Everyone wants to recruit, retain and develop the best employees, but as the unemployment rate continues to decline, the competition for that talent is fierce. Credit Union Journal's Second Annual Best Credit Unions to Work For rankings offer insight into what some of the top CU employers are doing to attract and find and keep the best employees.

Each credit union ranked embodied the industry ethos of "people helping people." And in some cases, the CUs with the happiest employees are those who promote a fun work-life balance.

For example, in Battle Creek, Mich., the $335 Omni Community Credit Union, has increased retention rates with its Shared Value Model, a three-pronged approach integrating team members (employees), members and the community.

"We want our team members to know our purpose as an organization, as it helps our team to develop passion and engagement with our members and the community," said Omni Community CU Human Resources Manager Patty Neff.

How did CUs make the grade? Participating credit unions had to have at least 25 employees and agree to participate in a free, two-part assessment administered by Best Companies Group, a third-party research firm.

The first part of the assessment, worth 25%, gathered information about benefits, policies and HR practices. The second part, which accounted for 75% of the score, involved a confidential 78-question employee survey.

Work-life balance was a primary factor for all of the credit unions that made the list. At Texas Tech FCU, for example, an employee receives a paid vacation day on his or her birthday. Four times a year, the CU also selects an Employee of the Quarter (EOQ). The recipient receives a paid day off and is eligible for employee of the year award and $500 in cash.

Offering career-development opportunities such as in-house training, as well as tuition reimbursement and other ongoing education also weighed into the rankings.

The Las Vegas-based $777.5 million One Nevada Credit Union provides its 260 employees with an average of 6,500 hours of internal training. This initiative is developed by the Human Resources Department and is specific to job description.

Similarly, employees at $2.9 billion Michigan State University Federal Credit Union are eligible for tuition reimbursement for continuing education, attending conferences and seminars and internal cross-training programs. After one year of employment, the credit union reimburses full time employees for two business-related classes per semester or trimester.

"Employees have opportunities to apply for any internal open position and can prepare themselves through cross training and job shadow supported and scheduled by their managers," said Dimma. MSU Federal Credit Union ranked third in the $1 billion or more category. "In addition, managers and executives continually meet with employees to discuss career goals and interests to encourage employee's growth within the company."

Each credit union ranked embodied the industry ethos of "people helping people." And in some cases, the CU's with the happiest employees are those who promote a fun work-life balance. For example, Logix Federal Credit Union Annual Awards event and dinner this year was attended by Captain America, Cat Woman and Mr. Incredible, or so it seemed.

CEO Dave Styler, CAO Andrea Carpenter and Wayne Schulman, respectively, attended the ComicCon theme gala dressed as their favorite comic book heroes.

"We typically have 90% of staff participate in the Annual Awards Event, most of whom dress up to reflect the event theme," said Styler.

Click here to learn more about how the top-ranked CUs attract, develop and keep employees happy and productive (or click on the individual credit unions below).

No. 1 (5) Mountain America Credit Union
No. 2 (7) MSU Federal Credit Union
No. 3 (9) Logix Federal Credit Union
No. 4 (10) Local Government Federal Credit Union
No. 5 (13) America First Credit Union
No. 6 (17) FAIRWINDS Credit Union
No. 7 (22) Lake Michigan Credit Union
No. 8 (28) Coastal Federal Credit Union
No. 9 (29) Goldenwest Credit Union
No. 10 (33) EECU
No. 11 (38) TruStone Financial
No. 12 (40) Lake Trust Credit Union
No. 13 (44) Security Service Federal Credit Union

No. 1 (1) One Nevada Credit Union
No. 2 (4) Alabama Credit Union
No. 3 (6) DATCU
No. 4 (15) Vibrant Credit Union
No. 5 (16) Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union
No. 6 (20) Bay Federal Credit Union
No. 7 (27) Los Angeles Federal Credit Union
No. 8 (31) Island Federal Credit Union
No. 9 (34) Quorum Federal Credit Union
No. 10 (37) Point Breeze Credit Union
No. 11 (42) Michigan First Credit Union
No. 12 (43) Power Financial Credit Union
No. 13 (45) Xceed Financial Credit Union

No. 1 (2) Infinity Federal Credit Union
No. 2 (3) Belvoir Federal Credit Union
No. 3 (8) Granite Credit Union
No. 4 (12) Town & Country Federal Credit Union
No. 5 (14) OMNI Community Credit Union
No. 6 (18) Boston Firefighters Credit Union
No. 7 (25) Atomic Credit Union
No. 8 (26) Icon Credit Union
No. 9 (32) Deseret First Credit Union
No. 10 (35) Nymeo Federal Credit Union
No. 11 (41) First Credit Union

No. 1 (11) Texas Tech Federal Credit Union
No. 2 (19) Spokane Federal Credit Union
No. 3 (21) Weber State Credit Union
No. 4 (23) Landings Credit Union
No. 5 (24) PeoplesChoice Credit Union
No. 6 (30) Reliant Federal Credit Union
No. 7 (36) Colorado Credit Union
No. 8 (39) Meadville Area Federal Credit Union

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