Alabama Credit Union’s “High Performance Teams” provides a platform for employees from a cross-section of departments and levels to provide input on strategic initiatives. In 2017, Team Hydro took it a step further by creating a weekly video broadcast developed from footage that they solicited, recorded and edited for all staff to view.

“New items, items of interest and messages from senior leaders are featured,” said CEO Steve Swofford. “We also engage in weekly ‘talent development’ sessions so that employees have a constant on-ramp for training, professional development and talent diversification opportunities.”

Swofford said employees who feel supported by management will better support members. To this end, the CU’s mission statement was recently updated: To enhance the lives of our members and team members, strengthen our communities and live our shared values.

“The management team’s top priority is to give opportunities for growth and development to our employees,” said Swofford. “Everyone here knows about our long-term strategy and how they fit into the bigger picture of helping our members, our communities and one another.”

Employees from Alabama CU’s Fayette branch delivered gift baskets of goodies to the staff of a local nursing home.
Employees from Alabama CU’s Fayette branch delivered gift baskets of goodies to the staff of a local nursing home.

Alabama Credit Union ranked No. 18 overall in the Best Credit Unions to Work For 2017 and ranked No. 4 in its asset class (CUs with assets of more than $500 million but less than $1 billion).

Employees are encouraged to provide over 15 paid hours in community involvement time. In 2016, over 2,886 hours of community service was logged. The CU also founded its primary charity, Secret Meals for Hungry Children. This assistance provides weekend food packs to “children identified as going without nutrition” over the weekend, explained Swofford.

“Secret Meals currently feeds 2,500 children each Friday that school is in session,” he said. “Our employees play an important part in helping Alabama Credit Union reach our funding goals to ensure we can continue to provide food packs to any child in need.”

Founded in 1956, the $775 million CU has 225 employees with 27 branches and serves nearly 69,000 members.