Tying Compensation to Top Credit Union Concerns

Theresa Witham editor of CU Management magazine
Theresa Witham Photo
Managing Editor/Publisher

2 minutes

From the editor

According to our recent reader survey, CUES members are most concerned with growth, cybersecurity, talent issues related to hiring and staffing, and technology innovation.

Notably, the 2019 CUES Executive Compensation Survey found that people in the job roles that oversee each of these top concerns had some of the largest salary increases among credit union leaders last year. For example, the average base salary plus bonus compensation for a human resources executive increased to $173,100 from $162,000, a 6.9% increase.

We titled our cover story “Proceeding With Caution” because the salary increase rate for most positions was lower than last year. CEO total compensation increased 7% this year compared to 7.5% in 2018. And last year, we saw several executive positions with salary increases over 8%. In contrast, the 2019 average rate of increase across all CU executive positions was 5.7%. Still, compared to a national average of 3.1% for salary increases, credit union industry compensation trends are very positive.

Want to know what the average salary increase rate for your position was in 2019? Read our cover story Compensation Update: Proceeding With Caution.

Low unemployment rates may be keeping salary increases high, but in the long term, seven-plus percent increases aren’t sustainable. Credit unions would do well to consider alternative ways to motivate and retain top performers.

Mentoring is one way to show your high-potential employees that you care about their development. Turn to p. 32 for an infographic about whether mentorship is right for you. This quick look is an excerpt from the CUES Guide to Effective Mentorship, a benefit of membership. 

Indeed, CUES membership—especially at the Unlimited or Unlimited+ levels—is another way to demonstrate to your high performers that you are invested in them. With a group membership, every credit union employee can participate in CUESNet™, CUES Learning Portal, Elite Access™ virtual courses and CUES Council events, plus read CU Management magazine. If you struggle to hire and retain good employees, look to CUES membership to provide resources for your talent development program. 

For readers who cited technology innovation as a top concern, we also have an excellent article this month about how credit unions’ famous service can be enhanced further with artificial intelligence. Read more in “Serving Digital Donuts.” cues icon

Theresa Witham
Managing Editor/Publisher

P.S. Now is a good time to start planning your professional development for 2020. Be sure to visit for a helpful resource to use as you work on your budgets for next year. 

YOUR THOUGHTS: How does your credit union retain and reward top performers?  
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