Credit Unions Offer Work/Life Balance to Recruit and Retain Talent



The credit union industry couldn’t attract the amount of high caliber of employees that it does if salaries were the only way for credit unions to compete for top talent.
 
Ask top-quality employees who’ve come to credit unions from bigger, wealthier employers why they made the switch, and you’re likely to get a variation of the answer: “I wanted a better balance between my work life and my home life.”

A solid employee benefits program is a vital element in helping employees achieve this balance. This is especially important during times when credit union employees are being asked to do more with less.

Accountability goes both ways
With a continued slow lending forecast and the prospect of more regulations that threaten non-interest income, more credit unions are training employees to cross-sell products and services. Cutting employee benefits or drastically increasing their cost sends a dubious message in this environment.

A good example of how strong employee benefits can help a credit union maintain a positive, productive culture is Quorum Federal Credit Union (assets $687 million). Quorum was named to the list of 2010 Best Companies to Work for in New York (Small and Medium Companies) by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management and the Best Companies Group.

In the same year, according to Vice President of Human Resources Glenn Shuster, Quorum began focusing more on a pay-for-performance philosophy.

“We updated core values and included more about accountability and entrepreneurship. But even in an organization focused on sales, accountability, and goal setting, you have to respect your workforce,” Shuster says. “They should have certain benefits so they don’t have to worry at night, ‘How am I going to pay for this?’ Because then they’re not focused on their job. Our benefits package gives people a base of security, so they know their families have affordable health insurance, and they’re saving for retirement.”

This culture of respect extends outward into superior member service, the credit union’s ultimate purpose, Shuster says.

Prove that the grass isn’t greener
Shuster says Quorum competes for employees not only with other financial services providers in Quorum’s territory—centered just a 20-minute train ride from New York City—but also with nearby international headquarters of MasterCard, IBM, PepsiCo, and others.

The work/life balance of Quorum’s culture is a huge plus in recruiting and retention, Shuster says. The credit union has passed along very little of the increases in medical insurance costs in recent years, and has been able to fully fund a defined benefit pension along with matching 50 cents on the dollar for its 401(k) plan. Quorum’s health benefits include vision and dental care, and the credit union is introducing a wellness program.

“We value tenure,” Shuster explains. “It’s very important to us that people stay for a long time. We’ve had people leave and come back and say ‘The grass isn’t greener’—and that tells me we’re on the right track.”

For more information about our Employee Benefits products, or to request an analysis or your current Employee Benefits program, call 800.356.2644 or email employeebenefits@cunamutual.com.

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