When leaders at Chartway Federal Credit Union questioned employees about their work experience, they took the answers to heart. The result was a change in the company's framework that benefits both the staff and customers.
The credit union has come a long way since its humble beginning half a century ago. In 1959, seven co-workers at the Norfolk Naval Air Station invested $5 each and incorporated the NorVA N.A.S. credit union. By 1965, the company had amassed $1 million in assets. It changed its name twice before settling on Chartway in 1996.
"It reflected the members who brought us where we are today and reflected a dynamic new course for all of us," then-CEO Ronald Burniske said.
Today, Chartway has 180,000 members and assets exceeding $2 billion. Headquartered in Virginia Beach, the company has 24 branches on the East Coast as well as sites in Texas and Utah. Brian Schools became president and CEO last year. The company-wide questionnaire changed morale and made them a stronger team, he said.
"It was a great way to unlock ideas. Every change was generated by employees," Schools said.
The Gallop Q-12 Employment Engagement Survey is a series of questions that measure job satisfaction in the areas of basic work needs, management support, teamwork and job growth. Chartway used the results to transform its workplace.
"We now have three themes: work happy, one family and members first," Schools said.
The work-happy segment promotes connection and engagement between the branches. Chartway’s company-wide Jetstream newsfeed allows the sharing of social and work-related news and pictures. With their song of the day, any employee may share a favorite song via the company's Spotify account with a story of the song’s significance.
"It's a great way to start the day," Schools said.
The We Serve Reserve was created with the Chartway family in mind. The internal employee outreach program is funded by special events –such as the Party in the Parking Lot – and helps employees in need. An automatic payroll deduction option also supports the program.
"We really are like family," said Rene Bolling, chief human resources officer. She cites employee wellness efforts as another job perk. Chartway offers sit-stand desks and Virginia Beach staff can walk or jog on an indoor track. Acknowledging the health benefits of pets, the company reimburses $250 toward the cost of pet adoption.
Staff that is thriving personally and professionally can't help but serve the community. The We Promise Foundation is Chartway's charitable division and raises funds for children with life-threatening illness. This year marks the foundation’s 11th annual Diamonds in the Sky Gala and its 18th Charity Golf Classic. Employees also participate in the Polar Plunge, Clean the Bay Days and 5K races.
Banking in a downturn can be a challenge, Schools admits, though he adds the economy is improving. Chartway's new internal initiatives paired with its tried-and-true methods allow staff to provide financial solutions quickly.
"We’re here for our members whether the economy is up or down."
– Pamela Nichols
About Chartway Federal Credit Union
Chartway Federal Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial institution, has been proudly serving members for more than half a century. Guided by its vision, mission, and values, the $2 billion credit union is dedicated to making life more affordable for its 180,000 members through nearly 50 branches and a full slate of online, mobile, and telephone banking services, including mobile deposit, mobile bill pay, and digital wallets. Chartway is one of the largest credit unions in the country and serves members in every state and several countries. With major membership concentrations in Virginia, Utah, and Texas, the credit union is consistently recognized for its financial strength, its high ratings in member satisfaction, its contributions to its communities, and for being an award-winning leader in charitable giving through its We Promise Foundation.