Bay Federal Credit Union


Helping Employees Rise to the Next Level

As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, Bay Federal Credit Union helps its 78,000 members create financial security and build brighter futures. The Capitola-based credit union also plays a role in building community through employee programs that lend time, energy, and fundraising for local non-profit organizations. The financial institution believes in investing in its own employees: A five-person staff development team keeps employees up-to-date on banking regulations, financial education topics, trends, and technology, but also works to help them grow and flourish within the organization.

“We make a significant investment in helping our employees upskill for the next level of their career pursuits,” says Amy Ivey, Vice President of Marketing and Development for Bay Federal Credit Union. 

A certification program creates opportunities through four tiers of advancement, allowing branch team members and call center representatives to improve their skills, responsibilities and compensation. Employees can also work with their department manager, the Education and Development (training) and the Human Resources team to create individual development plans that support their unique skill sets and interests. The organization also offers a Career Exploration program that allows employees to experience job shadowing opportunities in other business units, including accounting, finance, digital banking, human resources, investment services,  lending, marketing, product management, technology, and others.

At Bay Federal Credit Union, building a stronger, happier team is part of the culture. Branches open their doors to the public at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays — an hour later than usual — devoting that first hour of business to weekly employee training meetings, guest speakers, team building, and celebrations. “Our employees are given the opportunity to learn in a team environment,” says Ivey. “We have fun, we foster a culture of curiosity, and we encourage them to be involved with their professional growth.”

In the current environment of physical distancing, of course, many of those meetings are likely to be over Zoom, says Ivey, but investing in employees hasn’t stopped, just temporarily changed format. “We have pivoted in this environment to keep that same energy, focus and desire to uphold our education pathways for employee development.”

For employees looking to advance to supervisory or management roles, there’s BayFedU: The 12-week course, developed in partnership with Cabrillo College Supervisory Academy, brings together cohorts of six to eight employees for weekly classes and a chance to collaborate on projects that build their leadership skills and benefit the organization. The credit union is preparing to launch BayMasters, its next-level professional advancement program for all management level positions. Creating a place for employees to develop rewarding careers has clear benefits for everyone involved: Employee retention rates at Bay Federal Credit Union are well above average, as employees find space to grow and challenge themselves. 

“Bay Federal Credit Union has taken a really bold approach,” she says. “We invest in our number one asset, our employees.”