How to shape your credit union’s culture

first_img 22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Carletta Clyatt Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group.  She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses … Web: www.omniagroup.com Details Whether or not it has been consciously identified, every company has a corporate culture. And while there’s no physical presence, it subtly influences the entire organization and drives the actions and decisions of your team. Maybe it’s characterized by change, and is therefore dynamic. Maybe it’s aggressive and focused on growth. Possibly, it is focused on being cutting edge, or branded by providing the best customer service. Or less positively, it is characterized by upheaval, unpredictability and chaos. Employees might define your culture as happy or hostile, as fast paced or plodding, as interactive or boring, so it can have a profound impact on employee satisfaction, engagement, everyday operations and the bottom line. Culture can, and should, be a mindful choice, though in many organizations it develops in response to management or industry changes. What creates a corporate culture? A company’s culture is generally dictated by leadership. When things are good, a corporate culture is created by vision, choice and planning. Management decides where they want the company to go and how they want it to get there. In less ideal situations, a corporate culture is created in reaction to something: fear of change, a quick response to industry shifts, a need for strict control.  If it works, maintain it. When an organization has a clear vision about their culture, and the culture works, it’s much easier to use that to ensure positive growth and endure the tough times. Why? Because the employees know what is expected. They feel secure, and they feel included as contributors to their company’s successes. To maintain a successful corporate culture, it is important to: Create a mission statement: Identify the touchstone, the most important value or element of your company, and create a mission statement around it. Communicate your mission to all employees. Make sure it is more than words: Don’t just say it, have policies and procedures that back it up. Reward people whose actions support your company’s vision. Hire people who can fit in: Every employee brings a little something new and different to the table, but make sure the people you hire can agree to and fit in with your culture. Be prepared to change/grow: Times and situations change, struggling to maintain a culture that no longer works can create its own chaos. Be mindful of changes, communicate with members and employees and be flexible. If it doesn’t work, change it. A corporate culture marked by paranoia, low morale, high turnover and tight management restrictions doesn’t work. Such a situation results in unproductive employees, absenteeism and high recruiting and retraining costs. If you notice signs of a sickly corporate culture, there are some steps you can take to change it: Identify the problem(s): Talk to your employees in a safe environment and listen to them. Solicit anonymous feedback. Perform extensive exit interviews. Check out the highest turnover areas. Ask people what they would do to change it, and be prepared to implement viable solutions. Define where you want your company to be: Besides being profitable, what do you want for your organization? What do you want your customers to think of when they see your name? Create a mission statement, and communicate it your employees. Implement changes that will support your mission, and be prepared for some bumps in the road. Change isn’t easy, and some people will resist, but the dangers of maintaining the status quo might be far greater than the risks of trying new things. Discover current employees who can get you there, or coach them to be what you need. Hire people who will contribute to the change you want: Once you know where you are going, recruit people who share your vision. Need help training or hiring people to fit with your corporate culture? Contact your Omnia Client Advisor to review your cultural preferences and discuss training and hiring options.last_img read more

Existing-home sales at highest level since 2006

first_imgExisting-home sales skyrocketed 24.7 percent in July to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million units, representing an 8.7 percent increase in sales versus a year ago.“Existing home sales are now at their highest level since late 2006,” wrote NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long in a new Macro Data Flash report. “Loosened shutdowns and rock-bottom mortgage rates pushed many buyers into the market across the country with strong gains in all four census regions.”Sales rose in all four regions during the month, most significantly in the Northeast (+30.6 percent), followed by the West (+30.5 percent), the Midwest (+27.5 percent), and the South (+19.4 percent).“Overall sales growth should remain strong for the next several months given the surge in demand, but it will remain uneven as low-income areas are still shouldering most of the economic pains,” Long added. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Village displaces local businesses

