Retention Goals

Theresa Witham Photo
VP/Publications & Publisher

2 minutes

Lately I’ve been thinking about employee turnover and retention. And that’s not just because my colleague Lisa Hochgraf and I recently celebrated our 17th year at CUES.

It’s because too much turnover negatively affects staff morale, productivity and company revenue. Plus there’s the expense of replacing employees who leave. According to research from the Center for American Progress, companies can expect to pay replacement costs of 16 percent of annual salary for a high-turnover, low-paying job (under $30,000 per year), 20 percent for mid-range positions and up to 213 percent of annual salary for highly educated executive positions.

Of course, a certain amount of turnover is inevitable and may even be beneficial. “Turnover can represent a real opportunity for organizations to bring in fresh ideas and energy, avoid stagnation and weed out employees who aren’t performing up to expectations,” writes Pamela Mills-Senn in “Avoiding Employee Breakups.

Our Outstanding Chief Executive David Brock, CCE, CIE, is a 40-year credit union veteran who has been president/CEO of Community Credit Union of Florida, Rockledge, Fla., since 1992. “The financial cooperative has always been a fascinating model to me,” he says. “I grew up as a preacher’s kid, so I really like the dimension of helping other people .... You can practice the art of business to the highest level, but at the end of the day, you invest your entire heart in this business so that you can help people improve the quality of their lives.” 

Why have I stayed at CUES for 17 years? Flexibility has been important: I’ve worked from my home office in Baltimore since moving here from Madison, Wis., in 2004. And, like Brock, I am a fan of cooperatives and CUs. I find great value in our work supporting the development of credit union leaders. And I certainly haven’t been bored. Over the years, I’ve been encouraged by CUES leaders to try new things and take on stretch assignments.

Now I’m taking on my biggest professional challenge yet as I become managing editor/publisher of CU Management. Serving in this role will be a privilege and a pleasure. Please don’t be shy with your feedback and suggestions. For starters, tell me: What makes you stay in this industry and at your credit union? Email me at

Theresa Witham
Managing Editor/Publisher

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