Michael Barlett's recent article on retaining employees (Credit Union Journal, "Human Resources Headaches on the Agenda for Upcoming Year," Jan. 9, 2015) delivered a message that credit unions should heed. Holding on to experienced, talented staff members will be paramount in the coming year – and it requires well-planned strategies with the full support of senior management to be successful.

Bartlett's article noted that Lake Michigan Credit Union in Grand Rapids emphasized the importance of creating a corporate culture that aligns with its mission and vision. In 25 years of working with credit unions and banks to promote leadership and organizational development, I can say unequivocally that culture-building is vital to a positive work environment in which all employees feel appreciated and motivated to do their best.

To be successful, organizations need to ensure these three pillars are part of the process:

  • Make the behavioral objectives that are the outcome of having Values as important as performance objectives.
  • Develop a leadership brand that balances care for the individual and credit union performance.
  • Understand the strengths of each employee and mold his/her tasks to those strengths.

While all companies lose valuable employees through relocation or family changes, losing them because of a poor culture is preventable. Building a great workplace requires intentional effort but the benefits of having a highly committed, unified team of employees will prove priceless.
Joe Bertotto, Chief Culture Officer

MY CU Services , Middletown, Pa.