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Being an Employer of Choice

Pamela Heald headshot
Posted in President's Corner

August 2021

In my 29 years with the credit union, we’ve continuously been hiring, and that’s been the case for a number of reasons.  We’re always growing, creating new opportunities, and promoting our staff from within the organization, all of which generate openings.  There’s a healthy element to always seeking additional employees—a certain vibrancy with this ebb and flow that excites us.

One might expect that the effects of the recent pandemic would be reflected in our staffing, as they are in so many other organizations.  According to Forbes, business and finance professionals have coined the term “turnover tsunami” to describe the exponential increase in turnover at so many businesses as a result of a variety of factors related to the pandemic.

I am incredibly pleased that we’re not in the same boat as those businesses that are experiencing that turnover tsunami.  In fact, while so many other businesses are reducing their hours and cutting back because they can’t find the talent they need to maintain their service levels, I am happy to report that our current openings are at a fairly normal level.

I attribute that in large part to our culture and how we work together.  When individuals are looking for jobs, a huge factor they consider is “what is the culture going to be like?”  At Reliant, we not only follow the credit union philosophy of “people helping people,” but we also have our own internal culture of Accountability, Respect, and Teamwork, which we refer to as “ART.”

Our ART culture and our team are what helped us navigate through COVID.  Having a culture in place where the values and expectations are clearly defined and regularly discussed made it easy for us to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic.  It meant that our service to you, whether that was in-person, over the phone, or via one of our digital channels, met the same high-quality service standards we’ve always had.

To ensure continued support for our culture, we make a point to enthusiastically explain expectations from the outset.  Every member of the Reliant team and every dedicated volunteer has gone through what we call an “ART orientation.” During this orientation, current employees meet with new team members to explain our ART culture and service philosophy, and open it up for questions and encourage dialogue to help with understanding.

I spoke with Jeffrey Chien, our new IT Manager who joined us in June of 2021, and he shared that the onboarding process at Reliant really showed him what the credit union was like.  Jeff said, “I’ve never sat down at a new job where they’ve said, ‘This is who we are and this is what we do.’ You know from that first day what’s expected, which is great.”

Having the right people in the right seats is another important part of maintaining our culture.  We are intentional about hiring new team members who truly want to help people—and those who maintain that desire and that positive attitude are those who are successful working here.

Christina Kariuk, who joined our Sodus branch team in November of 2020, shared with me that our culture attracted her to the credit union.  She told me she actively sought out a job at Reliant after having a positive financial experience here.  She’s worked in banking elsewhere, and said, “This is the first place I have worked where I feel appreciated on a daily basis and am constantly being encouraged to be my best self at work and in life.”  She also said that it’s “a great feeling waking up every morning excited to go to work because you love your job, your co-workers, and the culture that surrounds you when you get here.”

I hope you, too, feel our culture every time you visit or interact with us.  We strive to be an employer of choice—a workplace where our team members love what they do—because we believe that, when our team is satisfied, it benefits their service to you, our valued members. After all, YOU are why we’re here.


As always, thank you for your continued loyalty and membership!

Pamela Heald
President & CEO

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