A Heaping Helping Of HR Highlights

From “intentional communications” to identifying top intern prospects — and even heading off internal fraudsters — the “people helping people” strategy begins in the home (office.)

Making the most of personnel is essential if a credit union is to execute on the movement’s philosophy of people helping people. Although it’s been a long time since the department was called personnel, today’s human resources professionals still focus on bringing out everyone’s best.

CreditUnions.com regularly showcases innovative, practical, and successful ideas from cooperatives across the country. As 2016 looms, here are some of the most popular from 2015.

Georgia’s Own On My Mind


Data as of 09.30.15

  • HQ: Atlanta, GA
  • ASSETS: $1.9B
  • MEMBERS: 91,619
  • BRANCHES: 22
  • 12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 3.00%
  • 12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 0.33%
  • ROA: 0.49%


Data as of 09.30.15

  • HQ: Roanoke, VA
  • ASSETS: $748.9M
  • MEMBERS: 91,619
  • BRANCHES: 14
  • 12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 8.80%
  • 12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 15.73%
  • ROA: 1.07%

Georgia’s Own Credit Union ($1.9B, Atlanta, GA) Adopt-a-Branch program allows senior managers to spend a designated amount of time each month in a branch of their choosing, usually near their own homes, where they learn from front-line staffers while building deeper relationships with their member communities. That program is part of a philosophy of internal service that is driven by what one vice president there calls intentional communications.More here on how to build an intentional internal culture.

Start ‘Em Young

The head people guy at SECU of Maryland ($2.9B, Linthicum, MD) has a long title but a short answer for how to identify and groom future stars for the credit union movement. Roderic Flowers SECU’s vice president of human resources development and adjunct professor of organizational theory and behavior atMcDaniel Collegein Westminster, MD helped the credit union create a college internship program in 2005 that encourages interest in financial services careers and recruits talented employees from area schools. The credit union brings in several interns each year for real work not fetching coffee in areas that meet their current aptitudes and future interests. The effort has paid off on social media and in SECU offices, where some of the interns have found permanent jobs already.

Leaning Lunar Helps Find The Stars

As vice president of human resources at USAlliance Federal Credit Union ($1.1B, Rye, NY) Raksha Shirali leads the effort to make sure the 230 or so positions at her upstate New York credit union are filled by the best employees possible. In her On Leadership interview, she talks career paths, talent identification, and management philosophy. And Shirali advises: Reach for the moon; if you slip and fall, you find yourself among stars.

Talent In The Title

There’s a vice president of talent services at TDECU($2.7B, Lake Jackson, TX). Her name is Vandi Theriot and she says this: Selecting the right talent has always been an important part of our strategy. Putting the right person in the right role is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Here, Theriot shares how her big Texas credit union finds the right people to help it meet its aggressive growth goals.

Selecting the right talent has always been an important part of our strategy. Putting the right person in the right role is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.

Metrics For The People

Quantifying personnel quality is difficult, but tracking workplace performance is critical given that staffing costs are typically a credit union’s largest operating expense. Plus, staffers are the people who deliver the service that matters: member service. Check out these benchmarks that help managers gauge a workforce’s productivity and quantify performance.


Data as of 09.30.15

  • HQ: Linthicum, MD
  • ASSETS: $2.9B
  • MEMBERS: 243,364
  • BRANCHES: 22
  • 12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 5.23%
  • 12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 13.41%
  • ROA: 0.58%


Data as of 09.30.15

  • HQ: Rye, NY
  • ASSETS: $1.1B
  • MEMBERS: 83,102
  • BRANCHES: 23
  • 12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 11.92%
  • 12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 19.33%
  • ROA: 0.80%

The People Are The Process

Member One Federal Credit Union ($748.9M, Roanoke, VA) has been posting strong numbers in productivity measures in the past several years, thanks in no small part to its PIT crew. That’s the Process Improvement Team, a diverse group of employees who meet two or three times every quarter in search of economical solutions to process problems. And it’s not just about making the wheels turn faster. The team also is committed to creating a working environment aligned with happiness, clarity, and personal and professional success. That’s from the mission statement. Read more here about how the PIT puts its ideas into action.

Board Members Are People, Too

They’ve long been known as volunteers, but credit union board members are increasingly being compensated for their services. Some states are now permitting direct pay to board members, but the NCUA hasn’t joined in. The federal regulator does allow some expense reimbursements, however, along with some insurance benefits and even gift cards and nominal small gifts to the board member’s share account. A legal expert on these matters offers a run down on the rules here.

Crime Doesn’t Pay

It’s not a pleasant topic, but most fraud losses at credit unions are inside jobs. In fact, the NCUA says $28.6 million of the $30.4 million in insurance share fund losses in 2014 were a direct result of internal fraud. Such hits can damage the credit union’s reputation as well as the bottom line, and there are ways to minimize that risk. It doesn’t take huge resources to implement a reasonable level of control, says veteran credit union CPA Mike Sacher says. Here’s how.

December 21, 2015

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