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The Way Work Ought to Be | EXAMPLES FROM LIFE / Janet

To the Benefit of Everyone

September 15, 1997

Janet Owens, 41


I'm the benefits administrator for North Island Federal Credit Union in Chula Vista, and I'm a true believer in my company's commitment to employee satisfaction. I believe, because I've seen the uplift in employee performance, and our benefits programs have been a crucial factor in that. Our turnover rate before we beefed up our benefits was 30%. Now it's down to 9%. And our employees are staying with us an average of six years.

Here's a quick survey of our benefits: complete medical insurance for full- and part-time employees; a benefits fair where employees can meet health-care providers and participate in a number of wellness activities; a sick leave policy that allows employees to stay home with a sick relative; child-care subsidies; no-fee NIFCU checking accounts and reduced loan rates. We even provide an earthquake preparedness kit for each workstation.

The unusual scope of our benefits recently earned NIFCU two awards for outstanding benefits programs from the San Diego Work-Family Coalition. They also earned us a fantastic rating on our last annual employee survey--97% of our employees indicated that our benefit programs are fulfilling their needs. This has had a direct effect on our members. Our members appreciate finding someone behind the counter who has been with the company long enough to greet them by name--it makes them feel more secure. They also appreciate our relaxed family atmosphere.

What this demonstrates is that if you make your employees happy and satisfied, they will make your customers happy and satisfied, and thus, in turn--this is a full-cycle deal--the company is happy and satisfied. It certainly works for me. I didn't plan on staying with the credit union when I was first hired 19 years ago. Now I don't plan on leaving.

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