“Be you, be golden.” That’s our tagline, but to call it just a tagline doesn’t do it justice at all. “Be you, be golden” puts in a nutshell what we believe about GOLD, our employees, and, you, our Members. How can someone or something be golden? To answer that, you need to know what’s been happening behind the scenes at GOLD over the last decade.

In the early 2000s, GOLD transformed from a place to save money and take out limited loans to a full-service financial institution offering everything you need to take charge of your finances. It was a time of growth and excitement, and GOLD flourished. A decade later, I looked around and felt that something had changed, and not for the better. We had the best of intentions but lost our focus and felt the growing pains of change.

Everyone worked with heads down just going, going, going. The unspoken mantra had become, “Do this, do that. Know this, know that.” We were working hard but without heart. The internal culture was broken. We felt it and our Members did too. So, we did something about it.

The Birth of BeGOLDen

In 2014, we performed an employee satisfaction survey. The results showed what everyone had already felt: we’d lost our heart. The next question was, “Where do we go from here?” And that’s when the very first BeGOLDen team was born. That first team had a mission: analyze the survey results and figure out how to use that information to make GOLD the best place we’ve ever worked.

The team set to work and what they came up with changed the course of GOLD. They developed a set of behavior standards for all GOLD employees. We believed that by adopting behavior standards, we would change the culture of GOLD from the inside out, that by making GOLD the best place we’ve ever worked, we would also make GOLD the best place our Members have ever banked. Those behavior standards are GOLD’s core values:

  • I will be accountable and responsible for my work performance, my relationships with others, and my actions.
  • I will think and act in a positive, optimistic, proactive, and calm manner in ordinary as well as challenging situations.
  • I will treat others the way I want and expect to be treated, with respect and empathy.
  • I will communicate effectively and in a timely manner, with clarification.
  • I will strive to be a part of the solution through self-improvement, growth and adaptability.
  • I will conduct every interaction with openness, integrity, and honesty.
  • GOLD is one team – all for one and one for all, in thoughts and deeds.
  • I will lead, inspire, motivate, and mentor all of us to achieve our career aspirations, to fulfill the Credit Union mission and to make GOLD the best place we have ever worked.

A Change of Heart

We were determined that the work of the BeGOLDen team would stick, and we integrated the core values into all we did. Team meetings start by reciting the core values, our annual reviews are built around them, and we challenge each other to be the best version of ourselves through their words. It worked, and I believe the reason why is simple: we believe in these words and our beliefs shine through in our interactions with each other and you, our Members.

Slowly but surely, we got our heart back. “Be you, be golden” is a reminder to each of us that we’ve promised to be golden in all our actions, to strive to fulfill our core values.

What does being golden mean for you, our Member? Stay tuned, we’ll talk about that next time.

Cheryl Bartholomew

About Cheryl Bartholomew

Cheryl is the President & CEO at GOLD since 2009 and has over 36 years of banking experience. She ensures the happiness of all Members through positive experiences that exceed their expectations, regardless of whether it's a simple phone call, electronic transaction, or face-to-face interaction. She strives to provide a positive work environment for her employees so they continue to go above and beyond for Members. She works closely with Member Volunteers (Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee) and makes sure they feel appreciated for their contributions in setting up our Members for success. Cheryl believes that all Members can be empowered to take control of their financial well-being, and she's proud to say that we at GOLD are confident in helping them do that. 

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