Credit unions are member-focused organizations that offer personalized financial advice, products and services. But what happens when the member is also an employee? The employee banking experience has unique challenges that credit unions can address and enhance to help attract and retain talent.

In 2021, Alberta Central conducted interviews with several credit unions throughout four provinces to get a better sense of the Canadian credit union banking experience. That research, combined with the findings from a Deloitte publication (The future of banking: The employee experience (EX) imperative), is captured in a new report called Retain talent with a better employee banking experience.

Here are some of the highlights from the report.


Looking at survey results of more than 2,000 financial services employees in the UK, Deloitte provides four key challenges to the employee experience:

  • Broad reputational decline for financial services
  • Attracting individuals more suited to old business models rather than innovative and creative employees
  • Relying too much on extrinsic motivation
  • Lack of psychological safety among bank employees

The survey found that just over one third of Gen Z employees felt free to voice their ideas, questions and concerns or to admit their mistakes in the workplace, indicating they do not feel psychologically safe. Closer to home, a lack of trust and potential privacy concerns from employees are commonly cited as key challenges to running a successful employee banking experience program in Canada. Personal finances are inherently a sensitive, personal topic that employees may not feel comfortable discussing with their employer or colleagues.

Further, some employees may not see the value of enhanced employee banking programs and there are resource challenges associated with it. Financial institutions that have a program in place may not provide much continued support past employees’ on-boarding experiences.


Whatever stage of program implementation your financial institution is in, reasons for improving it can include:

  • Increasing employee empowerment
  • Use as a hiring and retention tool
  • Differentiating your company from other employers

A key recommendation from the Deloitte publication is to better identify the moments that matter to each employee. If employees do not trust their employer, eventually neither will customers, investors and regulators. Collect data throughout the employee life cycle via engagement surveys, pulse checks, exit interviews and more. Use that information about what really matters to employees to offer products and services that align with those values.

A dedicated internal team can also help support employees past the on-boarding process to build trust and instill confidence. The team must not assume that all employees fully understand financial well being, and instead work with empathy to connect employees to products and services that will benefit them.