Many credit unions struggle with silos. Not because they don’t want to collaborate, mind you, but because each department becomes laser-focused on their own area of responsibility.
Our resident financial services expert Laurie Flanders says that when she worked for All In Credit Union, they decided to try and bridge the gap between departments and branches, in order to create a more collaborative environment throughout the organization. To do this, they needed to first get a good baseline of the level of service being provided by each department — so they embarked on an internal service survey initiative.
This initiative allowed each department to rate the level of service provided by other departments and branches. Leaders could then see what level of service their department or branch was providing to the rest of the organization and identify trends over time. Also, text analysis provided each department and branch leader with actionable ways that they could better serve the internal member going forward. It also gave the organizational leaders the ability to gauge the overall level of service delivered by their team.
To take this is step further, All In Credit Union created a survey question that allowed team members to nominate a specific team for their exceptional service, and nominate individual team members for “Support Team Employee of the Month.” Launching this initiative not only provided us with a good baseline of internal service and a way to track trends over time, but it also broke down many silos and fostered an environment of collaboration throughout the organization, creating the conditions for higher morale and improved employee retention.
The story above illustrates one possible strategy your credit union can adopt to improve employee retention — but it’s not the only option. And considering the many benefits of higher CU employee retention rates, it only makes sense to do everything in your power to increase employee engagement, collaboration, and satisfaction (which all drive retention).
So in this article, we’ll examine some of the most effective credit union employee retention strategies available to your organization.
Adopt policies and tools that encourage work-life balance
Balancing work and personal life is a challenge for many employees, and it can be particularly challenging in the financial industry, where long hours and high-stress levels are common. Credit unions can help alleviate this by implementing policies that encourage work-life balance, such as flexible scheduling, remote work options, and generous paid time off policies. By allowing employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance, credit unions can reduce burnout, improve job satisfaction, and ultimately retain employees.
One unique way for credit unions to provide more work-from-home opportunities is to adopt Interactive Teller Machines, or ITMs. Because ITMs allow credit union members to talk to a teller over video, the teller can easily do their job remotely. When employees have more WFH opportunities, they typically feel less stress and more satisfaction with their work-life balance.
Provide opportunities for community involvement and networking
Credit unions are often deeply embedded in their local communities, and providing opportunities for employees to get involved in community outreach and volunteer programs can improve employee retention. By giving back to the community, employees can feel a sense of purpose and pride in their work, which can enhance their job satisfaction and commitment to the organization.
Similarly, providing opportunities for employees to network and collaborate with other professionals in the space can help them feel more connected to the credit union movement. Sending employees to credit union conferences and events is a good way to get them invested in their industry.
Offer education on credit union principles and opportunities for advocacy
Credit union principles, such as democratic governance, social responsibility, and member service, are at the heart of the credit union movement. Providing employees with opportunities to learn about these principles and how they apply to their work can help them feel more connected to the organization and its mission, which can improve retention rates.
Some dedicated employees may even be inspired to get involved in advocacy. Because credit unions are subject to unique regulatory and legislative challenges, advocacy is an essential part of the credit union movement. Encouraging employees to participate in advocacy efforts, such as contacting legislators or attending industry events, can help them feel like they are part of a larger movement and can improve retention rates.
Prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are critical components of a successful organization, and credit unions can improve employee retention by prioritizing these values. This means creating a workplace culture that celebrates diversity, encourages open communication, and actively works to eliminate bias and discrimination.
The credit union industry in general still has quite a ways to go when it comes to DEI. Though there are many female credit union employees, women remain underrepresented in CU leadership roles, with males predominating in the chief executive roles. Your credit union needs to lead by example and create a diverse leadership team, which will illustrate to employees of all backgrounds that they have equal opportunities for advancement within the organization.
Listen to credit union employee feedback
Finally, credit unions can improve employee retention by encouraging employee feedback and participation in decision-making processes. This means creating channels for employees to provide feedback on workplace policies, procedures, and more. It also means regularly taking the temperature of your workforce with employee satisfaction surveys, pulse checks, employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) surveys, and more.
With a powerful credit union experience management platform like Sogolytics, you can easily hear the concerns of both your members and your employees. Get started with a free trial today!