Lynn Boston appreciates simplicity. In fact, simplifying complex tasks has been a key focus in her role as chief people officer at Y-12 Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Case in point: When she joined Y-12 Federal four years ago, the organization used a 17-page annual performance review form.
Boston introduced a continuous performance management system, got buy-in from executives, worked with a team to select an online tool, and rolled it out to employees.
The process includes regular check-ins for managers and employees to review progress and goals. The platform also provides real-time feedback and helps leadership identify and retain promising staff.
Boston says this system has played an important role in developing employee “grow plans,” which allow employees to identify and develop the skills they need to mature in their current role or to prepare for new roles. The “grow plans” will be rolled out in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Boston also implemented a leadership development program to help credit union leaders maximize their potential.
“‘Simple’ is my mantra,” she says. “If you keep things simple, employees enjoy it. Since we implemented continuous performance management, we constantly get positive feedback.”
Simplifying processes has improved efficiency at Y-12 Federal, which has 350 employees and $1.9 billion in assets. Boston helped launch a central platform—known as The HUB—to streamline internal communications.
She’s also overseen the credit union’s successful shift to a remote and hybrid workforce.
“I’m constantly reading and thinking about how we can support our branches,” Boston says. “We’re building trust, building engagement, and building the skills of our employees.”
Her efforts are paying off. Employee engagement scores have increased by 23 points during her tenure, and supervisor satisfaction scores are up 22 points. Still, systemwide adoption of new programs and methods isn’t always easy.
When introducing change, Boston collaborates with others. “It’s a conversation between us. They know I have their best interests at heart, and they know I’m going to listen to them.”
Boston leads with plenty of heart. She’s the executive sponsor of the Y-12 FCU Gives Foundation, which works to end childhood hunger in eastern Tennessee.
She’s also the executive sponsor for the Funatics, a team of employee volunteers who oversee company events and initiatives.
“They’re constantly thinking of fun things we can do for our employees,” she says.