Get More Out Of Your On-The-Clock Hours

A look at the employee culture at Member One, where staffers work hard, play hard, and have a variety of activities in between.

Culture is the identity of an institution; something largely intangible, yet far-reaching and deeply felt. It touches every employee no matter their role or department and if well executed creates a sense of enthusiasm and pride.

At Member One Federal Credit Union ($680M, Roanoke, VA), culture drives the organization’s more than 200 employees to not only serve more members per person than average for its asset size but also do so more productively and efficiently than at comparable organizations.

Led by CEO Frank Carter and influenced by longtime Disney executive Dennis Snow’s book Lessons From The Mouse, culture at Member One boils down to two simple directives: work hard, play hard.




Dream Sheet

This document is an employee profile in which they identify their strengths, weaknesses, interests, hobbies, and the details of their dream job even if it’s not with the credit union. Member One uses this information to determinewhether a staff member’s talents are underutilized as well as to match individuals with internal job openings that suit their interests. For an in-depth examination of this program, read How Member One Finds And Fosters Internal Talenton


Member One holds events throughout the year to help employees feel engaged and appreciated. Some previous examples include: a speech by Vince Papale, the inspiration for the Mark Wahlberg football film Invincible; a speech bya member of SEAL Team Six; a performance by the Roanoke Symphony at the credit union’s headquarters; a trip to Washington, DC, for a Washington Nationals baseball game; a trip to Asheville, NC, to visit the Biltmore estate; ahappy cart that travels to branches and hands out ice cream, smoothies, and hot chocolate to employees.


Member One devotes an entire day of new hire onboarding to understanding its brand and values. This emphasis on getting things right from the get-go is just one of the reasons the organization has been named one of the best places to workin the state by Virginia Business Magazine every year from 2010 to 2014.

Process Improvement Team

This team of employees from a variety of departments meets quarterly or more frequently if the need arises to brainstorm operational efficiencies and improvements. The steady stream of quick fixes and long-term adjustmentsthe PIT crew has identified helped fuel a third quarter 2014 efficiency ratio that is superior to peers 74.3% at Member One compared to an 81.8% average for credit unions with $500 million to $1 billion in assets.

Paid Volunteerism

For Member One, the focus for philanthropy is on doing what’s meaningful to the community and what’s personally meaningful to staff. That’s why it gives its employees eight hours of paid time off every year for the communityservice activities of their choice, such as reading in local elementary schools or working at an area food bank.

Vice President Of Engagement

This employee, who initially pitched the position through her dream sheet, is a corporate culture cheerleader. She handles everything from running new hire orientation sessions to driving the happy cart.

CEO Face Time

CEO Frank Carter holds a breakfast meeting with all employees who reach their one-year anniversary to discuss things like culture, impressions of the credit union, personal goals, the work environment, and communication in an unfiltered,face-to-face environment.

April 17, 2015

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