Northwest Credit Unions Recognized Nationally for Excellence in HR and Organizational Development

Rivermark Community Credit Union and OnPoint Community Credit Union honored for innovative approaches to helping credit union professionals realize their potential.

Seven credit unions from around the nation were recognized for outstanding achievements in HR and organizational development in a ceremony at the 2017 CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Conference, held in Las Vegas last month. Two Oregon-based credit unions were among the honorees for Innovative Staff Development awards: Rivermark Community Credit Union and OnPoint Community Credit Union.

Rivermark Community Credit Union: Aspiring Leaders Program

Rivermark Community Credit Union based in Beaverton, Oregon, won Best of Show for Innovative Staff Development for their Aspiring Leaders Program.

“We created this program as part of a 2015 strategic initiative to promote leadership and increase growth opportunities throughout Rivermark. Through the course of developing this program, we recognized that our real need was to help employees experience growth and demonstrate leadership in their current roles,” said Cheryl McCarthy, employee resource center manager at Rivermark Community Credit Union.

Participants in the program gained hands-on experience in communication, strategic planning, team collaboration, presentation skills, and project management.

“As a result of this program, we have observed an increase in collaboration across teams, growth in confidence for participants, a greater understanding of how the credit union operates, process improvements and promotion of several participants,” said Teri Zahn, Rivermark Community Credit Union’s senior HR manager. “We are honored by this recognition and are hopeful that other credit unions may benefit from our experience and be inspired to implement similar programs at their credit unions.”

OnPoint Community Credit Union: SOAR Leadership Program

OnPoint Community Credit Union in Portland, Oregon, won the Innovative Staff Development award for their SOAR Leadership Program. The program is named for its core elements: Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results.

“What we’ve tried to accomplish in the program aligns with one of our core values: begin passionate about our employees and ensuring they are equipped for success,” explained Joyce Riley, organization effectiveness manager at OnPoint Community Credit Union. “Our values aren’t just posted on a wall in a frame, they live in our halls. This is another illustration of what we’re trying to do around that core value.”

Leaders at the credit union’s assistant manager and supervisor levels engaged in quarterly conferences designed to build and enhance relationships, hone leadership skills, and develop the level of general business acumen.

Since the program was implemented last year, there have been nine leaders promoted to roles with higher levels of responsibility, and employee turnover has declined. According to Riley, the most impressive result has been the relationships the program helped form. “The program has heightened our overall collaboration across the credit union, and our ability to learn together and learn from each other.”