Customer Story

The Hawaii State Federal Credit Union does right by its employees

The credit union prioritizes employee financial wellness with Dayforce Wallet.
Group of 10 professionally dressed people wearing Hawaiian leis standing in a row in a building lobby.
  • 100%

    cost savings from system consolidation

  • Increased employee engagement and retention

  • Providing employees flexible access to earned wages

When picturing Hawaii, many envision the clear turquoise water, the soft sand, and the stunning scenery. It’s renowned the world over as a destination to vacation and relax. It's easy to forget that this serene collection of islands is home to a bustling economy, fueled by the locals who live and work here.

Just like other metropolises, the financial services industry in the state capital of Honolulu is as competitive as they come. To keep up with the big banks and new online vendors – and to break through in a crowded marketplace – mid-size institutions must strive to differentiate themselves.

The Hawaii State Federal Credit Union (Hawaii State FCU) knows this well. The Honolulu-based company is the largest credit union in the state of Hawaii, with more than 120,000 members, 11 branches, and approximately 400 employees, most of whom are full-time. The institution has been in business since 1936, and services state, city, and county employees as well as non-profits and select businesses and their families across the state.

Even with its long history in the state and a large and growing footprint, Hawaii State FCU needs to work hard to attract staff and members given the competition in the market. The organization strives to be competitive on compensation and offers a robust benefits and retirement package to employees. But when you ask those employees what sets Hawaii State FCU apart from other financial institutions, they’re unanimous: the family culture, and the focus on putting both members and staff first.

“We've built our institution to have the brand tagline ‘Always Right by You,’" explains Gina Carvalho, VP of Human Resources. “We take pride in delivering our products and services with exceptional service and building relationships with our members to empower them with a lifetime of personal financial wellness.”

And when it comes to doing right by their employees, Carvalho says, it’s all about “making sure they're paid competitively, and that they have the best working environment and the tools and resources to be successful.”

Streamlining operations to put employees first

Hawaii State FCU’s human resources team is comprised of nine people who are responsible for every aspect of HR operations, including payroll, benefits, recruiting, staff engagement, labor relations, and support for executive management.

Delivering the best possible experience to staff is a priority. Hawaii State FCU knows that being a best-in-class employer means responding not only to employees’ workplace needs, but also their personal realities and challenges. The company is always on the look-out for intuitive, easy-to-implement tools that can help improve employees’ lives.

Hawaii State FCU has partnered with Dayforce for more than 30 years. The company first implemented Dayforce in 2016, starting with HR, payroll, and benefits. Since then, the team has added recruiting, onboarding, performance, and compensation capabilities to its portfolio. In 2021, the company made a new investment in doing right by its staff by implementing Dayforce Wallet.

“The primary reason we chose Dayforce is because of the platform. It's very innovative and offers unparalleled configuration, improved functionality and in-depth reporting and analytics,” says Carvalho. “We wanted to combine all of our HR aspects into a single integrated HCM solution to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Our decision to implement Dayforce has helped us achieve our goals to include obtaining a higher return on our investment, reducing our expenses by over 100%, and allowing us to focus more time on strategic initiatives.”

Hawaii State FCU employees’ ages span from 19 years old all the way up to 84, and they have varying levels of comfort and familiarity with digital tools. With Dayforce, employees can easily access everything from earning statements, to benefits, and performance reviews. The intuitive interface makes using the system easy no matter the employee’s technological proficiency. And the HR team likes that they can customize employee settings and have oversight into levels of access for different segments of the workforce.

Dayforce also gave managers access to real-time data and push-of-a-button reporting. “It's definitely helped in our decision making to have a system that can provide us with real-time data quickly,” says Michelle Pinacate, HR Senior Section Manager. “There are so many reporting possibilities that I never thought I would be able to access. I used to shy away from reporting, but with Dayforce, it's very easy to export reports.”

Recruiting and retaining talent in a competitive market

Not only is the team saving time on reporting, but they’re also finding efficiencies in their recruiting process. Staff can post a new job through Dayforce and, with the click of a button, share it on Indeed, LinkedIn, and other recruiting platforms, increasing the speed and reach of postings.

