“You can trust me.” The line in every movie that when uttered raises eyebrows of suspicion. Trustworthiness is an elusive trait but is often at the top of the list of characteristics to describe your closest friends. It can take years of trials and tribulations to earn trust. Then in just a matter of seconds, you can lose it. So, how can you find out if someone is trustworthy without a battery of tests? In many cases, it is a matter of actions speaking louder than words.
Working in the financial industry, there are a lot of conversations about being trustworthy. After all, people trust you with their finances, trust you to watch out for their well-being and trust you for expertise to navigate life’s twists and turns. That is a lot of trust.
The first stop in helping to establish trustworthiness is to take a look at the company’s core purpose. This sets the mission and direction of an organization and is an easy reference point to learn about a company. Being that I work for Numerica Credit Union, I decided to look no further than my own organization. Numerica’s core purpose is enhancing lives, fulfilling dreams and building communities.
Now, do their actions speak as loud as their words? Do they align? What practices are in place? What steps do they take to accomplish their purpose?
In 2016, Numerica gave over $1 million to the community through donations, fundraising and sponsorships. That’s a pretty strong show of support. These aren’t just numbers that you can see in an end of year report (which actually is available at numericacu.com/community-report) these are actions that you see in all aspects of the community. By aligning community needs with causes that the credit union is passionate about, Numerica is able to create strong community partnerships that work to foster education, support women and children, and end generational poverty.
Numerica doesn’t just stop there. They have actually created an employee-led team that creates volunteer opportunities, coordinates collection drives and oversees beneficiaries of a casual day that raises money monthly for charity. Employees also coordinate and execute a staff auction that raised over $15,000 last year.
Numerica’s goal is to volunteer more than 10,000 hours per year. While ambitious, the credit union has been able to meet or exceed the goal for the last several years. Last year employees volunteered more than 13,200 hours.
Actions do speak louder than words. In their commitment to help give back to the community, Numerica has also committed to giving every employee eight hours of paid time off in 2017 to go and volunteer. This is a significant action for two reasons; the first is that they are supporting their initiative for employee involvement. Second, they are helping employees promote a work-life balance, which is another initiative for the credit union.
Trustworthiness doesn’t always have to be a leap of faith and hoping for the best of intentions. The actions of an organization and how we take care of one another is a great foundation to establish trustworthiness.
Elizabeth Giles is the Media Relations Liaison for Numerica Credit Union, a PACE Partner organization.