Northwest Federal Credit Union (NWFCU) is proud to announce that it has received a 2022 Employer Recognition Award. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ (COG) Commuter Connections program hosted the 25th annual awards ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., with Nohman Ishaq, VP, Retail Business Development accepting the Telework Award.
“I’m so honored to be accepting this award on behalf of Northwest,” said Ishaq. “We make it a priority to respond to employee needs whenever possible, and this is just one way we were able to do it.”
Established in 1947, Northwest Federal Credit Union (NWFCU) is a full-service financial institution that strives to provide valuable financial products and services for its 260,000-plus members.
“The NWFCU telework program has seen great success in keeping employees engaged and productive, all while helping to grow operational adaptability and resilience.” said Nicholas Ramfos, Director of Commuter Connections. “We encourage other organizations throughout the region to follow the lead of NWFCU as a model to supplement and develop telework programs of their own.”
An informal telework program began at NWFCU in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2021, all remote workers were then called back to the office full-time. After receiving employee feedback, the organization understood telework as an asset to help with staff retention in a competitive job market. As a result, in fall 2021, NWFCU re-introduced and formalized its telework policy. NWFCU has 533 employees in the Washington metropolitan area, with 344 employees (65%) working remotely; 256 employees (48%) do so 1-2 days per week, and 88 (17%) telework full-time.
“We’re very happy that our employees are able to express what they need from us and even happier to be able to provide those needs,” said Jeff Bentley, president and CEO of Northwest. “It’s wired into our DNA as a credit union to give people what they need – employees and members alike.”
NWFCU has been able to reduce real estate expenses by decreasing the need for office space, as the majority of its call center staff work remotely full-time. Increased work/life balance has greatly improved employee morale and reduced absenteeism. In addition, the program has made NWFCU more adaptable for emergency preparedness.
Equipment such as laptops, headsets, monitors, keyboards, and VPN access are made available to ensure that employees can flourish in a remote work environment. Additionally, NWFCU supervisors are given training on managing in a remote work environment.
Employees have the option of combining a compressed/flexible workweek with remote work. These agreements are handled individually by each manager and arrangements are tailored to meet the needs of employees.
The NWFCU telework program has led to the reduction of nearly 886,000 vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and saves more than 40,000 gallons of gasoline annually.
During the 2022 Employer Recognition Awards ceremony, Commuter Connections also recognized Environmental Enhancements located in Sterling, VA for the Incentives category, and Ellumen Inc., located in Silver Spring, MD for the Marketing category.