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Tips for Keeping New Employees Happy and Productive after They Are in Place

Charles Shanley
March 25, 2015

Getting new employees in the door is just the initial step in maintaining a high-quality workforce. Once you have the right people in place, it is essential to help them transition successfully into the organization’s culture, provide them with the tools they need, and support their skills development in order for them to be productive and happy for the long term.

According to HR industry data, half of outside senior hires fail within the first 18 months and nearly half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first four months. Banks and credit unions can avoid such high turnover rates and transition new hires into productive team members by implementing an effective on-boarding program and making it a priority throughout the organization.

Begin the Process before a New Employee’s Start Date

A successful on-boarding process begins before a new hire officially accepts the job and continues past the 90-day orientation and evaluation period. To begin, make sure you have a job description for every position that specifies such things as a job title, where the position falls on the organizational chart, the assigned supervisor, job qualifications, position overview, physical requirements, as well as salary and benefits.

Next, develop a check list of everything that needs to be covered when a new staff member comes on board. The list may vary, depending on an employees’ position, but it should guarantee that all new hires are provided the information, resources and support they need to help them get up to speed as quickly as possible.

Before the new employee’s first day, make sure his or her office is ready to go with all the necessary furniture and technology. And don’t forget to supply important information such as a computer user name and password, software and user manuals, printer access, email and phone logins. Supplies, such as business cards, desk or door name plaques, and ID badge should be ordered and in place. Also provide any keys the employee will need and explain if there are any areas he or she will not be able to access, and why not.

Also, consider having the employee visit the office before the first official day on the job to receive the employee handbook and complete some of the HR paperwork. This will allow him or her to spend the first day in more productive activities.

Make a Good Impression from Day One

Make sure new employees feel at home as soon as they step into the door on Day 1. Designate someone on staff who will be responsible for on-boarding new hires. This person will serve as a buddy throughout the introductory period and be the go-to resource whenever the new employee has any questions or needs.

Plan a facility tour that highlights the location of the restroom, kitchen or lounge area and offices of key personnel. Introduce the new hire to the entire staff – including leadership, contemporaries and subordinates. Explain the role each employee fills in the organization and how he or she might interface with the new employee. A good way to help the new employee get acquainted with co-workers is to make lunch plans for the first week. Whether one-on-one or in small groups, this is a great way to build working relationships, help familiarize the new staff member with the area and avoid the awkward feeling of being left alone when everyone else leaves over the lunch hour.

Provide an explanation of the institution’s history, goals, business philosophy and organizational chart. This will immediately provide the new employee with an idea of how he or she fits into the big picture. Set aside time for the new employee to ask questions about the organization, as well as the expectations for his or her role and the opportunities for growth within the organization.

After the initial introductions and training are complete, it’s important to set aside some time to review the information that has been provided during the first few weeks of employment. Don’t assume that new staff members will remember everything they have been told as they were getting accustomed to their new work environment.

For C-level personnel, provide an overview of any committees or special projects they will be assigned. Identify the institution’s board members and explain a little about their history with the organization, along with their strengths and community involvement. As soon as it can be arranged, provide introductions to board members, community groups and civic leadership, especially if the employee is new to the area.

Getting Started on the Right Foot Can Result in a Long, Steady Employee Relationship

Remember, first impressions are lasting. While many organizations spend time and money searching for, recruiting and hiring a new employee, many drop the ball when it comes to making that new hire feel at home and providing the tools and work environment necessary to ensure that he or she will be happy, successful and a long-term asset to the organization. On-boarding is the number one thing that banks and credit unions can do to make new employees feel like an important part of the team right away and set the stage for a long-term, productive workforce.

Charles Shanley is executive vice president of recruitment services for John M. Floyd and Associates, a Baytown, Texas-based consulting firm that provides comprehensive services for earnings enhancement, expense reduction, organizational workflow, executive recruiting, account acquisition programs, and sales and service programs.


CUNA Mutual partners with D+H

CUNA News Now
March 25, 2015

CUNA Mutual Group announced it will offer a new mortgage payment protection insurance product to credit unions and their members through an alliance with D+H , a CUNA Strategic Services strategic alliance provider.

Through the alliance, CUNA Mutual Group will integrate its new mortgage payment protection insurance product directly into MortgagebotPOS, D+H's residential mortgage protection product to cover members in the event of unexpected job losses, death or disability.
"This alliance means that credit unions will have a new critical service to offer their members. It also provides a strong competitive advantage for the credit union industry," said Chuck Cashman, vice president of business development and strategic alliances for CUNA Mutual Group.
Through the alliance, credit unions can provide quotes and enroll members in the new insurance offering. CUNA Mutual Group plans to launch the product later this year and will include complimentary loan officer training for the credit unions that leverage it.
Mortgage payment protection is voluntary insurance designed to cover mortgage payments following a borrower's death, disability or involuntary unemployment.
"Just as today's potential homeowners are concerned with their ability to secure a mortgage, they're also concerned with their ability to keep their home," said Alan Bahr, director of product management for CUNA Mutual Group. "It is important that we help credit unions ensure members can maintain the security of their families' long-term financial health, including their home."

