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De-motivators Blocking Your Credit Union's Path to Success?
Monday, November 18, 2013 5:30 AM

Are “de-motivators” blocking your credit union’s path to success? That is a question Scott Butterfield, CUDE, CUCE, CCUE, asked CU Insight readers yesterday. Success, Butterfield says, depends on credit union staff going above-and-beyond, giving blood, sweat and tears to make it happen.

Unfortunately, Butterfield says “de-motivators” are alive in well within many organizations. Therefore, he says it’s important to identify, address and eliminate the de-motivators in your work space. Butterfield says credit unions should look out for the following:

1. The wet blanket. Most of us have experienced the wet blanket. You come up with an idea that you are proud of, and it never gets a fair review. Or you get a chance to share it and the immediate response is a hundred reasons why it will never work. The need for employee input, feedback and innovation has never been greater. Take the time to listen to your team’s ideas and implement some of them. Otherwise, the persistent “wet blanket” will kill motivation and innovation in your organization.

2. Meetings, meeting, meetings…Ask anyone and they will tell you meetings are too long and there are too many of them. All meetings interrupt work, but they are a necessary part of communication within an organization. Work-related meetings for the sake of meeting and meetings that lack focus and clear targets are de-motivators – worse than de-motivators, actually, because they subtract hours from the day that could otherwise be leveraged for goal-attainment. Think about the purpose of your meetings and what you are trying to achieve. Consider the interruption to normal work throughout all of the departments involved. Meetings can begin with well-motivated intentions but head south quickly if the meeting gets overlong. Organize your meetings around an agenda, and be disciplined about beginning and ending on time.

3. Lack of meaningful vision. Universally, the happiest (and most successful) teams are those that have embraced and are engaged in a clear vision and purposeful mission. These teams know why they exist and what makes them special. It’s almost always driven by a strong sense of community service and making a meaningful impact on members’ lives. What’s your cause? If you don’t have one, you may want to consider finding one.

4. Turning a blind eye to mediocre performance. This one is deadly and alive and well in credit unions. When one member of the team is consistently allowed to underperform, it’s nearly impossible to keep the teams around them motivated. Picking the right people and providing the appropriate training is a prerequisite for success.

“De-motivators in the workplace and board room get in the way of our performing at our very best,” notes Butterfield. “The best way to find the de-motivators is to build a good relationship with your team members so they confide in you. Once they confide in you, or you recognize the issues, work with your team to get the issues resolved.”