Knowledge is Power: Preparing for Growth in 2010

Proper training programs are essential to maximizing employee retention and performance in addition to increasing total credit union productivity.

 
 

Knowledge is Power: Preparing for Growth in 2010    

Many organizations view employee training and development as optional, not essential; a viewpoint that can be costly to both short and long-term goals. Proper training programs are essential to maximizing employee retention and performance in addition to increasing total credit union productivity.

Unfortunately, employee training and development programs can be subject to the vagaries of the broader economic environment; one of the first programs cut during lean times. Given the importance of training programs to company success, the training budget should be determined by the targeted business results you want. As you prepare for 2010, it is critical your credit union pinpoints the right investments for staff training and education.

One Credit Union's Commitment to Education

Arsenal Credit Union ($134M, Arnold, MO) creates a culture of learning by supplying their employees with the resources they need to accomplish the credit union's goal. Their commitment to staff development and education is proving valuable in today’s economy.  As of second quarter 2009, Arsenal CU is growing at a faster rate than their peer group in key member growth metrics:

 

Arsenal

Industry

Peer Group (100M – 250M)

Loan Growth

20.00% (Top 10% in peer group)

4.13%

5.30%

Share Growth

15.00%

8.45%

8.60%

Member Growth

5.30%

1.86%

1.40%

(Source: CU Analyzer)

Arsenal Credit Union

During a CUtv interview, Linda Allen, CEO of Arsenal Credit Union ($134M, Arnold, MO) shared details regarding her commitment to staff development and education, and Arsenal’s own comprehensive training program.

Why is staff development and training important to you as CEO as well as to Arsenal?

Arsenal Credit Union strives to be a service and relationship leader.  If members have a positive experience with our staff, they are more receptive to establishing additional relationships with the credit union.  Strong relationships are built over time, a process that starts with developing trust and confidence.  One way to inspire confidence is by providing knowledgeable and well-trained employees.  Providing opportunities for professional growth and development is, therefore, good for credit union members and employees alike. 

Can you discuss Arsenal's staff development and education program?

We provide a comprehensive orientation program for new employees that spans several days.  Once completed, each new employee is assigned a mentor within their department to ensure that all new hires receive consistent training.

For other employees, including senior management, we require at least 62 hours of training or education annually.  Because skill levels and training needs vary among employees, customized training plans are developed, and each employee plan must include "service," "job specific or technical," and general training in areas such as ethics. 

We consider our program successful when we attain at least 90% of the training program goals.  We also monitor satisfaction levels through regular member surveys at each branch. 

How have you incorporated Callahan & Associates' CUtv webinar network as part of your training curriculum?

We provide a number of training resources through various learning channels.  We review CUtv topics and events with our managers and provide quick access to event listings on our employee Intranet.  Over 100 CUtv events have been viewed by our employees in the first 7 months of the year so it's become a very cost-effective training solution for us.

What I like about CUtv is that the topics are diverse; the information presented during each event is in-depth and organized in a way that's easy to comprehend.  Instead of spending hours wading through countless resources to find the information I am looking for, CUtv does the heavy lifting by presenting concise and hard-hitting information that is germane.

How has CUtv helped you personally as a CEO?

It allows me to remain current regarding industry developments and is a great resource for unbiased and timely information on critical issues.  I have benefited from learning other points of view and implemented some of the best practices used by my peers, as shared during CUtv programs.  The ability to listen to CUtv's pre-recorded sessions on demand also helps me manage my time wisely. 

Is there one particular event or topic that you have found particularly educational or insightful through CUtv?

I appreciate the discussions surrounding strategic issues like capital formation options.  The CUtv presenters bring innovative solutions and thought-provoking ideas to the table. 

I also think the CUtv events regarding compliance and regulatory changes are first rate.  CUtv sessions include in-depth discussion on various technical issues and approach topics from several points of view.

To access Linda's two CUtv picks:

How Capital Options Can Benefit Your Credit Union
http://www.creditunions.com/cutv/subscribe.aspx?eventid=258

Accounting for Your Prospective Merger: Understanding the Complex Accounting, Fair Value & Regulatory Rules Required of Credit Unions 
http://www.creditunions.com/cutv/subscribe.aspx?eventid=482

To learn more about CUtv and how it can help you with your staff education and development, please click here or call Sharon Tzuang at 800-446-7453 x 176. 

 

 

 

Sept. 30, 2009


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