Here are a few of the things we did operationally in response to the economic pressures of the last several years:

• Improved negotiation skills. Leaner times required us to take a harder look at costs and services. This resulted in better pricing and/or additional services from vendors

• Improved efficiencies. We instituted an automated performance appraisal tool, transitioned Global CU wear ordering to an online process, reduced employee benefit enrollment forms from seven to one, and we created an online teller/employee FAQ, eliminating printed versions and improving communication.

• Enhanced employee recognition programs to offset lack of merit increases

• Added a Wellness Fair as a vehicle to communicate employee benefits. Attendees came away with improved understanding and appreciation of their benefit package

• Used the "Saving Members" format to enlist our frontline staff as our marketers/advertisers, while reducing the marketing/advertising budget by half.

A Clear Vision

The lesson learned is that with a clear vision the credit union pulled together to serve our members with what they really needed in lean times-a safe, and secure place to save, borrow, and plan for the future. By giving them financial resources, education, and refinancing of higher interest loans they had elsewhere, we were able to help our members save more than $10 million in 2010 and 2011, and we have already surpassed our halfway mark toward another $10 million in savings in 2012.

Through improved efficiencies we were able to reduce our costs to ensure our offerings are competitive and meet the needs of our members.

Abigail Franklin
VP-Marketing & Strategy
Global Credit Union, Spokane

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