Talent wars: The battle to attract and retain generation soup credit union employees

In Credit Union’s its no La La Land out there in the war for talent! The battle is not the one being fought with banks and other financial institutions. It’s the one being fought within the credit union movement to attract and keep employees. We are not talking about people beating down your doors to come and work for you.

With unemployment dropping dramatically across America, credit unions are having to use new and unique ways to attract and retain employees. The new workforce demographics now includes four generations in the workplace: Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers and Gens X and Y.

To attract new talent credit unions must get out and be visible, work the backyard and tell our story more effectively. Credit Unions are still the best kept secret in terms of a career in the financial services industry. We need to be more proactive and brand ourselves as “employers of choice/best places to work” in the communities where we do business.

The credit union “people helping people philosophy” should be a force in distinguishing our institutions. Credit Unions need to amp up our recruiting efforts via social media, local college and chambers of commerce job fairs, offering signing bonuses and referral bounties to current employees.

And once we recruit qualified talent (“hire more for attitude and train for skill”) credit unions should welcome all and give employees the opportunity to contribute to the credit unions success.

The credit union management /leadership challenge is how to blend the different generations and keep them inspired for high level workplace performance. And especially with the millennial age employees who are working (and living) more randomly and are more likely to be sampling the workplace versus committing to it.

Recent American employee surveys indicate that half of workers are unhappy because of “not being valued” due to indifferent, weak organizational leadership and management being apathetic to their work life needs. The challenge for supervisors is balancing all these different age groups on the job and creating a positive workplace climate.

The new age leader/manager is going to have to be more of a conductor of an orchestra. At the same time, it is vital to treat everybody as an individual with dignity and respect. Leaders will also have to “tap into workers individual motivational psyche” versus treat all with a broad brush. To quote the greatest NFL Green Bay Packer Coach Vince Lombardi

“I treat all my players the same—I treat each one individually”!

The new 21st Century workplace mantra is “The Task is the Boss”!  Work teams comprised of multi-generation staff with cross functional titles focused on collaborative organizational tasks that benefit Members and the credit union.

If credit unions treat their employees well, they will treat your members well. How your employees treat your members is a direct reflection of how you treat your employees. If you have good employees tell them you care and show them the love! If you act in this manner your credit unions human scorecard will read—

Better Employees and More Satisfied Members.

To retain employees give them a sense of pride and ownership in what they do. Our philosophy is the higher calling of what credit unions do that makes us unique in the financial services industry. This is our culture. My hope is that credit unions continue to promote this culture and what makes us different (because we make a difference) and a great place to work.

Employees are not only coming to work for your credit union—they are coming to work for an international movement that is concerned with the financial wellbeing of millions of members. It s not what credit unions do that matters—it s why we do it!  This is one of our biggest hooks for landing and keeping big human talent!

My Top 10 Methods for Retaining Employees

  1. Hire the Right Person/Best Talent
  2. Continuously Train Them/Build Competencies
  3. Empower Them
  4. Recognize & Reward Their Successes
  5. Provide Flexible Benefits
  6. Give Feedback/Evaluate Performance
  7. Treat Them With Dignity/Respect
  8. Coach/Mentor Them
  9. Show Concern for Their Personal Lives
  10. Give Them A Sense of Workplace Pride/Ownership
John Vardalas

John Vardalas

John A. Vardalas CAE, CUDE is Founder/CEO of The AmericanBoomeR Group, a Madison, Wisconsin based speaking/consulting firm. He is also a frequent speaker and facilitator of strategic planning ... Web: www.theamericanboomer.com Details