Numerica Credit Union Client success

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A NEED FOR FORMAL LEADERSHIP TRAINING

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Numerica Credit Union Client success

  1. 1. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENTNUMERICACREDIT UNIONA NEED FOR FORMALLEADERSHIP TRAININGAfter two mergers greatly increasedNumerica’s total number of members,employees, and branch locations—withmore expansion planned—the creditunion’s executive team determined thata formal leadership training program wasneeded to better position the organizationfor the future.“We were experiencing pretty extensivegrowth within the credit union, and wewanted to design a program that wouldequip our managers with the leadershipskills they needed to assist in the develop-ment of their staff,”says Nancy Harter,senior vice president of administration.“Our goal was two-fold,”explains ErynneHallock, training manager. “We wanted aformalized program so employees couldspeak in the same language and learn thesame skills. Also, we wanted one that woulddifferentiate us from our peers for thededication we show in developing ourleaders.” Hallock says that Numerica’ssenior leaders believed that such a programwould provide a competitive edge forrecruiting talent and boosting employeeretention.A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TODEVELOPING KEY BEHAVIORSThe solution for this 300-employee creditunion? Management in MOTION, a robusttraining program with a breadth and sophis-tication rivaling those implemented in manyFortune 500 organizations.Each year up to 15 employees are selectedby the executive team to participate in theprogram. Any employee who shows highpotential for leadership ability, regardlessof actual job title, may be nominated bymanagement for the training. In fact, halfof the current trainees are not in titled lead-ership positions, while some are assistantvice presidents. Thus, a participant mightgo through the training alongside his orher direct reports.“When we walk into that classroom for aManagement in MOTION session, we’re alllearning together,”Hallock says. “We haveeach had different experiences and wehave different knowledge that we bring,so it enhances our group discussion andthe experience.”Once they accept the invitation intoManagement in MOTION, employees com-mit to a three-year curriculum. Participantsare required to complete a training-relatedactivity every month to continually rein-force the new skills and concepts they learnin the training. A major emphasis is placedon applying classroom learning to the workenvironment, to support learned behaviorsbecoming innate behaviors.CLIENTSUCCESSES—NUMERICACREDITUNIONINDUSTRY:FINANCIAL SERVICES1CLIENT SUCCESSES© Development Dimensions International, Inc., MMX. All rights reserved.ABOUT NUMERICACREDIT UNION> Headquarters inSpokane, Washington.> 17 branches throughoutWashington andNorthern Idaho.> The credit union has81,000 members and300 employees.
  2. 2. “In other types of training, you might takeaway one or two ideas, use them for a fewdays or a month, then go back to old habits,”says Guy Ottersen, who is now in his thirdand final year of the program. By practicingtechniques reinforced in Management inMOTION sessions, he improved his commu-nication skills and, most importantly, learnedto give more effective feedback to his teammembers. “One of the hardest things to dowas change the habit of giving non-specificfeedback.”The first year, participants complete ninehalf-day courses, at a rate of one to twocourses per month,at Numerica headquarters.Classes include Essentials of Leadership,High Impact Feedback, and PositiveCommunication & Diversity. Conferencecalls aimed at reinforcing development areheld during non-classroom months.The second year includes four DDI courses,including Leading High PerformanceTeamsand Networking for Enhanced Collaboration,and two from Numerica’s SupervisorSeries—a curriculum of courses open toall Numerica leaders,whether they are inthe Management in MOTION program ornot—for a total of six half-day classes plusconference calls.In the third and final year,students gothrough the DDI courses InfluentialLeadership,Leading Change,BoostingBusiness Results,and Supporting LeadershipDevelopment. They write a thesis paper onleadership and act as mentors for the incom-ing class.The Management in MOTION curriculum ismodified as needed. For example,trainingon industry-related issues,such as strategicforecasting,was added to the third year ofclasses to augment soft skills.“We looked at many vendors and what weliked most about DDI was the broad spec-trum of topics in the curriculum and theflexibility,”says Harter.