Scenes from the CUNA HR/TD Council Conference

CU movement's premier HR conference kicks off in Hollywood, Calif.

April 30, 2015


Bob Davis welcomed first-time attendees to this year's CUNA Human Resources/Training & Development (HR/TD) Council Conference Wednesday in Hollywood, Calif. As you get to know each other, Davis said, consider ways to engage with the council. Davis is senior vice president of HR for VyStar CU, Jacksonville, Fla., and chairman of the CUNA HR/TD Council.


From left: Sherry Thomas Palmer, senior national manager for Alliant CU, greets fellow first-time attendee Amber Winans, HR specialist for Wexford Community FCU.


You want new employees to be excited about joining your credit union, Carolyn White, training manager for Sesloc FCU in San Luis Obispo, Calif., said Wednesday. So think about what makes your credit union special.

“Tell new hires stories about the movement,” she said, “and specifically about your credit union.”


Planning is crucial when recruiting and onboarding new employees, management consultant Beverly Purtell said during a preconference workshop Wednesday.

That’s because the average cost of employee turnover and hiring mistakes is $164,736. This amount includes both direct costs (advertising, signing bonuses) and indirect costs (loss of employee knowledge).


In 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission set records for the number of claims it litigated and the millions of dollars it recovered from private employers, noted attorney Aaron Zandy, managing partner with FordHarrison.

Zandy said he expects claims to keep rising, and urged conference attendees to ensure their organizations’ policies and processes are sound.


Sponsors such as Hubbub Health offer CUNA HR/TD Council Conference attendees a look at new products and services for the industry. Brian Berchtold, vice president, sales & marketing, demonstrates the company's latest health and wellness technology.


Stop praising people for hard work, Crystal Jonas, president, Tap Your Genius Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo., told a breakout session audience. That's not the goal. Why? Because regardless of the results, then employees will focus on the effort. You create engagement with your employees when you connect their effort to results—and let them know why their work matters. 


Alabama CU, based in Tuscaloosa, won the CUNA HR/TD Council's Best of Show award for its "Letting Go, Holding On: Empowering Employees Through High-Performing Teams" program.
From left: Bob Davis, CUNA HR/TD Council chairman, presents the award to Brandi McKinney, HR director for Alabama CU, during ceremonies at the council's conference in Hollywood, Calif. 


Just 15% of employees are perfectly content in their jobs, says Jennifer McClure, president, Unbridled Talent LLC, West Chester, Ohio. That means the rest are looking for other opportunities, either actively or casually. To increase engagement and retain key employees, ask them what's one thing they’d like to do. And yes, sometimes that means you have to "show them the money," McClure points out, so be sure you're paying employees appropriately for your market. 

Diana Dykstra 1

Consider how Gen Y views the world when you form your staff recruitment and retention strategies, urges Diana Dykstra, president/CEO of the California/Nevada Leagues. "They value experience, they're very mobile, and they care less about 'things,'" Dykstra says.

Gigi Hyland HR/TD

Workplace financial education is a critical concern: 44% of your members live paycheck to paycheck.

"The HR and training areas are important entry points to employees’ financial education and well-being," Gigi Hyland, National Credit Union Foundation executive director, told attendees of the CUNA HR/TD Council Conference Friday. 

Find ways to improve employees financial health and wellness, and incorporate these strategies into training and onboarding new employees, too, she says.

Chris Fisher HRTD

Emerging HR technologies are changing the HR landscape for the better, according to Chris Fisher, Vice President of sales for CU People Inc., a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.

In fact, HR is evolving from personnel management to strategic talent management. This shift involves performance management systems, new learning systems, a mobile platform, video and social tools, wearables, and big data analytics.

Rich Jones HRTD

Corporate culture describes and governs the way a company's employees think, feels, and act, says Rich Jones, president/principal, Leading2Leadership LLC.

To enforce your culture, create a brand guide that features your internal brand identity, your business model and value proposition, your credit union's history, your brand's promise and personality, specific service examples, and each member's commitment to the brand.