Human Resources

Staff Turnover to Rise as Economy Improves

Overall CU employee turnover rate was 10% in 2011, down from 12% in 2010.

January 15, 2013
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Employee turnover at credit unions remains low, according to CUNA’s 2012-2013 Credit Union Turnover and Staffing Survey. But it’s likely to rise as the economy improves.

The overall credit union turnover rate was 10% in 2011, down from 12% in 2010 but similar to the 2009 turnover rate of 9%.

The past few years have seen stagnant wage growth coupled with heavier workloads. Consequently, many employers are reporting lower levels of employee job satisfaction and engagement.

Expect dissatisfied, stressed workers to seek job opportunities elsewhere when hiring picks up, says Beth Soltis, CUNA's senior research analyst.

In addition, retirements could drive an increase in turnover in the near future. Many older employees put off retirement to rebuild their nest eggs.

As their finances improve, these workers will begin exiting the workforce. High turnover among experienced managers and other key positions could have an especially detrimental effect on organizational performance—possibly leading to instability or a leadership void.

While turnover rates can signal a problem, they don’t tell the whole story. For instance, high turnover indicates employees aren’t staying in jobs for very long at your credit union. But the rate itself doesn’t explain why employees left or which staff employees left.

Did they leave because they’re poor performers who couldn't handle job expectations? Or were they high performers you’ll regret losing?

Are your employees high performers who consistently meet performance and productivity goals? Or are they simply accustomed to working at the credit union and haven’t taken the initiative to look for career advancement elsewhere?

The answers to these questions should dictate your credit union's approach to recruitment and retention strategies, Soltis says.

This article originally appeared on CU E-Scan.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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