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III. BECU + CREW

At BECU, our employees have always been essential. We create and reinforce a unique, values-based culture that includes a commitment to employees' financial health and overall well-being. In 2020, we welcomed over 370 new employees to our BECU crew of around 2,500. What we achieved together:

Eased Employee COVID-19 Impacts

We innovated to support our employees' safety and well-being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring our respected service levels stayed as high as ever.

The ability to adapt, pivot and innovate meant providing excellent service while decreasing risk throughout Washington's Stay Home, Stay Safe orders. Here's how we met COVID-19's challenges:

  • Created a new virtual onboarding experience that provided essential workplace skills while decreasing in-person contact during COVID-19.
  • Implemented new safety and contact tracing protocols for employees and members, introduced enterprise onsite work requirements and delivered personal protective equipment to all employees. Essential employees with member-serving jobs requiring onsite attendance were (and still are) eligible for Essential Pay.
  • Offered work-from-home options and ergonomic furniture to approximately 70% of our employee base in jobs that could be performed remotely. BECU also made accommodations for high-risk employees working jobs that normally can’t be done from home.
  • Introduced new and enhanced employee programs:
  • Emergency Pay to alleviate employees' worries over pay and job security during COVID-19. Emergency Pay covered the 14-day quarantine period for employees who can't log on from home due to their job responsibilities, and don't qualify for BECU's other paid leave programs. This program also helped at-home employees caring for someone with COVID-19 or managing childcare while dealing with school closures.
  • Essential Pay for our employees in roles that require them to be onsite.
  • Enhanced medical benefits, including cost share coverage.
  • Identified additional opportunities for employees to donate paid time off (PTO) to other employees.
  • Funded $1.9 million in Employee Assistance Loans of up to $7,500 at 0% APR.
I'm happy to see our organization doubling down on our values and purpose through these difficult times and learning new ways to succeed.” —Ciera A., BECU employee

Rewarded Employee-Inspired Giving

In 2020, employees donated a stunning total of more than $488,000 to over 900 causes. BECU nearly doubled those gifts (and sometimes more!) with over $809,000 in nonprofit donations on behalf of employees, with our gift match program, volunteer recognition and employee rewards. Here's how:

BECU Cares Gift Match provides matching funds for BECU employees' charitable giving to eligible organizations. This reflects our commitment to employees, their communities, and the organizations and causes they care about. In May, we doubled our match for employee donations, recognizing that COVID-19 and the shutdown impacted all nonprofit organizations. As a result, more than 220 BECU employees raised $280,750 for over 350 nonprofits in May alone.

The Community Time Off Program doubled paid employee hours for volunteer work or financial health tasks, starting in 2020. For example, a full-time employee now gets 24 hours per year to volunteer while part-time employees receive 12 hours.

Employee Volunteer Recognition Program honors our employees' community service by tracking hours, rewarding top volunteers with funds for the nonprofits they serve, and recognizing their leadership. In 2020, employees volunteered nearly 9,300 hours for almost 350 causes. BECU allocates an additional donation to an employee’s chosen eligible nonprofit when an employee volunteers on a nonprofit board or records 30 or more volunteer hours.

SPOTLIGHT: Our Annual Day of Service

Our Annual Day of Service didn't take place in schools this year. Instead, nearly 2,400 employees assembled more than 25,000 personal supply kits for nine nonprofit organizations in Washington and South Carolina. BECU supplied each employee with 10 kits to assemble from home while video-volunteering with their workplace team. The kits varied by each partner organization and included personal-care products, school supplies, or snack packs.

Thank you so much BECU, for being such a great neighbor and community member. You have been a major supporter of Tukwila Children's Foundation and we look forward to doing more work together for the community we call home.” —Tukwila Children's Foundation, 2020 Annual Day of Service nonprofit partner

A Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive BECU

We believe that leveraging our differences, whether in background, perspective or thought, is critical to our success in providing a healthy workplace and delivering exceptional value and service. Here's how BECU made progress toward becoming a more inclusive and racially equitable organization:

In September, we welcomed Jackie Martinez-Vasquez as our new vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, responsible for leading BECU-wide equity strategies, tools and resources, including Belonging, Inclusion and Leveraging Differences (BILD).

