Talent Retention

Transforming Turnover

Texans Credit Union decreased attrition rates through compensation, culture, and employee engagement.

By Jenni Short

A main endeavor as chief people officer at Texans Credit Union was reducing the company’s turnover rate. In 2019, the organization faced the challenge of a 63% attrition rate within member-facing roles. To combat this issue, multiple facets of the employee experience were addressed, from compensation to culture, to foster a workplace environment that retained and nurtured valued team members.

The company initially focused on ensuring that compensation packages were competitive in the job market. Offering an attractive starting wage served as a powerful magnet for new talent while adjusting compensation for existing employees helped reflect the value of their hard work. This change not only attracted prospective employees but also provided a sense of commitment and recognition to those already contributing to the organization’s success. This shift was important for all of the roles within the organization but most significantly impacted the retention rates in member-facing, entry-level roles.

However, the most transformative efforts to reduce turnover rates revolved around redefining the organizational culture and elevating employee engagement. The goal was to create a culture of empowering people and forming meaningful connections between team members. While the work that the organization does as a financial institution is serious, the culture must reflect the heart of the team. The creation of a “Fun Committee” allowed employees to take the lead in suggesting and implementing enjoyable and engaging activities, initiatives, and events. This approach harnessed the collective creativity and input of the workforce, fostering a sense of ownership and empowerment among team members. Events such as spontaneous Nerf gun fights, cultural potlucks, and even transforming one of the floors of the corporate office into an escape room are examples of how Texans’ staff members put their stamp on the culture.

The cost of replacing an employee ranges from one half to two times that employee’s annual salary, according to Gallup.

The commitment to enhancing the overall experience extended throughout the entire employee lifecycle, from application to onboarding and training. A crucial aspect of retaining employees lies in ensuring that they feel adequately equipped, supported, and valued from the very beginning of their journey with the organization. A significant restructuring of onboarding and training processes was undertaken. The goal was to create small but powerful enhancements to the onboarding process to elevate the employee experience even before a new hire walks into the office for their first day. For example, after accepting a job offer, each new member of Texans is sent a personalized video from their new manager and team welcoming them to the organization.

One of the most powerful and successful initiatives was the development of a comprehensive new hire orientation program named “I’m a Texan.” This program plays a critical role in fostering a sense of belonging, community, and connection among employees from the moment they join the organization. “I’m a Texan” is about more than just imparting basic knowledge and technical job skills but about instilling a strong sense of identity and pride in employees. This helps them feel like they are not just part of a team but also part of a family. The moment a new staff member receives their name badge has become an elevated moment in onboarding, as it reflects the connections in the work community.

The outcome of these efforts was a significant reduction in the turnover rate, which dropped from 63% to an impressive 25% in our member-facing roles. This substantial decrease had far-reaching impacts on the organization, contributing to its overall success and sustainability.

The improved retention of employees resulted in a notable boost in morale throughout the organization.

Offering an attractive starting wage served as a powerful magnet for new talent while adjusting compensation for existing employees helped reflect the value of their hard work.

When employees feel supported in their roles and have a sense of belonging and enjoyment at work, their engagement soars, leading to increased job satisfaction and productivity. This positive transformation also had a direct and substantial impact on recruitment processes, reducing resource allocation while attracting higher-caliber candidates due to an improved reputation as an employer of choice.

The overall increase in productivity and satisfaction among the workforce was palpable. Employees felt more engaged, empowered and satisfied with their roles, leading to increased motivation and dedication to the organization. Employees trusted that leadership was listening and responsive and they were eager to contribute their ideas and expertise. This, in turn, resulted in increased productivity and efficiency, contributing to the organization’s overall success as a financial institution.

The journey to reduce turnover rates and enhance the employee experience was a multifaceted effort with lasting and transformative effects on the organization. The commitment to providing competitive compensation, fostering an enjoyable workplace culture, and investing in comprehensive onboarding and training processes paid off in terms of reduced turnover, improved employee engagement, recruitment success, and increased productivity.

While positive results were achieved, the journey remains ongoing. The commitment to continually evolving the approach persists, to make Texans Credit Union an employer of choice and an organization deeply committed to the well-being and growth of its valued employees.

Jenni Short is chief people officer at Texans Credit Union.

Tags: December 2023

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