SEATTLE -- Paying attention to employee suggestions, encouraging their feedback, and pushing real teamwork seems to be paying big dividends for the $486 million Watermark Credit Union.
Indeed, the Seattle CU has won three top workplace honors with top management subscribing to a basic "employees know best" approach.
"Today's generation of employees simply wants to be involved" in the decision making process, said Charles Cockburn, president/CEO, who is a subscriber to management principles advanced by Brit W. E. Deming as well as gain-sharing methods of the Scanlon Leadership Network.
In recent months, Watermark has won top workplace awards from three groups: the Washington State Psychological Association, Seattle Business Monthly, and Washington CEO magazine.
The psychology group said the Seattle CU received the "Psychologically Healthy Workplace" award, winning in five categories. The five are: employee involvement, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety, and employee recognition.
In receiving the honor, Charles Cockburn, president/CEO, said top management "make it our duty to really listen to what your employees are saying because in the long run they really know what works and what doesn't but you have to welcome the honest feedback."
In the last two years, Watermark said it has implemented more than 200 suggestions from employees.
"We didn't create our culture for the purpose of winning this award," said Sabrina Stabbert, vice president of operations. "But it affirms what we've been working on and dedicating ourselves to from a management perspective for the last seven years. The recognition means a lot."
Details of all three awards will be shared with members in a presentation during the CU's annual meeting March 12, said Cockburn.
Separately, Watermark in January held a grand opening ceremony for its new 44,000-square foot headquarters complex in a newly renovated Seattle building. Employees began moving into the facility last month with completion scheduled for August.