New CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council White Paper: The Great Potential Debate

By CUNA Councils10.07.2019

The CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council has published a new white paper, The Great Potential Debate.

Employees’ combination of attributes, from hard skill sets to attitudes and outlooks to motivations and passion for their work, are invaluable but largely intangible. As a result, when—and how—should a credit union hire or promote an employee based on their individual potential, rather than their current hard skills?

Recruiting and retaining talented employees with the potential to fuel performance is an ongoing challenge for credit unions. Yet hiring employees solely based on their potential, rather than their current skills, can be tricky in a fast-paced environment where meeting members’ needs must come first. The “great performance debate” focuses on whether potential or skills matters more in finding, nurturing, and retaining talented employees.

This white paper explores how credit unions are responding to their need for selecting employees by:

  • Weighing the role of skills and potential,
  • Changing workplace practices to nurture employees’ potential for growth,
  • Considering individuals’ alignment with organizational values, and
  • Updating performance evaluation practices to provide ongoing feedback that encourages employees to achieve their potential.

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white paper summary


CUNA Council members are eligible to receive complimentary copies of this, and hundreds of other white papers. The paper is available online in the white paper section of

Not a Council member? Explore member benefits and join now.

Press may contact Natalie Sherry at for more information.

About CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council:
CUNA Councils are a member-led, collaborative community of credit union leaders providing vibrant peer interaction, new ideas and innovation to foster professional development for our members while advocating for the overall success of the credit union movement.  The CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council is one of seven CUNA Councils, a network of more than 7,000 credit union professionals. For more information, visit