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Credit Union SA Staff given leave to thrive

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Liana Reinhardt

Chief People & Strategy Officer

24 Oct 2022

| Credit Union SA

Staff at Credit Union SA are thriving under new wellbeing initiatives designed to promote greater work/life balance.

Liana Reinhardt, Credit Union SA Chief People and Strategy Officer, says an additional leave program introduced by the customer-owned banking organisation was helping staff take time out to relax, recharge and return to work re-energised.

“At Credit Union SA we prioritise ensuring our team members have a good work/life balance because we know how vital it is for their overall wellbeing,” Liana says.

“Credit Union SA has recently implemented ‘thrive day’ leave where staff are given an extra four days off a year to pursue any activity they choose. One staff member recently went to a day spa, another flew interstate so they could watch their daughter play football.

“The ‘Thrive Day’ leave has been a great success and has actually seen overall leave balances reduce. We put this down to the fact that, by implementing this extra leave, we have sent a strong message about how important it is to us that staff take time out.

“We regularly look at annual leave balances and if someone’s leave is high, their manager will have a conversation with them to find out why they feel they can’t take a break.

“We have the systems and structures in place to ensure that staff members can take time out, trusting the team will pick up their responsibilities and our high customer service levels are maintained.”


Karen Beard, Credit Union SA Chief Member & Experience Officer, knows the importance of taking a break and is leading by example.

“I’ve just come back from two weeks’ annual leave and spent the time relaxing, recharging and attending my father’s 80th birthday party in Mt Gambier,” Karen says.

“Taking annual leave is not only good for me, it’s also good for my family, not to mention my two dogs who certainly love the extra attention and our long walks.

“I’d booked the time off a while ago and when I saw it pop up in my calendar I did think that I’m really busy, and maybe I should just cancel the leave. Then I thought, no, it’s important that I have time away to recharge.

“Breaking away from the usual routine of daily working life is so important. It allows me a reset so when I return to work I am able to tackle challenges with a fresh outlook.

“When I take annual leave, it also creates an opportunity for professional development for someone in my team. It’s a chance for them to step up and be challenged in a highly supportive environment. We prepare staff to do this.

“As part of the executive team at Credit Union SA, I want to lead by example in taking my annual leave. I manage a team of 60 people and it’s critical that I walk the talk.

“There will always be something on the go at work and it’s important not to wait for the perfect time to take leave. I know that when I take a break my role is covered by highly skilled colleagues and I can relax.”

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