For credit unions, the real answer is 'yes'—and 'no.'
When first asked if technology training differs much from the other types of training credit unions tend to do, Dixie Abramian, CME, CSE, responds, “not necessarily. There is always a learning curve when it comes to anything new that is introduced.”
That said, there’s little question that taking your employees through something so massive as a core conversion is a more complex affair than most other tech training endeavors. “It can take a while longer to get everybody up to speed on and comfortable with a new system,” says the CUES member, president/CEO of $1.3 billion, 45,000-member Firefighters First Credit Union, Los Angeles. “It can take them longer to get bought-in to it, too.”
Shareta Caldwell agrees—and suggests the increased intensity associated with training related to a core conversion shouldn’t be too surprising. “It’s different from any other conversion you do,” says Caldwell, VP/HR for $75 million, 5,600-member VA Desert Pacific Federal Credit Union (vadpfcu.org), Signal Hill, California. “This is everything. This is how your credit union runs.”
With almost any other technology purchase or investment, “you can get away from it easily,” she adds. “The contracts usually are short. And at the end of those contracts, you can walk away without [losing] much money if you’re not happy.”
That’s not the case with core conversions. “It’s going to take a lot of money to get out of that contract if you don’t like what you bought,” Caldwell says. “So you really want to make sure your staff is not only trained on it, but using all of its power and using it to its fullest potential.”
Bryan Ochalla is a former editor of CU Management who writes from Austin, Texas.