Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 11, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Innovation Credit Union was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2017):
- Innovation Credit Union offers employees a range of financial benefits including discounted financial services, new employee referral bonuses (up to $1,750), retirement planning services and a defined contribution pension plan
- Innovation Credit Union invests in the long-term development of its employees through tuition subsidies for courses that are both related and indirectly related to their current position
- Innovation Credit Union and its employees support approximately 250 charitable and community organizations every year -- the credit union's charitable focus includes initiatives that support arts and culture, business, charity, community, education, and sports and youth
Innovation Credit Union banks on a digital future
Innovation Credit Union is setting its sights high. Like other credit unions in Saskatchewan, it is provincially regulated. However, as outlined in its Innovation 2020 proposal, Innovation Credit Union wants to become federally regulated by the end of this decade.
The application process will be time consuming. Even so, CEO Daniel Johnson says, "the benefits outweigh the costs of expanding the geographic and financial base. Becoming a federal credit union, in fact, is crucial to ensuring Innovation's long-term sustainability and success."
There are no plans to open branches throughout Canada, so the expansion will be digital. That will benefit people primarily in Saskatchewan, both in terms of job opportunities and the development of groundbreaking new products and technologies.
"We're planning for future generations," says Johnson, who is confident the application will be approved. "The financial services sector is changing rapidly and people are inspired to be part of an organization that is growing, evolving and adapting to meet those changes head-on."
Credit unions are self-help co-operatives whose members have a democratic say in their priorities and polices. "We have an innovative, entrepreneurial culture and our employees are very engaged with the membership," says Johnson. "Our employees are also members, so we're all heading in the same direction."
Innovation offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package, including a defined benefit pension plan. The Swift Current-based credit union also places a high priority on continuous learning.
"We invest up to $1 million a year in the long-term professional development of our employees," says Amanda Thoen, Talent Development Specialist. "That's a very hefty budget and demonstrates our dedication to training."
Innovation's seven-member human resources team works out of various locations among the organization's 22 advice centres. Thoen herself is in North Battleford, where she occasionally works from home. She cites flexibility as another advantage of working for the credit union.
Still it is the cooperative ideal of giving back to the community where Innovation really stands out. The credit union and its employees support over 300 charitable and community organizations every year, both through fund-raising and volunteering their time
and talents. That totalled over 13,000 volunteer hours last year, a number Thoen describes as "phenomenal".
Hence, it's no surprise when she adds, "I love what I do so it doesn't feel like work to me."