Think about how you manage big expenses at your credit union. When you build a new branch, for example, you don’t just open it and let it sit there. You invest in keeping the structure sound and the processes within it up to date. Similarly, when you implement new technology, you maintain and upgrade that system according to your strategy.
So, too, should be your approach with the people who work for your credit union, serving its members. When it comes to the financial commitments you make as a credit union, few will be larger than the one you make to compensate and develop your employees. So it’ll pay to make sure you’re getting a good return on the investment.
Successful talent management strategy today requires you to thoughtfully position four building blocks—compensation, benefits, talent development, and culture—to get the best possible outcomes for your staff, organization and members. As I explained in a previous CU Insight column, “How to Win the War on Talent,” success will depend on your being competitive on all four of these factors, and winning on three.
When you sit down with your team at the planning table this year, consider your compensation strategy. To attract and retain top talent, you’ll need to pay at least the market rate, based on the expertise and skills required by each person’s role. CUES Executive Compensation Survey and CUES Employee Salary Survey are good tools to help you gauge your current position and close any gaps.
While determining pay can be a fairly straightforward numbers game, you can win with benefits by being creative. For example, a key benefit used at CUES is flexibility. Assuming a job lends itself to remote work, CUES allows staff to work from home one day a week throughout the year. Not surprisingly, credit unions have benefited from offering telecommuting as well. As you do your strategic planning, think through various ways you can differentiate yourself and meet the needs of your staff (and executive team) with creative benefits.
A baseline goal for talent development is for every employee in your credit union organization to have a development plan and actively participate in learning. Also be sure to keep the time-tested “70-20-10” rule in mind. Pioneered by the Center for Creative Leadership based on 30 years of study, this rule says that 70 percent of what people learn, they learn on the job. This is why you need to make sure your current and potential leaders have challenging and meaningful roles—they will learn by doing. In addition, 20 percent of learning comes through effective coaching and mentoring, and the final 10 percent through formal face-to-face and online learning programs.
Finally, your credit union’s culture has a key impact on the performance of your staff. If your people feel that their work environment is one in which they can thrive and be productive, that’s very meaningful. Interestingly, leaders can have an even greater impact on an organization’s culture than they can on an individual’s performance, according to research published in 2011 by Scott Isaksen, president of The Creative Problem Solving Group, Orchard Park, N.Y. But culture, in turn, has a considerable influence on employee performance, Isaksen found.
Think about it. The leaders in your credit union aren’t working the teller line, nor staffing online chats with members. They are probably not even in the room when these duties are performed. But they are creating the environment in which these activities take place every day. The right environment lends itself to great performance.
Strategic planning season is a perfect time to make sure that managing all the talent within your organization is something you’re giving enough attention. When you sit down with your executive team and board this year, ask yourselves how to best position the building blocks of talent development for your credit union’s future success.