CUNA is now America's Credit Unions.
A stronger voice to advance the credit union industry.
Credit union employees are the people helping people. They’re the ones on the ground, interacting with members every day, meeting their needs as they arise.
People come into the credit union movement in a variety of ways, but those who stay have something in common: they believe in the power of the credit union difference.
Onstage at the 2023 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, I asked the audience to participate in a simple but powerful exercise:
Look to the person to the right of you, and then to the left of you. Among the three people sitting together in the audience, two are financially unhealthy.
The Financial Health Network tells us 167 million consumers in this country are financially unhealthy, but that number becomes much more tangible when you think about two out of three people.
That exercise was also meant to show that the push for financial well-being for all starts at home.
Credit union employees aren’t immune to the economic effects we’re all still feeling. Our employees have hopes, goals, and dreams for themselves the way we all do.
Financial stress has physical symptoms. For employees, this can mean lower productivity, increased turnover, and yes, negative impacts on physical health.
These affect your credit union’s ability to serve members, as well as the overall health of your organization.
Credit unions that have created financial wellness programs for employees see positive benefits, including increased employee engagement, cost savings, and increasing value, but only when they take the same approach as they would for members: Focus on financial services that meet your employees’ needs as they arise.
The National Credit Union Foundation released a report in November summarizing two years of work at three credit unions using a grant to study ways to increase employees’ financial well-being.
Two groups of employees were randomly selected from each credit union, with each group receiving a different email. Both included financial tips, but one offered the opportunity to automatically put a percentage of direct deposit into a savings or investment account, splitting their deposits.
Data from all three credit unions showed 7.5% of employees in the messaging group started splitting their deposits, compared to just 1.65% from the group that did not receive messaging.
Last year, CUNA examined our own employee program. We solicited multiple rounds of feedback from employees to better understand how easy it is to access the program, communication preferences around the program, and actual engagement with the program.
With that feedback as our guidance, we refreshed our wellness program for 2023 to make it more relevant for our diverse employee population and ensure it looks at wellness holistically: financial, emotional, and physical well-being.
We set the bar high for ourselves when we promote financial well-being for all. I know we’re capable of meeting that commitment, whether we’re in the community, interacting with members in our branches, or supporting the employees right at home inside our credit unions.
JIM NUSSLE is president/CEO at Credit Union National Association.