“These candidates are then available to our managers immediately when they apply for a position,” says Pinacate. “This allows our managers to act fast to bring these candidates in for an interview. In today's market, if you're not interviewing and hiring quickly, people may accept another job.”

With the time they’re saving on recruiting, the HR team is able to focus on promoting the company’s comprehensive benefits and retirement package – one of its key differentiators. And when a candidate is hired, onboarding through Dayforce seamlessly connects them with key staff and information to start off on the right foot.

The company also uses Dayforce to better communicate and engage with its workforce. This gives the HR team an understanding of what drives retention, to help them maintain a low turnover rate and ensure employees are happy.

Strengthening total rewards and promoting financial well-being with Dayforce Wallet

Recently, Hawaii State FCU implemented Dayforce Wallet, a flexible pay solution that gives employees real-time access to the wages they’ve earned before payday. This provides greater flexibility for all employees over their cash flow and is especially helpful in emergencies. If an employee needs early access to funds to cover a car repair emergency, for example, Dayforce Wallet lets them pull from their earnings instead of relying on high-interest credit cards or payday loans.

When Hawaii State FCU first heard about Dayforce Wallet, Carvalho, Pinacate, and the team immediately saw how the solution could support staff’s financial wellness and add to the company’s total rewards package. But they also had questions. Would the solution be difficult to implement, administer, and manage? Would it complicate payroll? The team worked with Dayforce to get answers.

Dayforce Wallet continuously calculates net pay, including remittances, which means that employees who use it receive a payout of net earnings, not an advance. This allows employers to maintain existing payroll funding schedules and provides real-time reports that show itemized and cumulative withdrawals. “One of the best things about Dayforce Wallet is how easy it is for both employees and payroll administrators to use. It's seamlessly integrated with our payroll system,” says Pinacate.

Feeling confident that Dayforce Wallet could help the company do right by its employees, the HR team successfully presented a proposal to executive leadership, and then formed a focus team that helped guide implementation. A pilot team of early adopters helped trial the system and work out bugs. Dayforce Wallet was launched to the rest of the company in April 2021.

“Today’s employees are under an incredible amount of stress, with a large percentage of U.S. workers living paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. That has heightened the need for companies to look at ways to help their employees and to embrace workplace practices that put employees at the center of the work experience,” says Carvalho. “Dayforce Wallet provides employees more financial flexibility and reduces financial expenses when the unexpected arises” says Carvalho.

To access Dayforce Wallet, Hawaii State FCU has mandated that employees must take two financial courses – one on basic budgeting, and the other on how spending can affect credit. “These courses not only elevate their level of knowledge, but also support our due diligence as a financial response institution,” says Pinacate. “One of the great benefits of Dayforce Wallet is that it helps us to be consistent with the current times and the nature of our industry. We offer a lot of online tools for our members. Now we can do that for our employees as well.”

Reaction from staff has been positive. Since implementation, 15% of employees have used Dayforce Wallet, and 35% have signed up.

As adoption grows, Carvalho believes Dayforce Wallet will continue to support engagement, retention, and performance. “When you provide flexibility and products that show your employees you care, not just about them at work, but about their personal well-being, engagement increases, and that positively impacts productivity.”

Partnership that withstands the test of time

Just as the credit union strives to do right by its staff and customers, the Dayforce team strives to do right by the Hawaii State FCU team. In a state where family values and the culture of “ohana” live strong, knowing that it can depend on Dayforce support makes all the difference for the company.

“This is the best partnership that we've experienced in my 30 years of working at Hawaii State FCU,” says Carvalho. “The partnership is so wonderful because of that level of engagement we have with the Dayforce team, and their personal commitment to always wanting to be there for us. It goes beyond words. They’re not just a vendor to us, they’re like family.”

And that support goes beyond the system. The team at Hawaii State FCU knows it can count on Dayforce to be on top of compliance updates, bring innovative new workforce solutions, and create networking opportunities for the company’s HR team.

As it looks to the future, Hawaii State FCU is focused on continuing to explore how Dayforce can support its efforts to be a best-in-class employer. This includes continuing its successful roll-out of Dayforce Wallet and leveraging the full functionality of Dayforce’s dashboards to provide even better access to real-time information.

“I believe we are a lifetime partner with Dayforce. We have no intention of ever switching,” says Carvalho.


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