Development, engagement key to retention

Development, engagement key to retention

Give employees a reason to want to continue working for the credit union.

April 20, 2021

Often the talent an organization seeks can be found in an employee who is already working for the organization. The key is to create a strategy that develops, engages, and retains those employees, says Nolan Godfrey, executive consultant and coach with Stewart Leadership.

“We can’t hold on to everyone forever,” says Godfrey, who spoke at the 2021 CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Virtual Conference Tuesday. “If we have talent that we want to hold on to, focus on maximizing their employee experience while they’re with us. Do everything you can to engage them and allow them to thrive.”

To improve employee retention, Godfrey provided four steps credit unions can take:

  1. Identify targeted talent segments to focus retention. Employees at companies with higher rates of internal mobility stay twice as long and are more engaged, Godfrey says. Create professional development plans and find opportunities for high-performing employees to grow in their careers. Ninety-four percent of employees say they would stay with a company longer if the company invests in their learning and development.
  2. Match key talents with exceptional bosses. A bad boss—one who micromanages, is overly critical, disorganized, and impatient—is a key driver of turnover, while a great boss can allow organizations to retain employees.
  3. Focus on “job embeddedness” for reluctant stayers. This focuses on employees who may want to pursue a job at a different organization but are unable to. Think of “job embeddedness” as the switching costs for the employee. It consists of three components:
    • Fit, or how an individual’s work relates to their values and goals.
    • Links, or how the individual is connected to people and activities in the organization.
    • Sacrifice, or the level of disruption an individual will experience if they quit their job. “Make sure you’re embedding the employees you want to keep,” Godfrey says.
  4. Map out employee experiences that contribute to retention or turnover. Use a journey map to assess the employee experience and identify focus areas to increase retention, Godfrey says. Do this with individuals or groups to gain insights, identify patterns, and pinpoint priorities.

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