One of the top concerns of credit union leadership is having a static board of directors – the same board members running for election year after year. But, finding new and qualified candidates to run for election is no easy task. Recently, HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union Nominations and Elections Committee Chair, Jean Miyahira sat down with Mike Lawson, host of CUbroadcast (watch full interview) to share how they’ve utilized technology to transform their election.
Just a few years ago, HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union was challenged with finding anyone to run for a director position. After partnering with Survey & Ballot Systems on their hybrid election, the credit union was also able to move their nomination process online. This transition created a lot of interest among the members. Their nomination process had little to no interest when hard copy applications were the only option, but when an online version was available, “doing it electronic was exciting for them,” said Miyahira.
Making the nomination process easier and more convenient made a noticeable impact at the credit union. When candidates were asked why they ran for the board, it was ease of use that made it more appealing. “A lot of people said technology changed their attitude about applying,” Miyahira added.
Here’s how your credit union can develop a robust base of candidates into future board members that can help lead your organization.
Getting the nominations
The first challenge in the nominations process is finding and convincing members to run for positions. It’s vital to have competitive, contested elections in order to get your members engaged enough to vote.
Promote the concept of running to your members
Use your communication channels to promote the importance of elections and running for leadership positions. A cornerstone of member organizations is that they are governed by members. Look to regularly send messaging highlighting the importance of their involvement in credit union activities like governance.
Make the nomination process as easy for members as possible
A final key to actually getting candidates nominated is to make the process easy and convenient. Members may really want to nominate themselves or another member, but if they have to jump through hoops to complete the nomination many simply will not follow through. Utilizing DirectNominations™ online nominations and petitions is a smart way to speed up the process, while making it easier for everyone involved.
Easy Control for Administrators
Every credit union’s nomination process is different, and the importance of properly vetting candidates can make it complicated. With a customizable platform to handle nominations, you’re able to handle multiple offices at once if needed. Keeping formatting consistent across all nomination submissions makes a complex process much easier, especially if you are currently taking nominations via mail, Word documents and PDFs.
Easy Use for Nominees
When candidates can self-register any time, it makes them much more likely to complete and submit their application. Offering candidates flexibility will reduce your efforts to get candidates to run for open positions. The easier the process is, the less likely you will lose potential candidates along the way.
With modern technology, there are now easier ways than going door-to-door in neighborhoods or offices asking for signatures. Utilizing an online petition platform makes it convenient for nominees to distribute the petitions to be signed via email, saving them the effort of getting physical signatures.
When obtaining signatures, most organizations want to ensure that the people signing are actually members of the credit union. For situations like this, you would need to cross-reference that person with a list of members who are eligible to sign the petitions. Offering an online nomination process automates crosschecking the names or emails against your member database, meaning both you and the nominees are now saving time.
Reporting & Tracking
Getting nominees for leadership positions can be a challenging task. This is made even more difficult if you are doing the work in the dark. The ability to track your nominees’ progress and view reports will provide valuable insight on how to maximize your nomination efforts.
Seeing who has registered and completed an application in real time is a powerful tool for your administrators. This is really only something an online solution can handle, as any other format would be impossible to track as nominations are ongoing. Credit union administrators can also use DirectNominations™ to track how far along nominees are in the process, which can give you the opportunity to reach out to those with incomplete applications.
Tracking and reporting for your nominations process helps you stay in the loop regarding nominees and any additional preparations that may become necessary with the election. The convenience of seeing this data in one place makes staying in the loop even easier.
Want to learn more about how to get your whole process in one place? Contact us today, we’re here to help!