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Enhancing Board Satisfaction at Credit Unions

The research reported here gathers data on credit union board satisfaction and on the extent of board involvement in a number of strategic and non-strategic activities.

Executive Summary

Credit union directors and CEOs agree that a satisfied board is critical to making effective organizational policy. Understanding key influences on board satisfaction is helpful to both parties in achieving that end. Many factors influence board satisfaction. The specific purpose of this research is to evaluate the extent to which credit union director satisfaction is related to the degree of board involvement in certain strategic and non-strategic activities.

What is the research about?

This report used data from surveys of credit union directors and CEOs in Massachusetts and New York. A total of 617 completed questionnaires were received from one or more directors at 147 credit unions and from CEOs at 91 of these credit unions. Both directors and CEOs indicated their perceptions of the degree to which directors are involved in a number of strategic and non-strategic credit union activities. Only directors were asked for responses about board satisfaction.

Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the relationship of each of 16 activities with the level of board satisfaction. In addition, the researcher measured relationships of three composite groups of activities with board satisfaction. The three composite groups dealt with: 1) strategic planning, 2) strategic decisions, and 3) non-strategic activities.

What are the credit union implications?

In developing an agenda for the conduct of credit union business, the board chair and CEO need to focus on key activities. However, they also should be aware of the types of activities that directors find more (or less) satisfying, to create a productive group working environment. While board satisfaction and organizational performance are not perfectly correlated, happy board members are more likely to produce optimal long-term results.