credit union efficiencyIf you asked 100 different people what it took to effectively grow a credit union, you'd probably get 100 different answers. Some would say that boosting membership was the key. Others might emphasize cross-selling or up-selling services. There are those who might focus on building a better marketing strategy. While all of these things are certainly valuable, they pale in comparison to what may be the most important objective of all: Increasing efficiency as much as possible.

Indeed, if you want your credit union to grow, it needs to be lean. It must become as systematic and as structured as possible. This is true for a wide range of different reasons, all of which are worth exploring.

Driving Growth: An Overview

According to one recent study, your average organization loses about 30% in revenue on an annual basis due to general inefficiencies in its operations. If you needed a single statistic to help underline the importance of becoming more effective in terms of your day-to-day operations with your credit union, let it be that one.

Yes, it's important to offer newer and more sophisticated digital and mobile services to members. Of course, you should prioritize embracing digital transformation to take your credit union into the modern era. But at the same time, you shouldn't underestimate the more straightforward moves towards increasing efficiency, too. That is to say, sometimes becoming the most efficient version of your credit union is less the product of any one major move and is more about a series of smaller and more strategic ones.

Case in point: meetings. According to another recent study, 65% of senior managers say that scheduling too many meetings is something that keeps them from successfully completing their own work on a regular basis. Even if a meeting is only 30 minutes in length, if you have several of them in a week, that adds up to a significant amount of lost time. At that point, you're not moving forward so much as you are spinning your wheels. That is time that could obviously be better spent elsewhere.

Why It Matters to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Another study indicated that one of the major inhibitors of growth for not just a credit union, but any company in general, ultimately comes down to organizational drag. It's true - as much as 25% of all productive power is lost to this issue in particular.

In essence, this refers to situations where people feel like they're fighting to get things done. Processes are too complicated for their own good - what should take five steps takes ten. Communication is too challenging - they spend so much time filling out forms and filing paperwork that they aren't actually able to accomplish critical tasks. All of these things may seem necessary, but they add up to wasted time - and as the old saying reminds us, "time is money."

That's why it's always so important to make sure that people have the tools they feel they need to get their work done on a daily basis. It's not just about making their lives easier - it's about empowering them to work smarter, not harder. If you can take a task that normally requires 10 minutes to complete and make it efficient enough to get done in five minutes, then you suddenly have five extra minutes where that employee can focus on more essential matters. That, too, is something that will add up over time.

Continue to Embrace Working Remotely

That leads us to an important trend to be aware of for your credit union in the modern era: remote work. It has been estimated that 77% of remote workers are able to A) accomplish more productive work than their in-office counterparts, and B) require fewer hours in order to do it. This is because when someone is working from home, they're typically dealing with fewer distractions. They don't have to worry about someone popping into their office to chat or anything else that might take them away from the task at hand. They can keep their head down, focus on their work, and get it done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

That's not to say that this will be true of all employees. Some credit union workers will need the structure that they can only get from coming into a physical location every day. But if you truly want to steer your credit union in the direction of more efficient and growth-minded operations, embracing the virtues of remote work would certainly be how you do it.

FLEX Can Help You Improve Efficiency in Multiple Ways

In the end, these are just a few of the ways that you can help build a more efficient credit union. Always remember that every step you take in that direction is ultimately a step towards growing into the credit union you always hoped you'd one day be running, which in and of itself is the most important benefit of all.

At FLEX, we understand that improving efficiency is one of the major keys to unlocking just about every one of your credit union's goals - including achieving the right level of growth. It's something that we've assisted a variety of organizations with over the years, including the team at Ironworkers USA Federal Credit Union. To find out more click the button below to download a case study that details all of this and more.

FLEX Efficiency Case Study

Topics: Mobile Banking, Credit Union Best Practices, credit union growth, Efficiencies, digital banking, credit union challenges, member growth

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