We are lucky enough to be corporate fitness partners with a large credit union called Bethpage Federal Credit Union based here on Long Island.
From the moment I met Melissa, their VP of Human Resources, I knew we’d get along.
Their mission and values seemed so similar to ours. Theirs specifically is “Enriching the lives of our members, employees, and the communities we serve.”
They were voted the best place to work on Long Island (a big deal) and the #3 best place to work in all of NY (an even bigger deal).
I was recently training a group of their team members and being the curious individual that I am asked, “How do you like working here?”
As their faces lit up I heard the following responses:
“I love it” – Notice they didn’t say “I like it.”
“It’s the best job in the world”
“It’s a second family to me”
Again being the curious, I dug deeper and asked “What do you like about it?”
There were 3 responses I noticed that the team members kept coming back to.
I feel cared for.
They talked about the fact that their managers and teammates care about them. People actually ask them how they’re doing. Many “leaders” look at their people as just a way to help them reach a goal. Huge mistake. I’m just as focused on the numbers as the next guy but I also need to realize that if I don’t really care about people and show them, I won’t have any.
Even now with a relatively small team, I have one team member who’s husband just had surgery and another who’s boyfriend’s father is on hospice. This is a boyfriend she’s been with for 14 years. The entire team has been on call to pick up any slack these two need. Making sure they know that we have their back at the office and personally means a lot. I’ve been checking in to make sure they know I’m here to help out however I can.
I feel valued.
The Bethpage people also talked about feeling valued. When I asked them what makes them feel valued they pointed to all the things the organization does to invest in them like provide a fitness training program. They also do yoga, a basketball league, and a host of other things to make people feel valued and a part of something. I was invited to their annual employee appreciation party and it was the stuff of legends. You could not go to that party and not feel appreciated.
You may not have the budget of a large credit union but what can you do to show your people you appreciate them? A hand-written card doesn’t cost much but goes a long way.
We work together
The third point that was driven home to me was the teamwork they foster. They spoke about helping and serving each other. This doesn’t happen naturally and starts at the top.
They talked about the passion they had for working on a team that is doing such important work; enriching the lives of others.
Vision is clearly being cast at Bethpage FCU. If it wasn’t, people wouldn’t be so fired up to be there. They’re going somewhere and they know it.
So tell your team where you’re going and don’t assume they know. If you’ve already told them, tell them again and tell them what you expect of them and how much you believe in them. That’s leadership.