Published on February 11, 2021
Written by The Servion Group
One of the questions we asked was:
We provided 10 answer options. These are the four most common responses.
Remote working was the number one thing on the minds of our survey respondents. The work environment drastically changed when the first stay-at-home orders were issued at the start of the pandemic. Credit unions and community banks are now giving some deep thought to what their remote work policies will be post-COVID.
According to The Financial Brand, working from home will be a key for banks and credit unions seeking to attract and retain talent in the future: “Flexible working arrangements are no longer a perk — they are becoming table stakes. Starting with the demands of working parents to not only have flexible working locations, but schedules as well, the 9-5 standard has essentially gone out the window. Post-COVID, employees will see loss of this newfound freedom as though they are not trusted by management despite the evidence that they’re performing more than well enough to be trusted.”
Moreover, research from the International Workplace Group found that 80 percent of employees wouldn't take a job that didn't offer work-from-home flexibility. And, according to Buffer's 2020 State of Remote Work Report, a remarkable 98 percent of employees said they want to work remotely at least part time for the rest of their careers.
Clearly, community FI leaders are right to be thinking about the role of remote work in their workplaces. The key will be for leaders to engage with their employees, find out what they really want, and find a balance between home and office work that fits the needs of both the company and its employees.
Credit unions and community banks were faced with new challenges when employees had to quarantine due to being diagnosed with COVID, exposed to it, or to care for a loved one who had the virus. The unexpected absences of employees often left knowledge gaps within the organization and made it difficult to get things done.
Our survey respondents indicated that cross-training is their second-highest priority going forward. With proper cross-training and knowledge transfer, the goal is to ensure that there are multiple employees who know how to perform certain tasks and nothing is dependent on one person.
Technology infrastructure received the third-most votes in our survey. