A new Greek restaurant opened recently in our neighborhood. As a huge fan a gyros, my lovely wife and I decided to try it. We were one of their first customers on opening week. Our first experience there was amazing: the owner greeted us warmly, talked at length about mutual acquaintances and provided amazing service. She even gave us a complimentary bottle of dressing to take home.Restaurant waiter - 1

So it wasn’t long before we returned. Our second trip was just as wonderful: amazing food combined with excellent service. We were about to be regulars. Until our third time there.

What happened on that visit? The owners weren’t at the restaurant. Instead, their routine employees were running the joint. While the food was still great the service was less than stellar. It was clear their employees were not as invested as the owner.

Is it that way at your credit union or bank? Do your employees act like they own the place? As executives we want our employees to care. To care about that next loan like we do. To care about serving the consumer as much as possible. To care about their branch as much as a manager.

My guess is the things that keep us up at night and thinking in the shower (our net income, our growth, our brand, our service, etc.) the average employee is not all that concerned about.

So how do we get employees to own the place? Here are three suggestions:

(1)  Link overall credit union or bank performance to pay—Everyone cares about their income. If you don’t have a profit sharing or bonus plan in place that ties pay to