professionals hosted a conference called Get Stuff Done. With over 100+ YPs in attendance, this was the perfect opportunity for the new manager to learn about our industry. She was genuinely surprised that a group of individuals working at different credit unions would come together and collaborate on ideas. EXACTLY, we are a cooperative.

My focus when it comes to mentoring is listening! We need to listen to our teams to understand their challenges and to hear their ideas. We hire employees not only to perform the duties of their current position, but also to evaluate where they might be two positions up the road. As we listen to what they are learning and asking, we are able to guide and mentor them in that direction.

Since last year, 61% of UFCU’s employees in our Arkansas market were promoted – 55% of them were considered young professionals. Those numbers show the real opportunity our future leaders and decision makers have in front of them if they are mentored and encouraged along the way.

Am I proud of the mentoring and advancement opportunities United Federal Credit Union has provided me and our team? With full confidence, YES!

Inspirational Leadership, Advocacy and Mentorship

Follow me on Twitter: @playingwisely

Noel Sanger