By Margery Weinstein
When Verity Credit Union wanted to ensure the development and retention of its highest performers, it implemented the Future Leaders Program. The kick-off of this program was formally announced at an all-staff meeting. Participation was limited to the top 10 percent of employees. To select these top 10 percent, employees could be nominated in one of four ways:
- Peer nomination
- Manager nomination
- Executive nomination
All nominees were rated on a scorecard that looked at past performance but was more heavily weighted toward future potential. Once in the program, employees were given a $1,000 bonus. This “surprise and delight” gesture was done to further the excitement of being selected. As for additional details about Verity’s Future Leaders Program, the program itself consists of:
- Quarterly leadership seminars.
- A project based on the book, “Blue Ocean Strategy,” in which participants analyze the organization, choose an area of focus, and implement their idea. Learners provide quarterly updates to Verity’s executive team.
- A community-focused project in which they choose a volunteer activity, create a team using Verity staff, and partner with the chosen organization to accomplish their objective. These are more long-term partnerships rather then one-day community events.
- A $400 annual fitness subsidy, with the thought being that organizations that focus on wellness do proportionally better at retaining top talent.
- A $1,000 individual training budget. The only rule is that the participant must spend this budget on developmental initiatives.
The program also strives to engage the rest of staff through career counseling and development opportunities. The goal is for these employees to be motivated at work and not to feel resentment toward the group selected for this program.
Through a scorecard, the bottom 10 percent of Verity’s employees is identified. Managers are coached on how to help move these employees out of this group or how to coach them into finding a position that is a better fit for their skill set.
Staff has rated this program with overwhelming positive feedback. The company says true success will be measured over the course of the year in retention and career advancement.
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