After La Tanya Stewart happily accepted the position of Director of Human Resources, her intent was to stay for five years, increase her HR experience, and move on. However, after 5 years, she was promoted to, Vice President of Human Resources and Member Relations. She has now been with Allegius for the past 20 years, greatly outlasting her intentions.
Stewart feels that Allegius is a great place to work because of the many benefits the credit union has to offer its employees. Stewart noted that Allegius offers benefits and wages that are very competitive within the industry and that many companies do not offer. One such benefit rarely offered elsewhere is its defined pension plan for employees. The credit union also offers high-quality medical insurance to its employees; 13 paid holidays, including a “floating holiday” that employees can use for their birthdays or other occasions; lots of opportunities for advancement; tuition reimbursement for furthering education, and work- hours that are conducive to a healthy work-life balance.
Allegius has a user-friendly, welcoming, and laid-back atmosphere. The leaders make sure that all employees are comfortable in their positions and offer training to ensure those individuals are confident with what they do. This atmosphere is part of why Stewart decided to stay at Allegius.
“I believe that the employees enjoy each other’s company,” Stewart said. “It’s a very family-oriented environment as our employees spend a great number of hours with each other. We try to make it comfortable as it is a home away from home. We have four branches with our main office being the Burns Harbor office. Our other offices are located in Michigan City, Valparaiso, and Hobart. Each one of the branches, as you walk into them, is welcoming.
With its family-oriented environment, Allegius holds an annual staff meeting where every branch comes together to educate, be educated, and socialize. Allegius also holds events throughout the year including jean days, a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, a Super Bowl celebration, a Halloween celebration, and more.
“When we’re doing these things, we’re making it a fun day all day,” Stewart said. “We’ll play games such as, Bingo between the branches, and we also have drawings and giveaways all day long. We also participate in the “Toys for Tots” program every Christmas season. That is where a lot of our employees and members will donate gifts or money for the cause. One of Allegius’ employees, Courtney Evans, volunteers her time to shop for the children from the donated money. She will buy loads and loads of gifts, which usually requires a full trailer to pick up the gifts for the distribution center.
Stewart and her co-workers love interacting with members and consider it a reward to help them with their finances. They are able to offer the best aid to members in part because of Allegius’ collaborative mindset. All employees are encouraged to offer suggestions to propel the credit union forward. “We hope that once we have educated anyone walking through Allegius’ door, that person would go out and inform others that Allegius is a place they would like to use for their financial needs,” Stewart said.
Through working in human resources and serving as a supervisor to the managers who manage the branches, Stewart has had the opportunity to interact with Allegius staff members. Working with employees and helping to equip them to be at their best is what Stewart loves most about the job.
“What I find rewarding of course is the employees,” Stewart said. “Being in HR, my reward is when I can satisfy an employee with a need they may have, be it from a bereavement situation to all the way to a mishap in their payroll that they have brought to my attention. I always try to make sure that I am available to assist the employees. Anything that’s going on, no matter where it is, it’s all about the people for me. That is my area.”
To learn more about Allegius Credit Union, visit its website at https://www.allegius.org/.