We strive to promote from within the organization by clearly defining potential career paths. Internal candidates are considered first for all open positions. Team members are encouraged to apply for openings that match their abilities and career choice.
We mentor and develop our team members through various types of learning opportunities. We offer extensive new hire training to support the success of all newly hired team members. The extent of the training depends on the positions, but includes system training, overviews of each team within the credit union, sales and service training, fraud training, online training and more. Each new hire class also meets with our President and CEO in an informal session called We Are Michigan First, which provides new team members information about our culture and the opportunity to hear personally from Michael Poulos what makes us stand out from our competition.
At Michigan First, we have an in-house Toastmasters Club that we offer to our team members. Toastmasters International is an organization dedicated to improving public speaking and leadership skills. We offer two meeting times on every first and third Thursday at 8 a.m. and every second and fourth Thursday at noon. Team members who have joined the club meet and practice public speaking, networking and leadership skills while growing their overall confidence. Toastmasters is a valuable self-developmental tool that we find very rewarding and are proud to sponsor.
Twice each year we close for business and conduct full-day training events, which we call our Team Building days. These days are full of energy and learning. We receive updates on our goals, information on new products, health and wellness and so much more. Each Team Building day, team members are invited to participate in our video award contest as individuals or teams. A video is submitted based on our philosophies and values. The videos are sometimes serious, but more often humorous and fun. The video winners receive cash prizes, lunches, trophies and the bragging rights of being one of the top three submissions. Individuals also receive recognition and an award surrounding the same philosophy and values based on individual performance.
Our commitment to on-the-job training continues to expand as we have recently adopted a new Learning Management System (LMS) to offer a more robust online learning experience for team members. The LMS features allow us to create curriculums to support team member development and internal promotions at the credit union. Team members have the ability to take classes on their own or as designated by the training team or their leader. There are over 3,000 leadership, soft skill, technical, product and credit union specific training offerings. Team members that wish to be promoted can take their careers into their own hands and begin taking the leadership courses while at work.
Our Teller and Financial Service Representative (FSR) mentor programs were designed to ensure that a new person has consistent in-branch training experience and is as successful as they can be in their new role. This 45 to 60 day mentoring program provides each new retail person with a designated coach the first day they arrive at their branch. A highly-skilled and experienced teller or FSR with excellent communication and sales and service skill are selected by his/her team leader to serve in this role. Mentors receive coaching tips and support on how to be effective. The goal of these structured programs is to enhance the new hire experience for new tellers and FSRs while providing a quality ongoing learning experience. Our newest mentoring program is for leaders. We have developed a 6-month mentoring program where leaders are matched with other leaders that know our culture well and have solid leadership experience. Our goal is to mutually expand the knowledge, influence and skill of all our leaders. This program consists of utilizing an assessment tool, sharing of leadership strengths through online blogging and a monthly meeting between mentor and mentee. Also, as a part of our daily life, we informally encourage mentoring and coaching connections throughout the organization.
We created a new training program for our financial services representatives that enable them to further develop their interviewing and product knowledge skills. These team members are introduced to our Sales and Service process within the first two weeks of their hire by attending two-day training. In this new training session, team members receive an update on our expectations for extraordinary member service and how they will be measured in their roles. We have an internal certification program that monitors the consistency of sales and service performed by our bankers and lenders. Their sales and service skills are observed and rated. To be certified they must have a minimum of four observations of member interactions that are “5’s” on a scale of 1-5. This must be completed within six months of hire. To assist in facilitating this process they attend our Advanced Interviewing Skills training which offers additional skills on interviewing, clues and advanced sales techniques. Our commitment is to ensure that all members receive the best service at the same high level regardless of who they speak with. Team members who are not certified received extra coaching and special attention during their observation sessions.