With the recruitment and retention of top talent continuing to be a priority, credit union human resources departments have stepped up their training efforts.

According to a recent Society for Human Resources Management trends report, "Workplace Visions," there has been a growing realization that it is critical for a smaller, leaner workforce to maintain and improve skills. In addition, the top actions for HR professionals were increasing expectations of employee productivity and linking employee performance and its impact on the organization's business goal. According to the report, higher productivity and improved employee performance will rely on employees having the right skills. Historical data from the SHRM employee job satisfaction survey report over the past few years show that employee job satisfaction has begun to depend more on issues like job security and the opportunity to use skills and abilities. At Salt Lake City-based Mountain America Credit Union buy in from the board and senior management has been a boon for the educational services department.

According to Suzanne Oliver, senior vice president of educational services, constant communication with a learning council of representatives across all departments has made a difference in how HR and training are perceived. The council meets quarterly with HR over lunch to discuss new projects and initiatives. Oliver said that it's been a great way to not only showcase and pilot training initiatives and get feedback across departments, but the council also serves as a test group.

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