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Kay Stewart: Work Hard, but Have Fun While You’re Doing It

by Ken Anderson | Mar 25, 2013

North East Texas CU has one motto – “work hard, but have fun while we’re doing it!”  By creating a culture that motivates and inspires, President and CEO Kay Stewart says staff in turn has a higher level of satisfaction and that results in a higher quality of service for their 15,000 plus members.   

Of course building employee loyalty requires far more than just having a fun work environment. Stewart says North East Texas CU is committed to providing exceptional benefits for its staff.  For example, the credit union pays 100 percent of all employee health insurance coverage and 50 percent for dependent coverage. 

Additionally, the credit union offers a bonus program for those employees – full and part-time – who complete their required professional development goals; participate in credit union-sponsored community events, and receive a good evaluation by their supervisor.  Employees can also earn additional points by contributing to the TCUL PAC. Stewart notes that the bonus program is tied to the profitability of the credit union.

“Although our bonus program is not guaranteed, since 1996 when I became president there was only one time we missed getting a bonus, and it was not during the last few years,” notes Stewart. 

Other benefits that the credit union offers staff is a 401(k) plan, tuition reimbursement and paid time-off for six months of perfect attendance.

Stewart believes that if you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your members.

Apparently North East Texas CU staff is quite satisfied with their work environment, as they rated the credit union so high that it made Texas Monthly’s list of Best 100 Companies to Work for in Texas.  The $124.2 million in assets category credit union ranked 13 in the Texas Monthly’s small company category.

The best company to work for designation is given on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Texas Association of Business and Texas Monthly.  Being recognized by employees as a “best place to work” is no small achievement.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Companies to Work for in Texas. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, systems, philosophies, practices, and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25 percent of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75 percent of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.

Other credit unions to make the list include:

  • Randolph-Brooks FCU (19 – Large Companies)
  • DATCU (4 – Medium Companies)
  • Velocity CU (7 – Medium Companies)
  • Unity One CU (25 – Small Companies)

Stewart says this was the first time the credit union has ever applied and is thrilled to have made list.