At UW Credit Union, the underpinning of a strong organizational culture lies in embracing its core values and using them to serve credit union members.
“Those values include acting in the members’ best interest, respecting people, valuing teamwork, delivering quality and fostering continuous learning,” said Pam Peterson, senior vice president and chief human resources officer.
“We frequently hear from employees that they can be themselves here because their personal values align directly with the organization’s values,” Peterson added. “We work hard to be really supportive and transparent in our communication, with the goal of having a very inclusive environment.”
This year’s top-ranked large organization, with about 590 Madison-area employees, has made diversity a priority during the past few years. It added a vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion to help fashion hiring practices, interact with members, provide training and development, and work with community-based giving.
UW Credit Union leaders have undergone about 40 hours of diversity training, employees have also gone through training, and UW Credit Union plans to train all employees on implicit bias, privilege, and how power and emotions play into diversity and equity.
The credit union also provides employees opportunities to interact through staff-led employee resource groups that include the Women’s Leadership Network, the Sexuality and Gender Alliance and the Black Experience.
Peterson said the credit union relies on these groups for feedback on how to improve policies and practices and on new product offerings.
UW Credit Union has a $16 hourly foundation wage for all entry-level positions, paid time off for volunteering, and paid parental caregiving leave. And from their first day of employment, full-time staff have 172 hours of paid time off.
It also offers a yearlong professional development program for emerging credit union leaders.
“We need to take care of the whole person in order for them to be engaged. We really encourage that work-life balance,” she said. “Then we believe they will be highly engaged in a commitment to be highly productive to the organization. And we definitely see that in our engagement results.”