Family atmosphere extends to customers at Shell Federal Credit Union

November 2, 2017 GMT

The employees at Shell Federal Credit Union gather before staff meetings to play a game. Upbeat music energizes the room as they bop balls in the air to each other, often diving or kicking to keep them from touching the ground.

The goal is to have fun and create positive energy among the staff, president and CEO Jose Rodriguez said.

Shell Federal Credit Union has a tight-knit group of employees who throw each other birthday celebrations and baby showers. That’s one of the reasons it snagged the No. 2 spot among midsize companies on this year’s Top Workplaces list compiled for the Chronicle by Energage.

“We’re very much a family type of business here, even though we’ve had tremendous success and a lot of growth,” Rodriguez said.

The financial institution is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. When Rodriguez joined the bank as a part-time teller in 1993, it had one location, fewer than 50 employees and about $100 million in assets.

It has since grown to nine branches - with plans to open a 10th next year - and 267 employees. The credit union has more than $900 million in assets and expects to hit the $1 billion milestone within the next year.

In the Energage survey, employees cited appreciation from management, opportunities to advance their careers and the family atmosphere for reasons they love their jobs.

“I feel the credit union actually cares about me as a person, not just an employee,” one survey respondent said. “I love the people I work with.”

And when roughly 30 employees were affected by Hurricane Harvey, the credit union’s other employees donated items to expedite their recovery. Management provided additional time off, and the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation has grants to help with financial needs.

This sense of family isn’t limited to employees. Rodriguez said it’s extended to customers, too. Employees take pride in being able to assist customers and make a difference in their financial lives.

“You can get good service when you go somewhere as a consumer, but still feel like you’re a customer getting service,” Rodriguez said. “And here, we want to take that further. We want them to feel like they’re not just a customer, but they’re the reason why we’re here.”