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Employee Motivation: One Nevada

By: One Nevada Credit Union / 06 Nov 2018
Employee Motivation: One Nevada

A Nevada credit union works hard to keep employees happy, which in turn helps keep its membership happy

When your institution is both an employee and customer favorite, it can be tough to sustain that position, especially in the financial services industry. One Nevada Credit Union ($900 million, Reno, Nevada), however, has found the secret to remaining on top.

According to Michael Traficanti, SVP/Human Resources, it all starts with happy employees. When employees are happy, they work hard to keep members happy. He says that for this to happen, employees must feel supported, and they should also be recognized for going above and beyond.

"Twice per year, or more, all branches and corporate departments receive a visit from our president and members of the senior management team, referred to as ‘Donut Patrols,'" says Traficanti. "A donut patrol is similar to a town hall meeting. Credit union employees are provided with donuts in a casual setting and are encouraged to ask whatever is on their minds. Any and all topics employees want to discuss are covered in these gatherings."

A variety of team meetings keep communication flowing, and changes are made to achieve objectives. For example, Traficanti says that in the past, the credit union had an online chat room for employees, but found that staff preferred to meet in person.

He says the credit union takes a number of culture and workplace surveys throughout the year. "We conduct one large-scale employee opinion survey on an annual basis in order to determine the overall climate of our workplace. The survey is handled through an outside company and it is completely anonymous and confidential. We focus on four key areas of employee satisfaction, including Commitment, Culture, Communications, and Compensation."

Detailed questions are also asked in each area, such as employee compensation.

"Providing competitive compensation is important to us and sometimes employees don't realize how their overall compensation compares to other places. We want to make sure employees understand that we are very competitive and unique because in addition to their base pay, every employee also participates in an incentive plan that is based on how well we achieve goals. We offer very strong, comprehensive benefits too, which serves as a good recruiting and retention tool for our credit union."

Recognition programs also play a big roll in employee motivation and happiness. For example, One Nevada holds an off-site costume-themed recognition program every year called TOPS, which stands for Teamwork, Opportunity, Progress, and Service.

"We close down the credit union for a half-day party that's full of fun, recognition, and the presentation of awards. This is an awesome way to get everyone involved and working together."

TOPS themes throughout the years have included rock and roll, pirate, Western, the 50's, and "Night at the Oscars."

The credit union also recognizes employees for their longevity and service. For example, One Nevada's president personally visits each employee and presents them with a special gift from the credit union in front of their co-workers when they reach a milestone anniversary. "Every six months, celebrations are held for corporate employees through our Commitment to Service program and branch employees are recognized at our six-month sales and service celebration."

Source: Michael Traficanti, SVP/Human Resources, One Nevada Credit Union, Reno, NV; phone (702)641-4363; e-mail

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