FISHERS, IND. -- Giving younger people ownership of projects and opportunities to develop are key to retaining them as employees, according to a panel of experts speaking at the CU Water Cooler Symposium on Thursday.
Ben Rogers, research director at the Filene Research Institute, said a pleasant work environment and a supervisor who provides mentorship are more important than pay to young workers.
Gene Blishen, general manager of Mount Lehman Credit Union, said too many credit unions relegate their young employees to member service representative positions that deprive them of feeling they are doing meaningful work.
Lauren Mayhew, marketing director at Daviess County Teachers Federal Credit Union, found herself in that situation when a prolonged period of unemployment after college forced her to take a teller position at a credit union. She was ready to quit only a few months into the job until she got inspired after coming across CUNA's comic book illustrating the history of credit unions.
When the marketing director position opened up at the CU, it was like the answer to her prayers. Since her promotion, Mayhew said, her credit union has given her the opportunity to receive development education training and attend CUNA's governmental affairs conference.
Enthusiasm like Mayhew's is what James Robert Lay, founder of marketing consulting company PTP New Media, looked for when hiring young employees. "I needed people who could think for themselves and who had passion," he said, adding that their passion didn't necessarily have to be about credit unions initially.
During the audience participation portion of the session, Carlene Frimer, corporate trainer at United Communities Credit Union, continued the passion theme by saying she aims to get new employees hooked on the credit union system by talking about the World Council of Credit Unions and the Filene Research Institute during orientation.
Watch a livestream of the conference at CUTimes.com/watercooler.