Tools available to help credit unions stabilize staffing

Stock market swings, shifting energy pricing and interest-rate spikes are converging to create a complex economic landscape. Stacking that atop the aftermath of a pandemic that led to widespread employee burnout and the uncertainty of the economy—it is all creating further anxiety among both credit union staff and members.

“Staff did incredible work to adapt, train, retrain, shift responsibilities and serve members while regulations and workplace rules were changing during the pandemic. It seemed like we used the word ‘pivot’ on an hourly basis.” said Alicia Steindorf, CUDE and director of online learning strategy at Credit Union National Association (CUNA). ”Since then, conditions have evolved, and now these economic challenges are having a tough impact on staff as they serve members with the same issues.”

Strong demand for labor and lower supply can mean staff are covering for open positions and taking on extra responsibilities. The ability to service members can take longer. Training may be just-in-time or shortened. With rising prices, it can feel like more work for less compensation. In September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics job report showed these labor market conditions are continuing with non-farm payrolls growing by 263,000.

Facing these multiple challenges, many credit union leaders are looking for tools to help them rebuild their internal cultures and their staffing stability. Offering personalized training opportunities and ensuring compensation is on target are both strategies credit unions can use to maintain or improve staff retention rates.

“Employees want to know that their development is important,” said Steindorf. In a free webinar titled “Increase Employee Engagement and Retention by Upskilling Staff,” Steindorf explained upskilling with existing resources to the more than 100 live attendees. “Upskilling improves existing employees’ skills and abilities so they can advance in their current roles and careers within the organization. It also helps to minimize any skills gaps in the workplace.”

Two solutions to support a cultural initiative of upskilling are CUNA Professional Development Online (CPD Online) and CUNA Training Bundle. CPD Online’s diverse line of topics reflects the skills and insights needed in today’s environment and gives you and your employees the opportunity for meaningful professional development. Credit unions are also able to add their own content to the system. CUNA Training Bundle offers unlimited access for the entire credit union team to webinars and eSchools from CUNA on topics across all functional areas. 

With the hiring market in flux, compensation decisions—including pay and benefits offers to people credit unions wish to both bring in and retain—are critical to get right the first time. Data is available specifically for credit unions to help make informed decisions.

CUNA’s Compensation Resources consists of compensation data for scores of positions at more than 1,000 credit unions nationwide. Understanding the market rate for talent is vital in crafting offers for key individuals.

“We appreciate that over 1,000 credit unions responded to our data requests to compile CUNA Staff Salary report,” said CUNA Product Manager Dayna Johnson Schmitt. “There is a $50M-and-under version of that report, as well. This collaboration and compilation of that data provides credit unions unique tools to look at just their industry and make decisions that have bottom-line impact to their credit union and front-line impact for their members.”

Although nobody is completely sure where the economy is going next, with the right tools in place, credit unions can continue to adapt and take care of their people—both staff and members.