Jim Nussle

Taking care of our talent

We need to make sure talented individuals bring their passion and creativity to work for members.

April 6, 2022

Speaking to credit union leaders is a regular part of my schedule. I’ve been doing it for my entire career at CUNA

In the nearly eight years I’ve been a part the movement, I’ve seen it evolve as longtime leaders retire, others advance, and we welcome a new generation of talent.

CUNA, leagues, and our partner organizations work every day to make sure the credit union business model maintains relevance for our current and future members. 

As a credit union, are you doing the same when it comes to retaining and attracting talent? 

We need to maintain our relevance to attract top talent in our movement. 

The credit union mission is what makes us special, and it attracts those who believe in putting people over profits and making a real difference in people’s lives.

But we can’t sit back and hope a new generation of talent stumbles across our movement, not with more competition than ever out there. 

I love to think of credit union employees in all kinds of superlatives, but they’re also humans. They have wants, fears, and goals. And credit unions should be there for employees as well as members.

This means supporting our employees through their life challenges and triumphs. Credit union employees are also members of their community and aren’t immune to the challenges we all face. 

We need to maintain our relevance to attract top talent in our movement.

When I speak to credit union leaders about Financial Well-Being for All®, I remind them that 66% of Americans are financially unhealthy, according to the Financial Health Network

A number that big means there are a lot more financially unhealthy people than you might think, and it’s not always apparent. But it’s likely many of them work at credit unions. 

That’s the good news: they work at credit unions. They’re as close as you can get to an organization that exists to better their financial lives. 

And as you focus on the member, do you afford the same opportunities to your staff? 

CommunityAmerica Credit Union in Lenexa, Kan., launched a financial well-being program as a proactive way to reach members but extended it to employees as the need became apparent. 

They even hired a financial well-being manager to help employees with whatever challenges might come up along their journey. It’s not a solution that fits every credit union, but it’s an example of credit unions investing in themselves and their own talent.

Credit unions will always be in a battle to attract the best and brightest into our movement, and I’m grateful for how many work every day on behalf of our 130 million members. 

But like success in the policy arena, the status quo isn’t good enough. We need to proactively look ahead to make sure talented individuals are bringing their passion and creativity to work for credit union members.

JIM NUSSLE is president/CEO at Credit Union National Association.