Our ten cross-organizational committees and councils are essential forums for sharing information and collaborating across disciplines, divisions, and departments. Example topics of these committees include Engagement, Compliance, Employee Events, Policy, Process, Procedure, and Professional Development. In addition, we recently established eight additional cross-functional teams dedicated to advancing our strategic aspirations. In day-to-day interactions, it is encouraged and standard practice to identify and proactively collaborate with all stakeholders in organizational initiatives and department projects. We hold ourselves accountable to that collaboration through structured forums like our monthly initiative review meeting.
UFCU employees work to advance opportunities for all through a united vision of creating a financially healthy community. UFCU leadership sees the opportunity to help our members and expand our reach and recently established a five-year strategic plan to reinforce our commitment to the future. The specific goals set by our strategic aspirations help employees envision our future and our roles within the effort. Roadshows, delivered by our CEO and senior leadership team, allow for dialogue and help individuals bring the story to life and adopt a sense of ownership, leaving employees feeling inspired and optimistic about the future.
UFCU practices ongoing employee involvement in many ways. For example, we hold organization-wide town halls quarterly to encourage bottom-up employee communication. Employees can ask questions in person, via videoconference, or submit online (anonymous option available). This event creates an environment where people feel comfortable speaking up, with the opportunity to be heard, propose ideas, give praise, and leave feeling empowered.
In addition, our cross-organizational committees and councils are essential forums for sharing information across different departments. Through these group conversations, critical information is shared with leadership.
We also solicit employee input through our annual engagement survey and regular pulse surveys.
UFCU Leaders have access to resources that help them lead meaningful employee development conversations. Discussion prompts consider an employee’s aspirations, self-assessments, strengths, and ideas for development. Furthermore, the Learning and Development team provides structure and opportunities for employees to create individual contributor/leadership learning experiences. These include in-person and virtual instructor-led classes and a robust catalog of on-demand courses. In addition, employees are encouraged to take charge of their development by participating in events such as Crowdsource-Your-Class-A-Thon, Employee Learning Week Celebration, and LEAD Circles, where employees meet to discuss a book, share opinions, raise questions, learn, and grow together.
Relationships are the cornerstone of our organizational culture. We have taken the time to establish Guiding Principles, helping crystalize UFCU’s core philosophy, culture, and specific behaviors. We keep our values top of mind by communicating and cascading “Mission Moments” regularly – stories highlighting how employees demonstrate our values. In addition, we celebrate one another, our success, and living our values through UFCU Connect, our virtual town square.
Annually, we conduct evaluations to measure how successfully we perform against our set of core value behaviors, which are implemented daily to ensure employees are successful in their roles.
Volunteerism is a crucial aspect of UFCU’s culture. Throughout the year, UFCU employee volunteers are active in the communities where we live and serve. These events bring meaning to our work and allow us to strengthen our relationships with one another. In addition, leaders are offered support and development to engage with their employees through regular 1:1 conversations; the goal is to demonstrate their care and commitment. Lastly, our “People Matter” philosophy means we care for employees holistically, supporting them, for example, with temporary gas stipends, vacation PTO cash-out programs, and low-cost internal employee loans during periods of financial pressure.
Our CEO Michael Crowl believes and lives into the credit union philosophy of People Helping People. Through his attitude and actions, he has fostered an environment at UFCU where employees can solve challenging problems, grow and develop in their careers, and help people daily. This culture, combined with empowerment to lean into new technology solutions, equips over 800 employees to meet members’ needs today and well into the future. At UFCU, Michael helps focus the team on taking care of our members and employees; by doing that, UFCU will take care of the communities we serve.
We strongly emphasize health, wellness, professional development, and financial benefits. Some of our unique offerings are:
• Thrive360 – a Mental Health Mobile App
• Sick leave is encouraged for mental health leave
• Six free nutritional counseling sessions per year
• A floating holiday for employees to take in recognition of significant events, i.e., Juneteenth, Cinco de Mayo, etc.
• Two (2) Zen Relaxation Rooms equipped with stress-reducing virtual reality headsets
• Free virtual exercise classes with a certified personal trainer
• Low-interest employee loans
• Online financial education center, access to confidential financial assessment, and coaching through a third-party vendor
University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) is Austin’s largest locally-owned financial institution. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, it serves over 360,000 members in Central Texas, Galveston County, and nationwide. With over 85 years in business, UFCU has learned to value its employees as much as its members, building long-term relationships within every team and offering an environment where people care about each other like family. In addition, employees provide for the well-being of UFCU members and the community, driven by a shared mission and core values: Member Ownership, Caring Service, and Proven Integrity.
8303 N. Mopac Expressway, Austin, Texas
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