The credit union that pays employees to go away

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Finding a healthy work and life balance is a paramount concern at Idaho State University Credit Union. Senior leadership offers a one-month paid sabbatical to employees every seven years. The goal is to find renewal in their respective commitment to ISU CU’s membership.

“We ask them to use this time to pursue other interests that may not be feasible with their busy work schedule and occasional vacations,” said CEO Robert Taylor.

ISU CU ranked No. 13 overall in the Best Credit Unions to Work For 2017 and was No. 4 in its asset category (CUs with assets under $200 million).

Since seven years is a long time, the credit union also provides free “life skills” courses geared to topics not related to their work. Past 12-week courses included bicycle maintenance and health and physical fitness.

“One of the more interesting classes was a negotiation skills course that helped employees save thousands of dollars on home, auto and appliance purchases,” said Taylor. “However, the unintended consequence was that they were better negotiators when it came time for promotions and raises with the credit union!”

To ensure that any employee working for ISU Credit Union is making a livable wage, in January 2016 ISU CU increased its minimum wage from $10 to $13 per hour.

“After the announcement of the minimum wage increase at an all staff meeting, I was nearly brought to tears when one of my tellers, who is a single mother, told me she would no longer have to sell plasma every two weeks to make ends meet,” said Taylor. “This employee has since taken on increased responsibility at a significant wage increase at the credit union.”

Founded in 1952 in Pocatello, Idaho,, ISU Credit Union supports 83 employees seven branches and more than 23,000 members with $180 million in assets.

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