Labor market woes? Try something new

Finding employees these days is anything but easy … a confusing proposition in a potentially cooling labor market.

According to a recent Reuters report, hiring and quitting rates both decreased (the hire rate falling to its lowest point since April 2020). But the drop in labor force participation dulled the effect of such changes, leaving only 5.9 million unemployed people to fill 9.8 million jobs. So, it’s a cooling-competitive market.

How does that affect your credit union? From conversations with many of our clients, it means you’re still struggling with turnover and staffing.

It’s time to try something new to combat this (ever more complex) labor market. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Get creative with your benefits: To excel in this labor market, you need innovation in every part of your organization. That includes your benefits. Sure, there’s health insurance, dental insurance, eye insurance and maybe even life insurance. But let’s be honest: your competitors offer those benefits too.

What can you do to set yourself apart? Let’s look at an example.

Southwest Financial FCU recently won American Banker’s #1 spot for “Best Credit Unions to Work For.” They are a fully digital institution with remote work opportunities, but they also give employees free spa and massage packages.

You could say Southwest Financial offers “relaxation insurance.” What can you do? You don’t need to be a fully digital institution to offer fun perks. A couple of ideas are:

    • Monthly movie tickets
    • Subscription box accounts
    • Monthly one-on-one lunch with the CEO

However, if you do have the flexibility to offer a half-remote role (or a role that cycles between remote and in-office work), you’ll have a benefit many employees these days love. 

  1. Create a brand employees love: Make no mistake … creating a brand employees love is not touchy-feeling gobbledygook. It’s something very real. With the right development and intentional work, your brand can become both retentive and attractive. People will both want to stay with you and want to come work for you.

UniWyo FCU recently held a “Brand Day.” They closed their branches, brought employees in from all over Wyoming, had an MC, hosted speakers, held giveaways and simply went all-out to hype up their brand. Employees loved it.

The best brands know they are more than a logo and some visuals. The best brands know they are an identity and way of life. Think about how excited someone would be to start work at a company like Apple.

Can you make someone truly excited to work at your credit union? If not, it may be time to rethink your brand.

  1. Rethink employee positions: You should also rethink how you view employee positions. A good way to do this is within the context of Patrick Lencioni’s Working Genius Model. This model says everyone has two geniuses (strengths) that correlate to parts of the workflow.

The “workflow” in this instance means everything from discovering an initial opportunity to crossing a project finish line. And employees strong in a particular stage aren’t just good at the work…they enjoy it too. It gives them energy.

And ultimately, someone looking for work is looking for work they enjoy – work that excites them.

Learning about the Working Genius Model is a good first step to understanding how to match employees to jobs they love. Once you understand it, administering a Working Genius Assessment to new staff will give you a better idea of where to place them for long-term retention.

It’s tough out there right now, but don’t give up. Such a complex labor market requires unconventional approaches. One thing’s for sure…if you change nothing about your approach, you won’t see any changes in your hiring or retention.


Contact On The Mark Strategies

Contact On The Mark Strategies

Shawn Temple

Shawn Temple

Shawn Temple has served the credit union industry since 1996, holding positions in both senior and middle management across lending, operations, compliance, marketing, training and project management. Since joining On ... Web: Details