Establishing culture and employee retention in a changing workforce

How Golden 1 Credit Union Continued Being Nationally Recognized as a “Best Place to Work” During the Great Resignation

SACRAMENTO, CA (October 28, 2022) — By: Heather Andrade-Neumann, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Golden 1 Credit Union

“More than a third of Americans changed jobs since the start of the pandemic.”1 Workers had the opportunity to reevaluate their jobs and decide what is more important to them, whether it be more pay,a promotion, remote or hybrid work, flexible hours, or better opportunities. While this has caused instability in the labor market, leading to what is now known as the “Great Resignation,” it has also given top employers the opportunity to be recognized for their efforts to retain their current team members and attract new talent. I am proud to work for Golden 1 Credit Union, which was recently recognized as a “Best Place to Work” by Forbes for the fourth straight year and American Banker for the second consecutive year.

As the Chief Human Resources Officer for one of the largest credit unions in the nation, it has been my mission to foster a company culture where all employees feel they have the ability to create change and make a difference for our members and our communities while at the same time forging a fulfilling career path. Credit unions have a unique culture where we are guided by a servant heart attitude to provide our members with the best service possible. That starts with making sure we have a strong company culture, a belief we held prior to the pandemic, and one that we continue to hold as life returns to a new normal.

Recruitment and Retention

As with most relationships, communication is key. We acknowledge that employees can choose to work anywhere, especially with the latest shifts in the labor market, so listening to what they are seeking from their job is instrumental. At Golden 1, we host regular focus groups, interviews, and surveys to get feedback from employees that can be incorporated into our meetings, plans, and programs. Stay
interviews are also critical for employee retention. During these stay interviews, we meet with highperforming current employees to discuss what they enjoy about their roles, as well as what factors might cause them to leave the organization. These discussions build trust and lead to new ideas to ensure current team members continue to feel valued and appreciated.

The Great Resignation saw workers leaving their jobs for better advancement opportunities. At Golden 1, we have attracted new talent by not only offering competitive compensation and excellent benefits packages, but also by equipping our team members, including leadership, with the proper tools to both lead and learn. Through our Leadership Development Program, we strive to train new generations of leaders who inspire our employees and make them want to stay with our team. Employees are given access to courses and programs, such as LinkedIn Learning, to help them learn new skills and grow in their careers. Additionally, employees are given advancement opportunities so they can grow within Golden 1. Whether they are looking to work at a branch, the back office, or our headquarters, we strive to put them on the appropriate career path.

Creating a Culture for All


Throughout the Great Resignation, companies with a reputation for a healthy company culture have experienced a lower-than-average turnover.2 With a multigenerational workforce, we have worked to ensure all of our team members feel engaged in the company, no matter where they are in their career or in their life. We have learned you can never over communicate. Our leaders are intentional in
developing individualized development plans to show career mobility and movement. Golden 1 has employees throughout California performing a wide range of job functions at various levels in their careers, so we strive to offer comprehensive benefits our employees can choose from to best fit their needs, including health benefits, flexible work schedules, concierge services, and career mobility plans.

The pandemic has disrupted the standard nine-to-five job and many employees now have the flexibility to work remotely. While the flexibility is a great perk, we want to ensure team members still feel connected to their colleagues, leadership, and the entire Golden 1 team. We have implemented an employee recognition system so all team members feel valued and a sense of comradery, no matter where
they are working. The Golden Spotlight program allows peer-to-peer recognition for excellent work relating to our values, client service, cross-function support, as well as recognizing birthdays and anniversaries. Through this program, we can give our team members points that translate to Amazon credit. At our headquarters, we have various events set up throughout the year, such as fitness classes,
popup farmers markets, hosted coffee breaks, and food trucks for lunch. Additionally, our intranet, the G1 Insiders platform, allows our employees to connect with each other and leadership for news, announcements, and information. Even though we may not be in the same office together, we have found that one of the most important aspects of working anywhere is feeling a sense of belonging to the organization.

Fostering an Inclusive Workplace

Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace can create a culture where employees feel a sense of belonging while also helping the organization reach its financial goals and improve business outcomes.3 At Golden 1, we view our DEI strategy as a journey and strive to be intentional with every step to ensure this mission is embedded in our DNA. We have a diverse workforce, so we have utilized surveys and focus groups to gain additional insights into what our employees want to see implemented in all of our policies. Additionally, we have been working to form employee resource groups and incorporating regular trainings about unconscious bias. Through our intranet, we spotlight our employees so their colleagues can hear more about their journeys. We also continue to celebrate holidays, most recently highlighting National Hispanic Heritage Month. We also have an internal podcast, In Our Own Words, where our team members discuss culture.

It’s been an interesting couple of years for companies and employees. As the Great Resignation continues, it has brought to light how important company culture is for employee retention. When combined with competitive compensation, benefits, and workplace flexibility, it can also be a draw for new team members. Now, more than ever, companies need to create an inclusive space where all current and future employees feel a sense of belonging and I am proud that our team members at Golden 1 recognize our organization as a best place to work.

About Golden 1 Credit Union

With more than $20 billion in assets, Golden 1 Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the United States, providing easy access to the financial solutions, resources, and support their members and communities need to improve their well-being. Golden 1 is committed to creating a more equitable and financially inclusive California and proudly serves all those who live or work there. Golden 1 is more than 1.1 million members strong and has over 2,100 employees. Visit for more information.


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