I got the chance last week to meet with four key leaders in our retail operations. Combined service somewhere around fifty years. Combined knowledge – well beyond their years of service. WOW!!!
We sat down with the intent of improving our member experience, and at the end of the 1 ½ hours, we had four pages of notes and “meaty” ideas on how to make SLCCU better. They were honest and constructively critical as to what needed to be fixed. Ours is a marathon, not a sprint, and it was refreshing to hear the acknowledgment that we are much better than we once were, but we needed to continue our tweaking and development. I was encouraged by their not being unduly influenced by the positive nature of our many glowing press releases. We have issues and we need to fix them. Truly the sign of progress.
One of the more enlightening conversations centered around our members’ need for greater education on money management. Financial literacy training is the ubiquitous (almost cliché) phrase thrown around these days for the financial services industry’s attempts at helping society bring clarity to the blind spot of managing their finances. Prosperity Connection is our partner in such an effort and are clearly better than most (if not all), but more should be done.
This is the juncture of the meeting where the “could have had a V-8” moment took place for me. One of our leaders in the room encouraged Prosperity Connection and SLCCU to continue down the current pathway of good work, but get more specific. She recommended that a class on “How to Avoid Paying Overdraft Fees” is the real problem. Budgeting, financial management, and the like are classes that are too nebulous, and as a result don’t register with someone as their problem. I get it.
But, showing and helping the community on how to stop paying fees is where the rubber meets the road. Real discussion on the most impactful and damaging aspect of poor money management would be the focus. Take a deep dive into cause and effect.
Put the money back into the household by paying less fees. I’m loving it. Let’s get even more real than a high-brow discussion about setting a budget and sticking to it. Nope, let’s get dirty. I look forward to seeing what comes of this idea.
Real solutions for real people. It was a great meeting. We’re blessed to have such caring leaders.