If Gen Y’ers Ruled The Credit Union World, Part Two

The first installment of this blog highlighted a new branching strategy, but this time we will take a look into the corporate culture of the credit union industry. What would it look like if Gen Y’ers were in charge?

For starters, employers would embrace the use of Social Media in the workplace. Social Media has become a way of life for this new generation. While most believe that allowing us to be active in our social worlds could affect our ability to be productive, some of us would argue that we are effective multi-taskers, and could actually increase our productivity. We work better when we’re trusted and feel empowered. Not allowing us to do this makes us feel like you distrust us. It also causes us to feel restricted, micro managed, and sometimes as if we’re still a child (To some people we may be a child.:). The point I’m making is that moving forward the workplace will more than likely become more relaxed; when or if Gen Y’ers are in charge. Remember, we were raised listening to our iPod, and playing video games, all while writing a paper for school. Somehow, we managed to get it all done. Hold us accountable, and penalize us when we don’t get things done on time, but don’t penalize us in advance.

Another thing that would probably be different in our corporate cultures if Gen Y’ers ruled the credit union world would be our corporate communication style. Let’s be honest, communication between Generation Y and Baby Boomers has not always been the best, and in some cases there is still a breakdown. Two major things stand in the way, and they can be synonymous to one another, perceptions and assumptions. These two things quite often challenge our corporate cultures. When one perceives or assumes, he or she usually forms an opinion on something not factual. It’s that opinion that could trigger people’s communication style. Have you ever sat in a meeting and had someone else to tell you that you felt a certain way, and they were completely wrong? Have they ever made a decision based on how they thought you felt or would react that affected you adversely? I certainly have. It’s not a good feeling. At times, I have wanted to speak up and say, “You’re wrong, that’s not how I feel, or that is not why I asked that!” But, I thought it would be a waste of time because the other person already formed their opinion. Now, I am just as wrong for not expressing my true feelings as the person who made the assumption, but the deep root of the problem is the lack of communication. Quite often, in today’s culture, we communicate with the intent of proving to someone else we’re right and they’re wrong, rather than communicating to understand their feelings. If we would slow down and listen, we could accomplish a whole lot more. We can’t be so quick to make assumptions of a person based on stereotypes of the generations. The only way to know the truth is to hear it directly from that individual. We should listen with an open mind, and be willing to understand, realizing that we are all different.

Ask yourself the question, do I communicate to understand, or do I communicate to be understood? There is a difference. They are both equally necessary. We should communicate to make sure others understand completely what we’re saying, while also taking the time to understand the other person’s perspective.

Regional Finalist – Southeast