The CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council's Award Program recognizes and honors credit unions that exemplify excellence in the human resources and training disciplines and serves to promote credit union philosophies through people leadership.
The distinction is reserved exclusively for the credit union HR & Organizational Development elite. Those who in all aspects of their chosen profession, consistently excel for the benefit of their credit union, uphold the standards of the HR & Organizational Development professional ethics and contribute to the credit union movement.
2019 Excellence Award Recipients
Best of Show
Best of Show: Lake Michigan Credit Union, Grand Rapids, MI for Leaders Achieve New Heights with CLIMB. Their Organizational Development Department was formed in 2015 to help with rapid growth, lack of leadership, and internal promotions. Developing the skillsets of their leaders is critical to addressing the current needs of the organization, as well as building leadership bench strength to prepare them for the future. Their challenge was to create a well-thought-out development path for leaders at all levels of the organization – which is CLIMB – Challenging Leaders in Management and Beyond. CLIMB is a multi-tiered Leadership Development program being rolled out in phases that focuses on varied audiences of leadership across the organization. In 2017, they designed and launched the first series of the CLIMB Program called Ascent, for managers of individual contributors. They designed a comprehensive curriculum to address all the competency expectations (and skill gaps) of Managers. They designed and developed learning interventions in-house and also partnered with established thought-leaders, and pursued facilitator certification, so that they could teach certain courses in-house. Each series ends with a capstone event in which cohort participants report on the personal and professional impacts of their journey. Roughly 6 months after the classroom phase of development is complete, participants go through a second 360 assessment to determine whether their Ascent journey has made a positive impact on their leadership effectiveness. Since launching, 130 leaders have participated in the program and 92% of their participants have increased their competency scores, with 100% of participants being at or above expectations for leadership competencies.
Employee Engagement (Assets Less than $499M): Electro Savings Credit Union, St. Louis, MO, for Power of You Program. With a new CEO after 20 years, and a desire for a highly collaborative environment, the team at Electro Savings created their Power of You Program. Employees submit ideas in the categories of Revenue Generation, Cost Reduction or Process Improvement. This program drives employee engagement and harnesses the power of collaboration throughout the organization while showing the employees that their thoughts and insights can add to the success of the credit union. They had 22 entries submitted in 2018 and 2 entries were selected for implementation. The Power of You has had positive impact on culture with a 13.5% reduction in turnover.
Employee Engagement (Assets $500M-$1B): Direct Federal Credit Union, Needham, MA, for Culture Crew. To give employees an overall voice in the direction, planning, and engagement of talent, the team at Direct Federal formulated the Culture Crew. An internal team developed to keep their finger on the pulse of what makes Direct Federal an employer of choice and a top place to work was launched. The inaugural Culture Crew was tasked with improving communication throughout the credit union; ensuring that all employees are supported in their day-to-day work; and most importantly, to act as liaisons between all stakeholders ensuring the embodiment of their mission and core values becomes second nature. They have seen numerous impacts in all areas that the Culture Crew focused. In 12 short months, they increased their Quad Red Results to 90% for the first time in three years.
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Employee Engagement (Assets More than $1B): BCU, Vernon Hills, IL, for Elevating Employee Engagement Through Diversity, Inclusion, and A Culture of Belonging. Using Diversity and Inclusion as a method to elevate employee engagement, the team at BCU have made it a priority to integrate practices that positively shift the way employees feel at work, interact with one another, with members and the community they serve. Their approach of moving beyond checking D&I boxes and learning to demonstrate the value of individuality, has guided the organization to be a leading example of pushing boundaries to achieve a culture of belonging. To expand the Diversity & Inclusion conversation, maintain the standard of mutual respect, and maximize the cultural competency of all employees, BCU, introduced ‘The Power of Leading Inclusively’ training program in 2017. This live experiential training brings employees together to challenge and discuss biases, diversity, and inclusion in a safe space. In addition to training and Cultural Awareness Events, they have Employee Resource Groups focused on Inclusion, Service and Technology Skills to help foster belonging and inclusion among their team. They are definitely making a difference in their community.
