Brian McKay, EVP, and Jessica Baker, VP Member Services for SC Telco, share how connecting with employees can determine your connection with clients.

In business, everything is connected, from customer relationships to company culture. They go hand-in-hand and if there’s a weak link in the chain, it distracts from your mission. It distracts from your business goals and can ultimately determine the value and success of your brand. 


SC Telco Federal Credit Union is recognized for its member service and for a culture that attracts and retains top talent — most recently being honored by Forbes as Best-in-State Credit Union in 2018 and 2019. How did they do it and how can you implement a similar strategy to help achieve your goals? They sent two top executives to an i4Series 8@8 Business Breakfast event to share their story about the human side of building successful business. Click here to download the presentation.


First, you have to know your purpose and clearly define it. Why are you in business? Second, you must know your identity. Know who you are. When SC Telco set out to define their company, they chose a group of employees and asked them to brainstorm about the topic. Brian says it was the best decision they could’ve made. The employees delivered three key traits that all SC Telco employees should embody: the mind of a champion, the spirit of a warrior, and the heart of a servant. They also listed attributes for each.

Mind of a Champion – Passionate, Dedicated, Coachable, Accountable, Empowered
Spirit of a Warrior – Integrity, Honor, Unwavering Resolve, Respect, Pride
Heart of a Servant – Compassion, Humility, Empathy, Selflessness

Now SC Telco has a clearly defined identity, it resonates throughout the company, at every single branch. It’s how existing employees work each day and it’s what management keeps in mind when hiring new employees. SC Telco believes that knowledge and hard work are important, but not as important as attitude. An applicant can have the best resume and the best education, but if their attitude about the company’s identity and core principals doesn’t add up, they will not get the job.



Brian and Jessica say it’s important to know what you expect of employees and to clearly communicate it. You also have to “inspect what you expect” and evaluate employee performance often. At SC Telco, they are implementing quarterly reviews for all employees. This way they can catch any problems before they grow out of control and they can reward those who excel, hoping to also inspire others to succeed. They say it’s equally important to listen to your people. If employees point out bottlenecks in the system or ways your company can improve, implement good ideas. Employees are the ones who are in the trenches every day with your customers. Giving them a voice and empowering them to help improve your business will go a long way to your success.


Another key factor in the human side of building successful business is to communicate your company vision and goals. Jessica says it’s important to keep a compelling scorecard. It’s vital to define success and how it is measured. What is the game and when do you know you’re winning?  Explain these through the lens of your vision when you make decisions, especially decisions about what you choose to do and choose not to do for your customers. She says, “At least once per quarter, we record a video update on our strategic goals, projects and key performance indicators. We also communicate our vision and mission daily by reinforcing it in the decisions we make.  Unlike the Town Halls and roundtables, this communication is more of a monologue from leadership to staff. But don’t ever miss the chance to reinforce the vision and update your staff on goals.  Over-communicate your company’s vision.”


Finally, when considering the human side of building successful business, it’s important to serve the whole employee, both internally and externally, as well as physically and mentally. Work hard and play hard, while creating a culture of caring. Be there for employees and their families. For SC Telco, that means holding employee health fairs where employees and their significant others are invited to come onsite for biometric screenings. They also have annual employee appreciation days, where they put on a fair at their headquarters in Greenville. They invite employees and their families to come onsite just to enjoy each other with games, face painting, good food and recognition.  They also offer periodic chair massages, as well as weekly yoga and Zumba classes trained by professional instructors!