Knowledge Management Unlocked with Associated Credit Union’s AVP of Learning & Development 

A learning and development executive shares insights from her financial institution’s eight year journey from business continuity to knowledge management success and the impact it has had on the credit union’s mission of “people helping people.” 


Annia Pereira, Assistant Vice President of Learning and Development at Associated Credit Union

Meet Annia Pereira, Assistant Vice President of Learning and Development at Georgia-based Associated Credit Union

Tasked with building a business continuity plan to ensure the ability to resume daily operations as quickly as possible in event of catastrophe, Associated Credit Union set out on their journey of unlocking knowledge management.  

Hear how Associated Credit Union achieved knowledge management success

“Information was everywhere, but nowhere.” 

Lacking a defined standard for training documentation, daily operations, or policies and procedures, Associated’s #1 goal was to ensure employee self-sufficiency.  

“Our #1 goal was to make sure that any one in any role in any location in any capacity could pick up documentation and start and finish a process without a trainer, without a SME, without someone in management.”

– Annia Pereira, AVP L&D Associated Credit Union 

Throughout their process, Associated Credit Union prioritized the employee experience

“It’s always been a concerted effort and focus on our staff. What can we do for them to give our employees the tools and resources they need, the development they need to be successful?” notes Annia.

Additionally, the credit union wanted employees to self-serve, not only in the area that they work, but across their organization. 

The Result: Information at Employees’ Fingertips 

“When you’re helping someone, and you need to do a process you don’t have a lot of time between searching and the point when the member loses confidence in [the employee’s] ability to perform that task. We wanted to put information at our employees’ fingertips so they would be empowered to preform those functions with minimal guidance and assistance, [and] with the confidence that what they’re doing with the information in front of them could guide them from Point A to Point B and be successful.” 

– Annia Pereira, AVP L&D Associated Credit Union 

Annia incorporates knowledge management into her learning and development strategies. Listen to how she describes the impact on the credit union’s employees. 

 “It’s been a gamechanger…We’re just uncovering the power of what we’ll be able to do within our knowledge base. It makes the staff feel confident that even though they may not have a lead supervisor or manager next to them walking them through every step of the way, they have resources at their fingertips that allows them to do that.” 

– Annia Pereira, AVP L&D Associated Credit Union 

Annia also notes that knowledge management has been a gamechanger in the way that the institution shares info, publishes it, and is able to leverage the many resources available in one central location so employees are better able to do their jobs. 

Additionally, the ability for employees to ask a question or give feedback on a piece of content within the knowledge base, provides them a sense of empowerment and involvement in optimizing content. (Read: 5 Features empowering banking employees.)

To learn more about how Associated Credit Union unlocked the power of knowledge management for their financial institution, watch or listen to the case study.

State of Knowledge Management at Banks and Credit Unions 

Nearly half of employees at financial institutions rate the current state of their bank or credit union’s knowledge management as “middle of the road.” That’s neither great, nor terrible – but certainly not good. 

As banks and credit unions ponder how to improve customer experience, service, loan and deposit growth, they may be best served to revisit the origin of customer experience – where institutional information lives and how it is accessed, updated, maintained, and ultimately passed on to customers. 

Rating the state of knowledge management

The financial services industry has traditionally been focused on customer/ member experience, with heavy investment on branch experience, digital experience and the supporting solutions and technologies. As a result, the account holder experience often trumps employee experience. 

But, what about banking employees? Your employees’ success, their ability to do their jobs successfully, confidently and consistently –  directly impacts your customers and members and their satisfaction with your financial institution. 

But is that reflected in daily experience of FI employees? In the systems and technologies at their disposable to do their job successfully? 

Knowledge management plays a central and critical role in both the employee AND customer/member experience at financial institutions. 

78% of banking employees access information via an intranet or web portal, but 69% also say they use email and 47% report using peer messaging. Consider the risks and consequences of employees leaning into static documentation that is either buried in email or asking peers versus a reliable, self-service source.  

Common Issues preventing successful knowledge management 

The overwhelming majority of banking professionals say that they struggle with employee adoption of a knowledge management solution (see below for tips and best practices). 

  • Employees struggle to find information  
  • Inconsistency from employee to employee, branch to branch, channel to channel  
  • Information is siloed and inconsistent  
  • Tribal knowledge. Subject matter experts have info in their head and employees lean heavily into SMEs / coworkers  
  • Static content formats vs. dynamic content formats 
  • Lack of executive sponsorship for the initiative 
  • Employee adoption of a knowledge management solution 
Roadblocks to unlocking knowledge management success

5 Tips to Encourage Employee Adoption of Knowledge Bases at Your FI 

  1. Gamification: scavenger hunt; incentivize w/ prizes or gift cards
    1. Have fun and empower employees to play with searches, functionality
  2. Establish an employee feedback loop
  3. Positive reinforcement – reward usage of KB
    1. Build partnerships w/ key stakeholders that rather than using email to distribute info, put it in the KB
  4. Sense of ownership and purpose – be clear in how it will help them do their job
  5. Remove pressure of knowing /memorizing everything and rather how to find it…be resourceful

Benefits of Knowledge Management Solutions for Banks and Credit Unions 

  • Centralization of information 
  • More training capabilities
  • Visibility and reporting 
  • Ensure business continuity 
  • Improved institutional communications  
  • Empower employees to confidently and accurately 
  • Time savings, efficiency 

Find the full webinar recording here on the CBANC Network.  

For more information on how to unlock the power of Knowledge Management for your financial institution, see:

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