Take These Steps to Get Your Team Engaged in Your Community
Posted by Andrew Kobialka on August 23, 2022
Sheer joy. That’s what’s evident when you see Vancouver, Washington-based iQ Credit Union’s plaid-clad team members engaging in the community. As their website says, “…being part of the community isn’t just a slogan – it’s a way of life.”
When it comes to the “people helping people” mission, iQ is walking the talk. From the boardroom to the C-suite, to the branches, there is strong employee buy-in to support the communities they live in and causes they care about.
Helping to drive iQ’s “heart forward” approach to community engagement are Business Development Officers Andrew Gratzer and Daphne Girard. Each has worked for iQ for nearly a decade, and although the positions they hold now have an intentional focus on community engagement, they lead a program that opens local volunteer opportunities to other employees across the organization.
“We have a heart-forward approach where getting accounts or loans isn’t our only goal,” Gratzer said. “We want to be involved in enhancing the lives of all those we interact with by being real, joyful, educational, and leading with grace.”
Gratzer and Girard serve on more than half a dozen boards and volunteer for local community events. In addition to their business development focus at work, they have a training program to help other employees find the right engagement opportunities.
“We want to get involved in the most meaningful and impactful ways,” Girard said. “For us, that is serving on boards and in committees where we get a seat at the table to help make decisions which enhance the communities we are part of and grow our professional networks at the same time.”
If a credit union wants to expand its community engagement footprint, some top-line considerations recommended by these two veterans include:
- Leadership support of employees in community engagement. This will fulfill their passion, grow their skills, and bring knowledge about community needs back to the credit union.
- Offer training to help employees learn more about the community organizations that need them, and how they can best serve.
- Help employees identify their ideal opportunities by thinking about what they are passionate about, and what hurdles they have seen in their communities they want to help address.
Editor’s note: Learn more about how a heart-forward approach can help you grow your team’s community engagement at the next Marketing, Business Development, and Community Outreach Council meeting, taking place virtually on Sept. 8. Register now.