HR & Training: Trend Toward Measuring ROI With Employees, Training

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Human resources professionals are focused this year on numerous issues, but primarily the cost of personnel and benefits, and rapidly changing compliance issues.

That's where CUNA's Human Resources/Training and Development (HR/TD) is placing its focus in 2006 as it seeks to also help HR professionals effectively position themselves as strategic players within their credit unions.

"In the HR/TD world, things are changing so quickly. We wear numerous hats. In addition to the challenges we face to be competitive employers in terms benefits, we've got to stay abreast of changing compliance issues," said HR/TD Council Chairwoman Tammy Trudelle.

Compliance is practically a full-time job by itself, not just because of the constant changes, but because of the mandatory training requirements credit unions must meet to be in compliance with federal regulations. There was a time when Bank Secrecy Act training was the only mandate for all staff. In recent years, new regulations have added privacy, information security and the Patriot Act to the mandatory training list. For credit unions to be in compliance, all of their employees must complete these training requirements every year, noted Trudelle, who is VP-Human Resources with Fort Worth Community Credit Union in Texas.

That puts more pressure on human resources and training departments to not only stay on top of the changes, but to ensure that staff is getting the appropriate training. Many credit unions are turning to technology to help get the job done.

Using Webinars

Webinars have opened the door and allowed many organizations to expand their development opportunities. More and more, they are realizing that it really is a cost efficient method, because they do not have to deal with time out of the office or travel expenses," said Trudelle. "ROI is harder to measure when you are talking about training and development, but I think credit unions are beginning to realize the value of the investment in training their employees beyond the compliance requirements."

Employee development has become an important component for keeping credit unions competitive as employers and reducing employee turnover. Many credit unions have seen the value of promoting from within and have changed their perspective on hiring. Instead of seeing a position like teller as entry level, many credit unions are treating them as development opportunities, hiring tellers who are in college and promoting them to higher positions when they earn their degrees.

"Credit unions don't just want to keep up with the competition of other employers. We want to exceed the offerings of others in our markets. There's value in non-cash compensation," Trudelle said.

That's good news for credit unions that need some way to take the focus away from rising healthcare costs. One of the benefits of the HR/TD Council is a networking platform that allows credit unions to benchmark with each other on any topic. The council also provides education not just for human resources and training professionals, but for CEOs and directors, as well, to help them understand the value of treating the HR and training function as a strategic partner within their organizations.

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