Manitoba's Top Employers


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Page 4 of 23 dream. build. live. right here. 05 there was going to be change involved and those who have remained with us have embraced that," says Davey. "We are very particular when we hire people to make sure that they, too, are comfortable with a changing environment — adaptable and open to new ideas. That has been a real key to our success." For Access, the combined result has been financial strength and a workforce that appreciates its roots and knows how to provide exemplary service in a highly competitive industry. "Our employees allow us to build on our value proposition that we gave to our members whereby members not only have the ability to deal with us through technology, but they also know that they are going to be dealing with trusted, knowledgeable employees, whether face-to-face or via technology," says Davey. "These days, there is more texting, emailing, phone calls and Skype between our staff and our members, but our employees still must be able to handle the issues that members are dealing with in a very efficient, respectful manner. If anyone is interested in joining a great organization, we are always looking for great people to help build our team." ❚ ACCESS DEDICATED TO COMMUNITY, QUALITY SERVICE By Nancy Boomer The advancement of technology is changing the way people conduct their financial affairs, but the personal touch still matters in providing quality service and building working relationships that endure. T hat philosophy is at the heart of the continuing success of Access Credit Union, a full-service financial institution based in southern Manitoba. Access's 260 employees at 17 branches and its head office serve the financial needs of nearly 50,000 members and manage almost $2.4 billion in assets. The credit union's commitment to staff, and the communities they serve, has certainly resonated with employees, leading to the organization's inclusion on this year's list of Manitoba's Top Employers. "We view this award as confirmation of the type of workplace and the culture we are certainly seeking to create here at Access," says president and CEO, Larry Davey. "We are striving to be an organization that is attractive to both present, and potential, employees." Evolving in tune with the competitive financial services world, Access continues to adapt to inevitable industry changes by embracing change and supporting ongoing employees' professional development. "As an employer, we provide an exceptional working environment for our employees," says Davey. "Not only do we offer competitive salaries and benefits, but also provide support for their ongoing training and education." Davey says Access covers the cost of employees' work-related education, a generous offer that has been embraced by staff, and is already paying dividends. This year alone, three Access employees completed their MBA studies, while five more are enrolled in the program to earn that same degree. Strengthening business qualifications helps Access employees grow as individuals and professionals, while also benefitting members who value knowledgeable customer service. At the same time, Access also recognizes that encouraging a healthy work-life balance for employees leads to a happier, healthier workplace. Giving back to the communities they serve also gives staff another reason to feel proud of where they work, live and play. Davey says Access employees have opportunities to support their communities through volunteering and different charity programs offered by the credit union. One example is Jeans Day, a popular program that allows staff to wear jeans to work on Fridays in return for a $2 donation, a sum that is matched by Access. Last year, the program raised more than $50,000 in support of local charities. "At the end of the day, our credit union probably contributes about $500,000 to $600,000 per year to our communities," says Davey. "We are proud to invest in our communities because it helps others, including our employees who not only serve, but also live in, these communities." Access employees are encouraged to volunteer their time and talents to community causes, and they rose to the challenge last year, contributing more than 9,000 volunteer hours toward community- based programs and activities, with the full support of the credit union. Davey says the charitable efforts of Access staff are "mutually important and mutually beneficial" to the volunteers and the organizations they help. While community spirit remains a constant, change is inevitable in business and in life. Davey says Access staff has become accustomed to meeting the challenges of change since the organization was formed with the merger or acquisition of seven different credit unions. "Our staff understood, from the start, that BACK ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT, ARE DARREN HEIDE, MANAGER OF HUMAN RESOURCES, ANNA WIELER, VP OF HUMAN RESOURCES, RICH HARRIES, VP OF BRANCH OPERATIONS, ADAM MONTEITH, VP OF MARKETING, AND MURRAY DERKSEN, VP OF CREDIT. FRONT ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT, ARE LARRY DAVEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, REUBEN SCHULZ, SVP AND CFO, AND MYRNA WIEBE, SVP AND COO. PHOTO BY DARCY FINLEY "We are very particular when we hire people to make sure that they, too, are comfortable with a changing environment — adaptable and open to new ideas. That has been a real key to our success."

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