As an institution originally founded by teachers, Educators Credit Union in Mount Pleasant, Wis., has implemented special programs to keep employees of all generations continually challenged and loyal to the organization. This includes an in-house online learning system with a variety of courses, including business communication, and a generous tuition reimbursement program.
“Typical tuition reimbursement programs are job-related,” says Peter Stein, Educators’ senior vice president of human resources. “We believe in continuous education. As long as you take an accredited class and you earn at least a C [grade], you will be reimbursed.”
Stein says employees have received tuition reimbursement for courses as varied as creative writing and wedding planning, and some have even earned their nursing certificates.
“A lot of our longtime employees have taken classes,” Stein says. “Our people are continuous learners, and that makes them more valuable to Educators.”
Another key to retaining employees for the long-term and keeping them engaged and loyal is mentorship, says Angelito “JoJo” Cristobal Jr., retail sales manager for Schools Financial Credit Union in Sacramento, Calif.
“Baby boomers who are planning on retiring in a couple of years should look for the up-and-comers in their organization to prepare them for their roles,” Cristobal says. “It’s also important for millennials to identify the people we respect and help us work our way through difficulties.”
One of his mentors is Steve Langley, Schools Financial’s senior vice president of member services/chief retail officer.
“Steve hired me when I was 25 years old,” Cristobal says. “He’s been there to celebrate some of my successes. He’s coached me when I’ve made wrong decisions. Because I respect him and I look to him as someone who genuinely cares about my development, I take his feedback, I take his coaching, and it helps me improve.
“We need people to have tough conversations with us, but from a perspective of genuine caring about our growth,” he adds.