Retaining Talent: How CU leagues should be making it easier

During my discussions with Michigan credit union leaders this year, the conversation inevitably touches on a topic that’s affecting much more than just our industry: talent retention. We talk about how leaders can or are attracting professionals who will be an asset for the organization not just now, but for years to come.

I’m not breaking any news by telling you it’s been a difficult process for many employers to restore a talented workforce following the toughest months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expectations of employers have changed, so credit union leaders have been adapting, meeting professionals where they are in order to cultivate a work culture that creates a positive environment for members and the entire team.

While executives can and should be tailoring their operations to find this new culture, it’s up to us leagues to find ways to assist member credit unions, paving a clearer path for talent retention. At MCUL, we focus on two things that do so: public policy and our consumer awareness campaign.

Public Policy

In public policy circles, Michigan’s top policymakers grapple everyday with how to ensure that Michigan is a top destination for talent, and to make sure that Michiganders don’t want to (or have to) leave. While the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) generally sticks to its credit union lane on advocacy topics, the importance of issues that affect our business community and its ability to attract and retain talent is rising.

Much like our interest in issues of broadband development, access and adoption, credit union leagues need to become cheerleaders and supporters for positive and proactive policy that helps our members and the businesses within our communities thrive.

In Michigan, we are paying attention to policies that ensure local access to employee benefits, as well as any policies that make our communities more attractive. This means issues like financial literacy curriculum that better the quality of schools. It can be business growth, job growth or any number of topics that credit unions touch through their business activities and community presence that go toward improving the daily lives of Michiganders.

We are not the natural lead on many of these issues, but we remain engaged with our partners in the business advocacy community. MCUL, our member credit unions and our peers around the country need to be active in their chambers of commerce, business and community groups to make sure the credit union voice is a part of the support for, and demand for, policies that bolster our communities.

Consumer Awareness Campaign

This past August, we launched our new consumer awareness campaign, which was targeted to consumers in the range of 18-39 years of age. While the main concept was raising awareness of credit unions as a viable option for their trusted financial partner, we also decided to fold in a new wrinkle.

This year’s campaign also aims to educate younger Michigan residents about credit unions as a viable option for their career path — a place where they can become part of a larger family while building their career.

To help prospective team members get started, we created an easy-to-use job board that includes all current Michigan credit union openings and is searchable by area, organization and job level. You can find it at

Of course credit union leaders are going to continue to do everything they can to attract and retain talent, but better stewardship at the league level — finding easier solutions to their problems — means they can more quickly get back to their main focus: providing for their members.

Patty Corkery

Patty Corkery

Patty Corkery is the President/CEO of MCUL and MCULSC. In 2018, she started with the League as EVP/COO and General Counsel before being promoted to CEO in 2021, ... Web: Details

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