“DDI surpassed anything else that we sawin terms of the number of courses they hadavailable,”says Hallock. Also appealing, shesays, was that DDI offered the option ofcertifying an internal trainer to deliver thecourses.REGULAR ASSESSMENTS REINFORCELEARNINGAn important component of theManagement in MOTION program isthe option for trainees to achieve careerenrichment goals along development pathsreflecting three stages of a managementcareer. These stages are general, mid-level(manager and supervisor), and key (assistantvice president or vice president level).Based on long-term goals discussed duringone-on-one interviews that Hallock con-ducts with the participants, each individualis assigned to a path that includes relevantopportunities such as job shadowing, read-ing select business books, or completingcourses offered outside the Management inMOTION program. When management posi-tions open within the organization, hiringmanagers can review the accomplishmentsof candidates in these self-directed activities.To reinforce positive behaviors and increaseaccountability, Hallock completes severalassessments throughout the three-yearprocess. After each class, she evaluateseach participant in three areas. In the first,embracing course concepts, she critiquestheir investment in and commitment to theclass topic. The second, classroom participa-tion, is critical because it drives effectiveCLIENTSUCCESSES—NUMERICACREDITUNION2© Development Dimensions International, Inc., MMX. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. networking among the trainees—a long-term benefit to the organization—whorepresent a wide range of departmentsand branches of the company.“I encourage them to get involved in ourgroup discussions, to work when they’rein partners, to work when they’re in smallgroups,”Hallock says. “I’m not looking for aquiet, reserved person to become a vibrant,outspoken individual. I’m looking for themto put themselves just outside of their com-fort zone, to really invest and get to knowtheir classmates. That’s what creates moreof a dynamic experience.”Third, the group is evaluated on the assign-ment they are given at the close of eachclass, which provides a chance to apply thelearning back on the job.To proceed to the next year, participantsmust attend all classes, complete homeworkassignments, participate in at least 80 per-cent of the conference calls and successfullycomplete the annual“knowledge check,”orfinal exam. Online quizzes are available tohelp in the review of key concepts.The completed evaluations are sent to thetrainees’ supervisors, and the leadershipskill areas for which they are assessed—communication feedback, issue manage-ment, coaching and developing, and catalystleadership—are incorporated into theirannual performance reviews during theirtime in Management in MOTION, and forthe remainder of their employment withNumerica.An abridged version of the three-year pro-gram is offered to all senior leaders, at theassistant vice president level and higher, sothey can reinforce the development of theirdirect reports.As groups finish Management in MOTION,they are recognized with two high-profilecelebrations. First, they spend a day inteam-building exercises with the executiveleadership team. In addition,they are awardedtheir degrees during a graduation ceremonyas part of an organization-wide annual event,where they are acknowledged and lauded infront of the entire employee population.A COMPANY-WIDE CULTUREOF LEADERSHIPDespite rapid growth and increasinggeographic distance between branches,Numerica has helped its workforce tocreate a culture of more open communica-tion and collaboration. Before Managementin MOTION was launched three years ago,most employees learned leadership skillsby copying their direct supervisors’management style. Today, the emphasis ison empowering all employees, regardlessof job title, to take a leadership role intheir workplace.For Guy Ottersen, the timing was perfect.He was promoted into his first supervisoryposition after starting the program and nowmanages 13 team members in Numerica’scall center. These team members field allincoming calls to the organization and, ifthey cannot help the callers, transfer themto one of the 18 branches.“The programreally built my confidence level,”he says.“When you speak with composure, it goesa long way.”CLIENTSUCCESSES—NUMERICACREDITUNION3© Development Dimensions International, Inc., MMX. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. “Team members are stepping up to theplate and performing unbelievable tasksthat one year ago, they didn’t believe theycould do,”says Heidi Blair, accounting man-ager, a graduate of the first Management inMOTION class. “There is more of a willing-ness to share ideas now that open commu-nication is clear. I encourage everyone tocome up with better ways to do things.It’s been amazing to see what being opento new ideas and opinions has done forthe team.”“We have seen a big impact on recruitment,”adds Harter. “We provide information onthe program during interviews, and findmost candidates have not been exposedto this kind of program. It shows we areserious about developing our employees.”CLIENTSUCCESSES—NUMERICACREDITUNION4MKTCPCS14-09100MA © Development Dimensions International, Inc., MMX. All rights reserved.CONTACT INFORMATIONWORLD HEADQUARTERS412.257.0600E-MAIL INFO@DDIWORLD.COMWWW.DDIWORLD.COM/LOCATIONS> The Management in MOTION program has hada positive impact on Numerica’s ability to recruittalent and retain valued employees.> A pipeline of leadership talent has been estab-lished, making it easier for open leadershippositions to be filled with qualified internalcandidates.> Skill levels and performance of leaders haveincreased significantly, and a culture of moreopen communication and collaboration is emerging.> The organization has the leadership talent itneeds to drive future growth.THE BOTTOM LINE

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