Money is not the only motivator

In a society where money and various tangible rewards seem to be significant drivers both personally and professionally, how can credit unions and other co-operatives effectively motivate their employees without increasing year-end bonuses? It’s difficult for credit unions to compete with larger financial institutions in terms of tangible rewards, as we don’t have the resources to do so. Although extrinsic motivation such as bonuses, commission, and other tangible rewards are useful in guiding employees to meet performance targets, ultimately contributing to the success of the organization, this type of motivation is not sufficient to fully engage employees as it narrows our focus to one set of goals. This is contradicting to the values of the credit union as credit unions strive to better the community as a whole.

When I think “how can I make a difference in my community?” extrinsic motivators certainly aren’t the first thing that come to mind. When credit unions provide their employees with opportunities to appeal to their own values and personal growth this fully engages employees to be the best they can be. As Holly Herman says “personal development is as important as specific professional development. It shows you (the credit union) care about developing better people, creating better employees.” This is more consistent with credit union values as creating better people and employees will help create a better community.

Dan Pink’s Drive video stands out to me as he discusses the connection between engagement and autonomy, and how self-direction significantly increases engagement. He argues that if organizations start treating people more like people, they not only have the ability to make work lives better off, but make the world a little better. When credit unions provide employees with volunteer time or opportunities, such as participating in the SYL community, they are giving employees the chance the make their own decisions outside of their regular daily work and effectively motivate themselves. This autonomy contributes to not only developing the employees within the credit union system, but strengthening the credit union system as a whole.

Do not overlook the personal development and volunteer opportunities that are available to you. I challenge you to participate in more activities outside of your day-to-day tasks, in order to develop yourself and your community. Although there may not be a monetary benefit, at the end of the day you’re given a chance to grow yourself and help your community grow. As giving is one of the post powerful gestures, you will be surprised at how fulfilled you will feel. As Shannon said in SYL’s February blog post, “if we take time to step outside of our own lives and look for ways to help others that is truly where we find fulfillment.”

Climb photo –
Dan Pink Drive Video –

Podcasts – Have you tried them?

The wonderful world of podcasts is a largely untapped learning resource. Already use them you say? Well then help us add to our list! Have no idea what a podcast is or how to listen to them? This sweet old lady would love to explain it to you
We’ve compiled a list of a few of our favourites for your listening pleasure:

The UnPodcast – a marketing and customer service focused smorgasbord of awesome

Afford Anything – a financial literacy podcast helping people of all ages with money savviness

TEDTalks – covers a variety of topics, ideas worth spreading from people who are sure to inspire you.

Freakonomics Radio – hosted by the author of the popular ‘Freaknomics’ books have fun discovering the hidden side of….well everything.

Beautiful/Anonymous – this one’s just for fun. Listen to 1 hour calls where individuals from all walks of life call in and simply chat about whatever is on their mind.

Take a listen, tell us your favourites on twitter @SKYoungLeaders or email us ! We’d love to hear from you.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Spread the #SYLove (and possibly get free coffee!)


SYL has an exciting year coming up and we’d like you to help us spread the word!

Here’s How:

Step 1:
Print this newsletter.

Step 2:
Hang it, display it, SHARE IT in your Credit Union for your Co-workers to see.

Get creative:, in your break room, in the bathrooms, by your photocopier. We can’t wait to see because….

Step 3:
Take a selfie, with the newsletter in your branch and share it on social media using the hashtag #SYLove (tag us too! @SKYoung Leaders)

5 participants will be selected at the end of April to receive a gift card. Coffee on SYL! And it’s not just any coffee – it’s TIMs! The more you post and share the better your chances are of receiving a prize.

Learning Opportunity: Evidence Based Decision Making

To register visit: or call: 306-966-8686

Data is woven into every sector and function of our global economy; however, few organizations are using an Evidence-Based Leadership approach. During times of economic turmoil, sustaining your competitive advantage and maximizing your resources is paramount. To be a leader in your industry, you must utilize and implement data into your strategic decisions, making data-driven decisions part of your organization’s strategy using evidence-based leadership.

When organizations learn to employ facts while managing big data, it allows them to perform most efficiently. Learn what information you should be collecting, how to collect and analyze it and how to use what you learn to support your organization at the 2017 Leadership Conference held May 18, 2017 in Saskatoon, SK.



Each year, the National Young Leaders Committee, a committee of CCUA, holds a leadership intensive called CU NextGen. CU NextGen is an event where high-potential emerging leaders from throughout the Canadian credit union system gather to receive unparalleled leadership training, build relationships with emerging and senior leaders, and leave feeling energized about the credit union movement as well as their futures within it.

The one and a half day CU NEXTGEN™ Leadership Intensive will be held Sunday, May 7 to Monday, May 8, 2017 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We wanted to make sure you have the opportunity to register—space is limited and based on a first-come, first serve basis.

This year, Gregg Brown from Tidal Shift will lead participants through a thought-provoking program focused on change resiliency. In addition to exploring why change can be challenging, the program will introduce seven “change muscles” that help individuals use their energy more effectively as they move through the adaptation process. Attendees will receive individual feedback on their own resilience, and engage in exercises that provide practice in applying each of the characteristics. They will leave with an action plan for strengthening their own, and their team’s resilience, providing tangible takeaways for leaders at all levels of the credit union system.

Following the full-day change resiliency workshop, young leaders will participate in the exclusive Human Library learning and networking session. From there, they will continue their learning along-side leaders from across the Canadian credit union system as they actively participate in “Charting the Course” – CCUA’s 2017 National Conference for Canada’s Credit Unions.

NYLC WebEx: PayCo and the evolution of the payments ecosystem

 Eric Dillon Eric Dillon

Payments are a critical strategic driver for future credit union sustainability and growth, the CEO Payments Strategy Committee dedicated three years of work to conclude that PayCo is the right choice for the credit union system. Join the National Young Leaders Committee on April 5th at 1:00pm CST where Payments Strategy Committee Chair, Eric Dillon, will discuss the PayCo initiative.

PayCo intends to collectively address payment challenges and build next generation payments capabilities for credit unions. The WebEx will provide an overview of the current payment landscape and key areas of opportunity. It will address the financial and strategic importance of payments evolution and how the end-state model will better position the system to attract new members and new business.

The WebEx series allows the NYLC to act on its mission to develop, engage and connect young leaders across the country through raising awareness of highly relevant and strategic topics. PayCo and the work of the Payments Strategy Committee is a perfect example of leaders coming together to address a system-wide opportunity. The NYLC certainly supports and encourages system collaboration and foresees this type of activity as essential to ongoing sustainability and growth. We hope that you are able to join us for this event.

SYL Spotlight: Synergy Emerging Leaders


With a primary focus of providing financial literacy education, Synergy Emerging Leaders invites participation in their group without age restriction. The group is always looking to expand topics and target age ranges in order to add to their success in the past few years of educating youth. The group meets 3 times annually for supper meetings to go over progress and expand on ideas.

In the fall of 2016 S.E.L. hosted their annual wine and cheese event that was opened to all staff. Each year the focus is on a different topic, most recently was a speaker on business etiquette. This event is among other opportunities the group is given throughout the year to plan events for staff and management.

“We have a great management team that empowers us to be better leaders. It’s great to see how willing [they] are to help us all build our skills.”

— Nadine Wilson, Chair of S.E.L. as of January 2017

Nadine is joined by fellow executive Amanda Renaud, Vice Chair and Jenna Wall, secretary. Past chair, Justin Villeneuve, is responsible for the mentorship program that many of the emerging leaders and managers within Synergy Credit Union take part in.

Thank you Synergy Emerging Leaders!

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