Print Edition: March 7, 2012
Last week, Vibrant Abbotsford, a local group that recognizes businesses who excel in providing high-quality work benefits and conditions for employees, awarded Prospera Credit Union with their Top Employer Award.
Prospera, which has a history that goes back 65 years, has developed into BC’s fourth largest credit union consisting of 63,000 members. Their 16 branches can be found from Vancouver to Kelowna.
On hand was Abbotsford Mayor, Bruce Banman, to present Prospera CEO Bruce Howell with the award.
At the event, along with Howell, were Heather Johnson, Senior Vice-President of Human Resources, and Trudi Kloepper, Senior Vice-President of Personal Financial Services.
Prospera was awarded with the title because, as each of the three Prospera executives spoke, it became evident that the organization privileges the importance human resources and the effect that, when effectively provided for, translates to a great employee work environment.
While Johnson was speaking, she explained that a goal of Prospera is to be a “work environment where people can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
Prospera is experiencing less employee turnover, less absenteeism, and strong work relationships. Howell would later put an emphasis on the need for great employee satisfaction by stressing customers won’t receive the service they’re entitled to without a strong employee front.
To make their employees happy to be a member of the Prospera team, they are offered a custom tailored benefits package. From their website, “At Prospera, we have developed one of the most competitive benefits plans in the industry – designed to be as flexible as your changing needs. Whether you are single, have a family, or are nearing retirement, Lifestyles Benefits don’t just celebrate your unique life, they celebrate your unique lifestyle.”
Included in their benefits are things like an outline of a career path within the organization, advantages in pursuing further education, loans free of interest if they’re used towards health or computer equipment. But perhaps the greatest benefit to employees is the health package which is, again, tailored to each individual employee. With the health package having the advantage of any unassigned amount of money being able to be towards having days off, retirement plans, or simply a deposit in their bank account.
Kloepper attributed a strong employee-management relationship to a “bottom-up” approach. There are monthly meetings which are attended by staff, including members of executive staff, to make it visible that all upper management is open to every employee.
Vibrant Abbotsford provides the Top Employer Award on an annual basis, with this year being the inaugural presentation. But their main organizational goals are in poverty reduction. They take the position of aiding residents of the city, who are in the low-income bracket, with the means of rising out of their current situations – not merely allowing them to continue living in those situations. Some of their initiatives include improving the economic base of Abbotsford, creating a sense of community for all residents, and removing certain policies that restrict opportunities.
And so it was Mayor Banman who took the opportunity to speak to what the City of Abbotsford is doing for those in poverty. He talked about the Abbotsford Social Development Advisory Committee and how that body examines methods of improvement and establishing affordable housing.
Prospera being awarded the Top Employer Award is simply an example of an organization operating under the direction of employee-centric values to achieve its goals in our community.