Innovative Staff Development
Innovative Staff Development (Assets Less than $499M): Park View Federal Credit Union, Harrisonburg, VA, for Connecting People with Purpose. In 2014, Park View decided to move to universal employees called Member Advisors. They began with recruiting and hiring college-educated individuals with interests in banking careers and potential to be leaders and managers. They soon had an ambitious team who were quick learners, career focused, and passionate about serving their members. However, their excellent talent pool wanted to progress faster than they were able to keep up with. As a solution, in 2017, they launched their Member Advisor Development Program (MADP). The program consisted of development tracks for both branch lobby and contact center member advisors, as well as a leadership development program. The program was developed in 3 phases with a governance structure and routine to keep them on track for implementation. Talent development is a strategic tool for the employee and organizational growth. The MADP will prove to be one of the most important foundations laid for the next decade of growth at Park View.
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Innovative Staff Development (Assets $500M - $1B): Direct Federal Credit Union, Needham, MA, for Direct University. At Direct Federal, they recognized the need for a deeper understanding of their six strategic areas by all employees. To accomplish this more formalized and structured way to educate their employees on how they each contribute ideas to the credit union’s strategic plan. This led to the creation of ‘Direct U’, an in-house university program designed to educate all employees on the strategic focus of the credit union. The areas of study available mirror the six strategic areas of the credit union’s strategic plan. Their CEO and each of their senior leaders are responsible for creating a rich curriculum for each course within their strategic area, and for teaching the Orientation level courses on an ongoing basis. This allows new employees the opportunity to meet each senior leader and give all employees the ability to gain a broader understanding of the strategic plan. 98% of their freshman class graduated and they have a full slate of 2019 candidates.
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Innovative Staff Development (Assets More than $1B): Dupaco Community Credit Union, Dubuque, IA, for Welcome Aboard – Dupaco Onboarding Experience. The credit union has invested in the creation and evolution of a home-grown program, the Dupaco Experience. This experience was created to appeal to applicants whose personal values align with the mission, and ultimately, to evolve jobs into careers that its employees love. Internally, several departments collaborated to ensure an organized, well-executed Dupaco Experience is what employees walk away with. The Dupaco Experience is an employee onboarding experience, beginning the moment a person applies for employment, and integrated throughout the interview, offer, multi-day orientation, and ongoing employee development effort. Each stop within the Dupaco Experience is thoughtfully crafted to exemplify their member-centric culture, values, and brand. Employees hired in 2018 scored an average of 9.6 out of 10 when members were asked if the employees who assisted them were personally engaged.
Management Practices (Assets Less than $499M): Piedmont Advantage Credit Union, Winston-Salem, NC, for Evolving Turnover to Retention & Talent Management. With a drive to reduce their turnover, the team at Piedmont Advantage realized they needed to put a higher focus on their people and engagement. Thru alignment to their goals and strategic plan that are rooted in their mission, vision, and core values they created a strategic plan dedicated to learning and talent management. They started with a new onboarding process, a development plan for each employee, curriculum development and learning plans for each position, an upgraded internal learning page, and the creation of Quick Hit learning. With this focus on learning and talent management they were able to reduce their turnover by 15%.
Management Practices (Assets More than $1B): iQ Credit Union, Vancouver, WA, for Seek the PhysiQue. The iQ Wellness Program was launched in May 2017. A wellness committee representing the credituUnion’s diverse workforce by location, position, age, and fitness ability was formed. Their focus for the Wellness Program is to be sustainable, engaging, inclusive, and outcome-driven. They looked for opportunities to offer unique wellness programming, to partner with business members offering wellness services and products, along with events appealing to the greater employee base. With a wide variety of activities, iQ has been able to offer every employee something. They integrated wellness corners and all newly configured back office workstations will automatically come with a sit stand desk. They incorporated wellness challenges and activities into their already existing employee engagement and rewards platform and focused on opportunities for social connectedness as well. With just one year under their belt, iQ reduced their medical plan claims by 26% and have increased their employee engagement.
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