Monday, January 29, 2024

SECU: Consider This: - Chapter 8 - The Employee Covenant  SECU is different! 

😎 The Mission: To prove that SECU was truly a uniquely different animal than a bank - and perhaps even a unicorn! 

Don't give up, we'll start those "How to Build a Unicorn" stories this week, - "Esse Quam Videri" - which will be more fun, probably more interesting to most.

The purpose of Chapter 7 - "Greed Is Good?" [link] was two-fold. 1) To make sure you understood that an investor in a bank (or any for-profit enterprise) is different from a member shareholder in a non-profit credit union. A bank investor-owner benefits through stock dividends and hopefully an increase in the price-value of the bank stock; a credit union member-owner benefits from lower cost, higher quality financial services - hopefully. A bank stock holder may not even be a "customer" of the bank; a credit union member is always a "service customer" - why else belong? Got it? Different ideas, different financial goals, different animals - one is "industry standard", one is a financial unicorn! "Don't Worry, Be Happy! Love, Gordon G.

2) Equally to point out that if the Legacy-8 Board and senior leadership intend to operate SECU as a for-profit, Gekko bank, then that model means that the importance of  SECU employees [and all members!] will "come second - often a distant second" in SECU's "strategic planning" - after all, that is the Gekko "industry standard". Gekkos like nothing better than to proclaim record profits! 

That industry standard may have already been put in motion at SECU, if the many comments on compensation, promotions, "PTO", shift bidding, "module training", stalled comp surveys/career paths, under-staffing in branches, "hire from outside first", and low morale are accurate. 

The cost of employee salaries and benefits is the largest cost for most  financial institutions - usually @ 65-70% of total operating expenses. With the Gekko model, if employees are viewed as "just another cost input" hindering profits, then SECU employees might want to glance at the top picture (an "adorable SECU puppy" turned wolf?) to consider their precarious situation and.... what to expect next at a "for-profit, Gekko-type" credit union.

For the record, SECU never had a lay-off in the first 85 years of its existence. It would have been viewed as a catastrophic management failure, a breach of faith. There was an unwritten covenant of trust among employees, management, and the SECU Board...  but more on that in the unicorn stories, because that "Employee Covenant" - that coming together - helped make SECU unique.

    Gecko - definition: a carnivorous lizard. Uh-oh!