#77. | Columbia Credit Union and EcoDigital Media, Part 1 | 2 things to build the best company culture
The week on The Business Over Beer Podcast, we speak with Chief Lending Officer, Marc Timm, and Director of Commercial Lending, Joe Storm, of Columbia Credit Union, as well as the Founders of EcoDigital Media, Kimberly Brecko and Randy Short.
When Kimberly and Randy could not get a call back from their bank regarding the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), it was Columbia Credit Union that picked up the phone and helped them take advantage of these funds to help their business during the pandemic. As a result of their experience, Kimberly and Randy brought over many of their accounts to Columbia Credit Union.
In this episode, we learn why Columbia Credit Union is the best in class for its members, its employees and for the small business community here in Southwest Washington and Portland Metro.
The 2 things to build your company culture around
As a small business owner, if there are two things to build your company culture around, it should be Help and Resolve.
First, help goes both ways: asking for help and offering help. As in life, both aspects of help are important to a successful business. And sometimes, both aspects come into play simultaneously, like during a global pandemic that forces a complete shift in how the business world operates.
Being a small business owner means being part of a community, and since 1952, Columbia Credit Union has been setting the example for our community. A huge part of their corporate culture is focused first on helping people, not just helping shareholders. Also, it’s also about empowering their workforce to find ways to help its members no matter what circumstances they are presented with.
For example, when the pandemic hit, they sprung into action to administer PPP loans for small businesses, nearly half of which were not current members. Yes, there was tremendous uncertainty and ever changing guidance from the SBA . And no, they did not have all the answers or the how to’s.
But even as the first round of funding ran out, up until all hours of the night, with help from employees from across the business, they worked to administer these loans that would save job and businesses in the community.
What a great word. It’s a word that exudes strength, decisiveness, and the desire to find solutions to the most challenging problems. For Columbia Credit Union, the pandemic created potentially devastating outcomes for it members and for the whole community.
As a financial institution, it’s their job to manage risk, not avoid it. But, with the pandemic, the risks were almost completely unknown, and so it was Columbia Credit Union’s values and culture that drove decisions. From the outset, they knew that failure was not an option. Immediately, it stopped being about their own work and their own goals, instead they made sacrifices to their own business, and resolved to save jobs and help their small business members navigate these unprecedented circumstances.
When you see the resolve in others, and others see the resolve in you, it creates a culture within the whole community to help each other. And, as a small business owner, when you put these at the center of your culture, and when you Resolve To Help, you too will be a true community leader, you’ll be recognized as best in class, and from there, the business and financial success are sure to follow.
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