From John: Take Extra Steps to Retain Top Talent

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John Pembroke Photo

3 minutes

When you create an outstanding compensation program, both your organization and its members will benefit.

In our industry, we talk a lot about “table stakes”—things that credit unions have to do just to be in the game.

For example, many credit unions offer a mobile banking app. Although they may never get an award for having the very best one out there, they know having a pretty good one is table stakes for members doing business with them. On top of this, many credit unions take extra steps—such as providing exceptional service and getting deeply involved with their communities—to ensure they’re off and running toward building a solid brand.

How credit unions can effectively recruit, retain and reward top talent runs parallel to this payments example. While credit unions can’t offer their executives the lucrative stock options or the premium salaries that big banks do, CUs can and must get the table stakes of compensation right—and then take some key extra steps to create a culture that demonstrates that top talent is valued highly.

Getting the table stakes of compensation right includes confidentially sharing your CU’s current compensation data in the CUES Executive Compensation Survey and the CUES Employee Salary Survey. Both are open for participation through March 31.  

These compensation surveys report key data credit unions need to help them offer competitive compensation that will attract and retain qualified professionals. The executive survey features questions related to wage, bonus and benefits information for 21 leadership roles; the employee survey focuses on pay range and actual wages currently paid for a wide range of staff positions.

“Credit unions that participate help by giving the industry valid data to rely on,” says Laura Lynch, products & services manager at CUES. “And, credit unions that access the results will have credible data to use to make sure their compensation packages are competitive—which is especially important right now, given today’s tight job market.”

Because getting compensation right is so important, CUES sweetens the pot and gives a 20% discount to credit unions purchasing the survey results if they contributed data during the participation period—and CUES Unlimited+ members get access to compensation reports at no cost. Plus, CUES makes it easy for credit unions that have previously participated to update their information.

I encourage you to participate now and later get the data from our executive and employee surveys. Then take some extra steps to ensure your compensation offerings in 2020 and beyond help you build the best possible team in your shop.

For example, credit unions that want to go the distance in this area can put in place a supplemental executive retirement plan. These plans, including those offered by CUESolutions platinum provider CUNA Mutual Group, are designed to help recruit, retain and reward CEOs and other key executives. Another option is to be proactive in managing the costs of offering outstanding benefits to all staff, such as by establishing a pre-funding program.

In all, when your credit union takes care of the table stakes and then the extra steps that will create an outstanding compensation program, both your organization and its members will benefit.

Since joining CUES in March 2013, John Pembroke has played a leadership role in developing and launching a new direction in CUES’ strategy, branding and culture. Under his guidance, CUES has revamped its membership structure, launched new institutes and introduced Elite Access™ Virtual Classroom, an innovative blending learning offering. Additionally, CUES has expanded its market further into Canada and the Caribbean. Pembroke’s experience includes 25 years in financial services, marketing and e-commerce. He also has served as chief marketing officer at PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, Fla. Pembroke holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Marketing and Policy Studies from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago. Pembroke also serves on the board of directors of the Goodman Community Center, Madison, Wisconsin, whose mission is to strengthen lives and secure futures. 

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