Reprinted with permission from CUNA News Now.

CUs Struggle with Rising Health-Care Costs

Credit Union Magazine
March 18, 2015

Rising health-care costs are taking a toll on the ability of some credit unions—particularly smaller organizations—to provide group health insurance, CUNA’s E-Scan reports.

The overall prevalence of some other major benefits also declined slightly, according to CUNA's 2014-2015 Staff Benefits Report.

“Generally speaking, modest declines for various benefits are more apt to be found among credit unions with less than $100 million in assets than among their larger counterparts,” the report says.

Here's a breakdown of the benefits credit unions overall offer their employees:

Credit unions budgeted an average of about $575,000 for staff benefits expenses. The average expense per full-time employee is roughly $12,750.

(Via Credit Union Magazine)

Employment Law Update

Michael Patrick O’Brien
March 16, 2015

A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concludes that employees should be presumptively allowed to use an employer’s email system for labor organizing purposes. The rule basically states that if an employer allows employees to use email at all, employers typically cannot restrict use of that platform for purposes allowed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including discussion of terms and conditions of employment. The NLRB did indicate such use can be limited to nonworking time, provided that such a rule is applied consistently. You may want to review your email usage policy and verify it does not run afoul of this new ruling.

Giving FMLA to Ineligible Workers May Make Them Eligible

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to give FMLA leave only to those employees who are eligible, i.e. have been employed for 12 months, worked 1250 hours during the last 12 months and work within 75 miles of a site employing 50 or more employees. What happens if an employer gives FMLA leave to an ineligible employee? A recent court decision indicates that makes them legally eligible.  The case involved an employer which, in a policy statement, did not limit leave to those persons within 75 miles of a site employing 50 or more employees. An otherwise-ineligible employee sued, claiming that the broad policy statement gave him FMLA rights. A federal appeals court said the employee may be right and has ordered that the case go to trial.

Supreme Court Hears Argument on Religious Garb Case

The United States Supreme Court recently heard arguments on a case involving the wearing of religious garb at work. The case involved a Muslim woman who wore a religious scarf (hijab) to an interview for a job as a store model with a retailer, She was not hired. She did not notify the potential employer she wore the scarf for religious reasons. The store concluded she did not satisfy its “look policy” for store models. The applicant sued, claiming religious discrimination. The issue before the Supreme Court centers on whether the retailer knew it was making a decision based on the applicant’s religious practice and whether the applicant had a duty to notify the store about the same. A decision is expected in early summer.

Michael Patrick O'Brien is an employment attorney with Utah law firm of Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough. He also serves as the Legal and Legislative Director for Utah’s Society for Human Resource Management chapter. Contact him at 801-534-7315 or


Nussle welcomes first new FCU of 2015: NYC's The Finest FCU

CUNA News Now
March 11, 2015

The first new federal credit union charter of 2015 is The Finest FCU of New York City, the National Credit Union Administration announced Wednesday. The Finest FCU will serve the 74,530 employees of federal, state, county and municipal agencies or departments engaged in police protection in New York City.

"A credit union charter is a very precious thing, and we're delighted to welcome the new credit union serving New York's finest into the credit union movement," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle Wednesday. "We look forward to serving The Finest Federal Credit Union in collaboration with the New York Credit Union Association (NYCUA)."

The Finest FCU represents the 13th new federal credit union since 2011, and according to the NCUA, the credit union is the first new federal charter in the state of New York since 2009.

"The New York Credit Union Association is looking forward to working with Finest Federal Credit Union to bring the credit union difference to their members," said Ronald McLean, senior vice president of credit union relations for the NYCUA. "The Association has many valuable resources and services that will help the credit union move forward and best serve their membership. It's an exciting day when a new credit union is chartered."

The credit union's headquarters will be located in Manhattan, and it expects to hold a grand opening in May. The Finest FCU will share branches with $95 million-asset Greater Metro FCU, with locations in Long Island City and New York City.

The Finest FCU also received a low-income credit union designation, which allows the credit union to accept non-member deposits, obtain grants and loans from the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, offer secondary capital accounts and qualify for certain exemptions from statutory limits on member business lending.

According to the NCUA, The Finest FCU is being supported by the New York Police Department and received its initial capital from AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., an $11.3 billion entity providing property and casualty insurance to small businesses.

Reprinted with permission from CUNA News Now.

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