July 26, 2023
As we enter the latter months of the year, we prepare ourselves for what is looming: budget preparation and strategic planning for 2024. One of the top priorities for credit union leaders, particularly those in Human Resources roles, is building an A-class team and retaining those employees. With personnel costs and wage pressures continuously increasing, employee retention is more critical than ever. Once top candidates have been recruited with offers accepted, how can credit unions retain these best-in-class players so that they stay, grow, and thrive at the CU?
When bringing on a new employee to your credit union, whether in a customer-facing or back-office support position, they need to feel confident and competent from the get-go and interpersonally acclimated.
To ensure that you’re onboarding in the best possible way, it is advantageous to adhere to the 5 C’s of onboarding: clarification, compliance, connections, culture, and check back.
With low employee retention plaguing many workplaces, strategists believe a strong company culture is the key to retaining employees. “Toxic work environment” is a phrase we hear floating around often. One way to ensure your credit union team is satisfied is by creating a culture that listens to its employees and offers the flexibility, benefits, and support they seek.
A strong, supportive company culture can also be defined as one with an authentic vision that leaders communicate to all team members. To help drive this vision, employees are shown gratitude and appreciation, with their ideas being listened to by management. Building a warm environment that not only cares – but respects and supports – employees is one of the most significant ways to increase employee retention levels.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a hot topic amongst credit union leaders, and a firm DEI policy and program is one way to retain employees. By creating an environment of inclusiveness, you will build a more vibrant and relevant workforce that will be able to tackle many of today’s challenges. When surveyed, 78% of the workforce said it’s vital for companies to prioritize diversity and inclusion – and there is a direct correlation between job satisfaction and emphasis on DEI.
To learn more about different DEI initiatives you could launch in your credit union, read this article from Qooper.
It is always important to give feedback and support to your employees. They should not feel as if they’re an island and no one is ever coming to visit them. Not all employees need or want the same level of support, so it is recommended to have an individual discussion with each direct report to gauge their needs. Once you’ve listened to what they need, the follow-through is crucial. If an employee wants a quarterly two-hour review of their progress, ensure it’s marked on the calendar and an invite is sent. Overpromising and underdelivering will cancel out this tactic and could potentially harm employee retention.
In management, it is easy to give feedback, but how often are we asking our employees to provide us with their insights? It’s vital to collect employee feedback on their workplace satisfaction and input on issues that are important to them (benefits, new technology, training). If you’re concerned that your team will not be candid with their feedback, provide them with an anonymous survey tool, so their responses cannot be tracked.
Many employees will not stay satisfied in a stagnant role, so ensure you’re working with them to provide professional development opportunities. Sit and create a growth plan that identifies their strengths, areas of opportunities, and interest areas.
Although there are many memes and jokes about employers offering ping-pong tables instead of better benefits, it is still beneficial to provide unique perks to your employees. When brainstorming, think about what your employees want and who they are (or, better yet, use the feedback survey to get their suggestions!). Are they the giving, philanthropic kind? Set up group volunteer activities and “gift” them additional PTO for participating. Do they enjoy sports? Find a local bar or restaurant that hosts company sports teams and provide each player with a CU-branded t-shirt (or run a logo contest with the winner’s logo chosen for the shirt decal). If your budget allows, you could offer a gym reimbursement program for employees who are active gym goers or who subscribe to digital fitness programs.
Looking for more suggestions? Check out these 45 perks to help with employee retention.
As we become increasingly more digital and reliant on our smartphones, it feels as if everyone’s working all the time. The line between work and personal time has become blurred, even when taking PTO. To retain employees, stress work-life balance. If you’re keen on emailing your team after hours, they may need to reply (even if you don’t expect it!). Schedule your emails to go out the following day, so they’re not eagerly awaiting a 10 PM message. When an employee is out on PTO, respecting that and letting them enjoy their well-deserved relaxation is essential.
While it seems simple, many of us find difficulty in communicating. But, when in doubt, over-communicate. Employees left in the dark about policies, procedures, strategies, changes, etc., are more likely to feel dissatisfied with their job – and potentially disrespected or unimportant. Even though you may want to minimize email overload, you must always keep your staff informed.
Tagging on with communication is effective change management. Credit unions can experience significant changes that have a monumental impact on employees: opening/closing a branch, merging with another credit union, changing core processing software, and bringing on a new CEO. Change can be scary, and employees need to be guided through that change with their questions answered and fears eased. You should provide many different avenues of communication and any training that may be necessary.
Physical, financial, or mental wellness is a hot topic for employees, and employers, like your credit union, should spin up a wellness program. If you’re unsure where to begin launching a wellness program, check out this comprehensive guide from Wellable.
Providing your employees with the tools and technology to succeed is a must and will boost employee retention! Employees who struggle with work because of technology limitations or failures are less likely to be satisfied and may seek employment elsewhere where the tools aren’t so cumbersome.
That’s why credit unions turn to Sharetec. We offer a cutting-edge web-based core with endless features and powerful integrations to help your credit union team accomplish their day-to-day functions efficiently and effectively. Our Implementation and Sales teams fully assist with transitioning from a prior core to Sharetec and get your team all the training they need to utilize the system. Plus, we are there for your staff post-conversion to provide ample support whenever needed – responding, on average, in less than 15 minutes. Contact us today if you’re ready to boost employee satisfaction and give your team the innovative technology they deserve.