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Opinions

Mergers and Value of Staffs Working Together

Employees of the continuing credit union (CCU) are often assigned to work temporarily at the merging credit union (MCU). The practice facilitates implementation of the CCU's processes and procedures, and it serves several other purposes in advancing the operational merger. The same is true of assigning employees of the MCU to work temporarily at the CCU.

Employees of the CCU are a valuable resource to the employees of the MCU as they adapt to new systems and procedures. Whether the instruction supplements or takes the place of classroom training, it is very useful for the employees of the MCU to have help readily available.

For the employees of the MCU, working in the CCU gives context to the training. It takes the instruction from the theoretical to the practical and demonstrates how the pieces fit together. In the process, essential elements missing from the training quickly become obvious and any gaps can be covered.

There are two additional operational benefits of exposing employees of each credit union to the day-to-day operations of the other. Both result from employees being essentially unaware that there is any other way to do their work. The first benefit is to expose unexamined assumptions about how, and what, work must be done. Invalid assumptions can produce incompatibilities and misunderstandings that are impossible to resolve without becoming conscious of them. The second benefit is increased efficiency made possible by the discovery that one or the other of the credit unions has a more effective way to accomplish a given task.

The most significant benefit of the cross-assignments may be that the employees begin to build relationships with one another. These relationships will facilitate subsequent communication and promote the genuine merger of the entities.

Carol Stryker is a long-time credit union veteran and consultant with SymbioticSolutions, Houston. She can be reached at 713.252.3361, or at CarolStryker@symbioticsols.com.

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Credit Union Journal encourages reader feedback. Letters to the Editor can be sent to Managing Editor Lisa Freeman at lfreeman@cujournal.com. Letters can also be faxed to 561-832-2939.

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