Jackie Martinez-Vasquez

Diverse representation at all levels is a core goal—particularly in senior management—so we began reporting on BECU's recruiting, hiring, retention, promotion and talent development. Employees can now use our new internal dashboard for updates on employee representation.

More than 1,500 employees attended our 18 BILD Virtual Town Hall sessions to listen, learn and grow through meaningful 90-minute sessions on race, equity and inclusion. Employees were guided through the importance of understanding points of view, practicing intentionality and grace and showing up for conversations without expectations. These sessions were led by BECU's senior and executive leadership team members, along with Dr. Anu Taranath, a facilitator and educator specializing in social justice discussions.

We introduced a Member Code of Conduct and Respectful Workplace expectations. These expectations help create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone at BECU, whether member or employee.

BECU launched three new Employee Connection Groups (ECGs):

  • Black Alliance Cooperative: Cultivates an equitable and inclusive culture that attracts, develops and engages Black-identifying BECU employees. Connections enable BECU individuals to network, develop and engage in BECU-served communities.
  • Young Professionals: For employees who either identify as a young professional or support young professional career growth, this group comes together to learn, grow and develop as professionals and people.
  • Pride Advocacy Collective: Bringing together a community of professional lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and allied BECU team members while promoting an inclusive and accepting workplace culture and inspiring community outreach.
BILD is a great example of the care and values that are integral to the BECU culture. I'm so grateful to work for a company that truly values the things that make each of us unique and different.” —Meg W., BECU employee

Cared for the Earth: Our Internal Sustainability Program

Our commitment to our communities includes sustainable solutions, environmental justice and partnerships in the environmental space. Here's what we accomplished internally in 2020:

Crafted Five Pillars

In 2020, our 25-person internal Sustainability team identified five pillars or goals. Several align with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), designed as a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. The five pillars are:

1. Advancing equity and inclusion (social and environmental justice): Encourage and promote efforts at BECU that seek equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and marginalized communities.

2. Carbon reduction: Do our part to fight climate change through greening initiatives.

3. Master Use Plan alignment: Offer support and recommendations to the Master Use Planning Committee (a steering committee made up of our executive management team and several vice presidents guiding our Tukwila, Washington campus decisions).

4. Partnerships: Strengthen our rapport with local organizations in Tukwila, Washington and surrounding communities to establish partnerships that are mutually beneficial.

5. Leadership: Advocate for stronger social and environmental practices, partnerships and cultural change, leading BECU to become more sustainable within the community.

More 2020 Sustainability Highlights:

BECU's commute-reduction programs included EV charging stations for employees and members, which dispensed nearly 6,180 kWh of energy and saved them over $580. Ultimately, these stations helped save 2,595 kg of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to planting 67 trees and growing for 10 years. To encourage employee use of mass transportation, we offered Orca cards and the Last Mile Lyft Program, which helps employees reach their workplace from any mass transit locations within three miles.

We participated in the Earth Day Northwest #voicescarry2020 social media campaign, which offered interactive modes of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

For BECU's Tukwila-based campus's renovation and remodel, the Master Use Planning Committee is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, an internationally recognized "green" building certification.

BECU offsets our carbon footprint by roughly 2,000 tons annually by supporting local forest restoration projects through Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture Program. Trees were planted at 11 locations in Washington cities, including Carnation, Fall City, Marysville, Redmond, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila.

The financial well-being of our members and communities is intimately interconnected with the broader well-being of people around the world. Thank you, BECU, for broadening our vision!” —Steve S., BECU employee

Continue to the next section:

Read other sections of our 2020 Annual Report:

I. BECU + YOU

II. BECU + COMMUNITY

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