In my last few posts, I’ve shared a lot about our history, beliefs and values, and practices. I would be remiss to not dedicate a post entirely to our people. Without them, everything else would be just words. People are the essential ingredient in company culture. They will make or break it. I strongly believe that our people are some of the best to be had and I can testify that it hasn’t happened by accident. 

Hiring for Heart

When we hire at GOLD, we’re looking for soft skills as much as or even more than hard skills. Hard skills are made up of specific product, industry, and technical knowledge. These are skills gained through training and experience. They are very important to doing a job you’re hired to do, but if some of your hard skills are lacking, they can be learned!

Soft skills on the other hand are much harder to learn. They’re more like who you are. Soft skills include things like dependability, communication, time management, teamwork, etc. You can certainly grow in these areas over time, but only if you value them. If being dependable just isn’t important to you, you’re not likely to become more dependable no matter how much work experience you gain.

When hiring at GOLD, we place a much greater emphasis on those soft skills and look specifically for people whose values align with GOLD’s. Once those new faces are here, we dedicate time to training toward hard skill advancement. Getting the right people on board makes all the difference, not just for a pleasant work environment, but for the actual work that we do. 

A Culture of Caring

That care we take during the hiring process leads to a group of people in alignment with our core values, mission, and vision. That means we hire people that believe in making a difference in Members’ lives, conducting every interaction with their best interests at heart, and knowing that serving their teammates is just as important as serving Members.

A team that has your back is a team that works effectively and efficiently. If we look at GOLD’s core values, it’s easy to see how each one not only builds a better Member experience, but a better work environment. In fact, not just better, but the best place we’ve ever worked. 

GOLD Credit Union'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.

Core Values for Leaders

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.

People Make the Difference

The thing that makes GOLD different isn’t our products and services. It’s what we believe about people and our role in their lives. Those beliefs roll down into all our interactions. And our employees, who believe in GOLD’s mission and care about the people around them, are the ones who make that difference a reality. 

In August, I got news that GOLD is an LVB Reader Rankings winner for Best Company Culture. Last month, we learned GOLD is a 2020 Best Place to Work in PA. My reaction to both was, “WOW!” 

Long ago in my career I walked away from a big opportunity because that culture wasn’t there. I wanted to be part of something different; something that truly could make a difference in people’s lives. I dreamed about a place where all employees could make a difference. It has been my privilege to steer GOLD in that direction over the last 11 years in my role as President & CEO. 

These awards, one based on reader voting and the other on surveying of our own team stacked against the best companies in Pennsylvania, validate what I and so many others have been working so hard to achieve. GOLD is different. Our people are different. And we’re impacting lives. 

Even with all the challenges GOLD has endured over the years and will continue to endure in the future, we’re still here, committed to the Members and making their lives better. We’re still here because of the amazing group of people that make up GOLD. Those people are the reason GOLD is the best place we’ve ever worked.

Cheryl Bartholomew

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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