Dec 02 2013

Knowledge Transfer Review: The Case of Credit Unions


Ask credit union leaders across North America to name their most valuable asset, and most will say: “Our people.” But ask those same leaders how well they track knowledge management among those employees, and the silence will be telling. This report is based on a research study that illuminates the knowledge management challenges facing credit unions—and points toward solutions.

The study used a multi-stage, multi-method approach, collecting quantitative and qualitative data from eight credit unions in Canada and seven in the United States ranging from $350 million (M) to $3.5 billion (B) in assets. Each credit union received customized benchmarking reports in exchange for their participation, and readers of this report can use the same tools to benchmark their own practices against the group. The benchmarking reports include: 1) a qualitative knowledge transfer survey, 2) quantitative human capital metrics, and 3) a preemptive exit interview.

Credit unions may never spend as much time on knowledge management as they do on loan portfolios, capital ratios, or net income. Neglecting those measures brings quick failure. But the neglect of knowledge management brings a more creeping kind of failure, one that allows good employees to wither or drift away and bad employees to slip by. If unchecked, that failure leads not to insolvency but to irrelevance. Use the research in this report to prevent that by putting effective knowledge management systems in place.

Report Number 311