first_imgClick here to view this article with more media in our “It Takes a Village: USC and the Community” project package.For more than 30 years, Akm Alam has considered his business, Quik-Pix Photo Lab, to be a part of the USC community and the Trojan Family. Two years ago, his photo printing store took up a small space in the old University Village, sandwiched between campus and the Row. The space was a home for Alam. He was friendly with the students who came in for passport pictures and professional head shots and loyal to the faculty members who returned to his store year after year. Working near USC provided him with many benefits — a safe location, a steady and predominantly wealthy clientele base. Being a part of the Trojan family helped Alam survive.But the beginning of the new Village’s construction forced Alam to leave his old store behind. He spent several years preparing for the inevitable, until construction officially began in 2014. He had no choice but to move north to an even smaller space closer to the highway. Since then, business has only dwindled. Alam’s story is only one of the many local businesses who were forced to relocate to make room for the Village.Finding a new homeAlam’s new store is tucked into a strip mall on Vermont Ave., a 12-minute walk north of campus. On a muggy April morning, he leaves the door hanging open. Inside, his space is cramped. A photo backdrop and lighting equipment take up the back half of the room behind the front counter. The front half is consumed with scattered chairs and shelves of camera equipment and picture frames. He leans against the front counter as he explains, in a quiet and almost cheerful voice, that he has lost almost 80 percent of his business. That 80 percent has been lost in less than two years. Some of that is natural — he is running a photo printing business in an age where pictures are stored digitally, shared on social media and rarely put into print.But his main drop in customers came when he was forced to leave his University Village location and find a new place to operate. There are many factors behind this change. Alam suspects that many of his former clientele aren’t even aware that he relocated rather than closing down. Now, his business mainly comes from the local area, a steep drop from his past days of serving faculty and students.“It’s a completely different group of people that I get here now,” Alam said. “I miss the students, the faculty members. There were people who came to my store for years, people who I knew. Now there’s not as much [business] at all.”Constructing a new imageThe construction of the Village first began to affect local business owners in the area in 2010. At that time, all businesses in the area that is now in the process of becoming the Village were transitioned into month-to-month leases. But the greatest change came on May 1, 2014, when the businesses located in the space were forced to move out. For chain restaurants that were previously located in the Village’s space, the transition was relatively simple. Businesses such as the Denny’s and Superior Grocers — which were in the former Village — had a wider range of options due to their status as a franchise. All employees were guaranteed jobs at other locations, which meant that none of those employees or managers had to worry about losing their jobs. The main inconvenience fell upon customers who no longer had the convenience of those stores close by.But for locally- owned businesses, the transition was much different. According to USC Civic Engagement Senior Vice President Craig Keys, 17 of the 37 businesses removed from the Village space were non-franchise businesses. Though the label of “non-franchise” does not necessarily mean that a business is locally owned, most of these businesses were similar to Alam’s store. From mom- and- pop convenience stores to a locally-owned hair salon that had been in the area for 40 years, these local businesses relied on their proximity to campus and USC clientele base in order to survive. The move away from campus did more than create a change in location for these businesses — it completely displaced them from the community in which they had grown and thrived.The businesses in the area had known the move was coming since 2010. That was when their rents were switched to from year-long to month-by-month, and it signalled a new era for the local businesses. The University connected each of the businesses up- to- date on their rent to a real estate company in order to find a new location. This offer was extended to both franchise and non-franchise businesses, so that everyone involved had the opportunity to relocate. The University also provided financial assistance for the relocation or closing of a business. According to Keys, most tenants received anywhere from $17,500 to $20,000 in assistance. An uncertain futureYet for business owners like Alam, the cost of relocating wasn’t the issue. With ample time to prepare, he found a space quickly, without the aid of the real estate agent. It’s just not the space he wants. With his store situated several blocks north of campus, and his clientele now mainly consisting of members of the community, he feels that he is beginning to lose a grip on his business.Ideally, Alam would hope for his old space close to campus. However, this most likely won’t be a possibility. The new space will not be focused on retail, but rather on providing a living and community space for USC students. It aims to fulfill the need for a community living space for sophomore and transfer students, while simultaneously driving down the cost of student living by providing more housing options. The space is also expected to create a wider selection of businesses, community spaces and living spaces in order to diversify the space to create a vital new part of the community.“The old University Village was a community- serving retail establishment which leased space to small business entities, but did not provide an environment or mix of amenities that could promote the success of the tenant businesses,” Keys said. “The new USC Village provides the amenities desired by the community in an environment that is better structured for the economic success of the retail tenants.”This means, however, that there will be significantly less room for retail space. The Village spans more than 2 million square feet of space, but most of that space will be student housing. Retail space will only take up 160,000 square feet, a significant decrease from the amount that was afforded to businesses in the previous space.One of the goals of the project is to create 12,000 new jobs through construction, but these jobs will only last on a temporary basis until the Village’s completion. The Village will also create permanent employment in the new establishments. However, most of these jobs will be focused in chain businesses or working in the residential halls. This means that there will be little to no space for local businesses to move back into the area. Keys does believe that some local businesses will be able to come into the space, but the expectations will be raised for the types of establishments that are welcomed into the community.“The quality and relevance of the amenities and general environment  intended for the new USC Village are substantially higher than that of the old University Village,” Keys said. “Consistent with the needs of the Uuniversity and community, we are seeking best-in-class tenants to populate our key food and beverage, retail and service locations.  So while we will have several national brands, we will also have a variety of local and regional offerings.”Alam, like many other local business owners, isn’t worried about a future with the Village — he’s simply trying to survive with what he has now.His new store is smaller, and the rent is less expensive. He’s partnered with another photographer to start offering options such as event photography or senior portraits. Yet Alam admits that he sees no future for his business now. Without the access to his clientele base of students and faculty, he simply feels that his time has run out.“In business, you always do what you can to keep going,” Alam said. “But this is not going to keep going. It just can’t.”last_img read more

Leeds United make first signing under Christiansen as Poland international joins

first_img Mateusz Klich playing for Kaiserslautern 1 Leeds United have signed Poland international Mateusz Klich for an undisclosed fee from FC Twente.The 27-year-old central midfielder has signed a three-year deal at the club and becomes their first signing under new manager Thomas ChristiansenKlich was at FC Twente for a season after playing for the likes of Kaiserslautern and Wolfsburg.“I am very happy to have signed for such a huge club and I’m looking forward to playing in the famous white shirt,” Klich told the club website.“I’m excited to come to England and test myself in the Championship and I can’t wait to get going.“The team came close to promotion last season so hopefully we can go one better and I’m looking forward to meeting my new team mates next week and getting started.”last_img read more