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BREMERTON, Wash. – Having to deal with staff members whose spouses or family members have been shipped overseas in the war against Iraq is prompting Kitsap Community Federal Credit Union to re-examine how it deals with its employees. “We’re putting together information for our managers on how to manage employees [impacted by the war],” said Kellie Bishop, vice president of human resources at the Bremerton-based credit union. “It’s something you don’t get in a management training class. “We’re assisting managers in a new form of management at this time,” she said. “We want to be sensitive to those who have spouses or children over there.” Bishop said the credit union took a proactive approach early on to find out such things as which staff members had spouses of family members in the military, who lived on military bases and who might have day-care issues on base. “We didn’t want it to become an issue for them,” she said. “We wanted to take away some of the anxiety.” Bishop said the credit union was also applying lessons learned from the 1991 Gulf war and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “Most of it is acknowledging people,” she said. “Everybody in general is impacted. Acknowledging it and putting more of a human element on it than a business twist really made a difference. People appreciated that their employer really cared beyond who showed up for work.” Kitsap Community FCU, with more than $500 million in assets and 67,000 members, primarily serves Navy personnel at three bases in Washington. It has branches at each of those bases and closely monitors the state of alert at each base daily to determine staffing levels. One employee at the credit union who is a reservist has been called to active duty in the Army but has not been deployed overseas, Bishop reported. His job is being held open for him and his desk has remained untouched. “We’re just piling stuff right on it,” she said. She said the credit union was dealing with its employee situation as best it could. “It’s just not something you get in your `how to manage people’ book,” she said. [email protected]

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