The Filene Research Institute held a colloquium at Loyola University in Chicago to examine the roles that compensation, human resource management and organizational development play in credit unions exceeding members' expectations.
A newly released report, "Building a Culture of Credit Union Excellence," features presentations by human resources theorists, including Paul Davis, president of the Scanlon Leadership Network and the first to describe the Scanlon Plan. The Scanlon Plan aims to "cut the worker in on the adventure, the decisions and the profits of increased production, and help management tap the ingenuity of employees as a means of improving production."
Dow Scott, professor of human resources at Loyola and president of Performance Development International Inc., makes the case that, based on Scanlon's methodology, an organization must meet the needs of three primary stakeholder groups. Scott also describes the relationship between a culture of excellence and a culture of innovation.
The report goes on to detail a case study from Watermark Credit Union in Seattle,
which has initiated the Scanlon process and is building on W. Edwards Deming's principles to drive growth and profitability.
Watermark CEO Chuck Cockburn describes changes the credit union made by eliminating standard incentives like employee-of-the-month awards and individual sales incentives.
Cockburn described his "gain-sharing" formula, which uses a ratio of operating expense to gross income to measure increases in productivity. Baselines are developed over three-year periods,
pools of money are created and percentages are attached for payouts.
Finally, the report describes the experience of Landscape Forms Inc., a Scanlon Plan user for many years. Landscape Forms describes its "Scanlonization" as being part of the natural fabric of the company. The company has made many modifications to the original Scanlon concept to meet its particular needs.
"Among the management fads of the past century, the Scanlon Plan is the one truly big idea that stands out," said Denise Gabel, Filene chief research officer. "Employee participation, management-labor cooperation, collaborative problem-solving, teamwork and trust are all part of the elusive formula to overall organizational success. This colloquium brings together the theoretical masters and practical experience needed to put a transforming idea into play."
Copies of the report are available free to institute members; $125 to nonmembers. For more information call 608-231-8550.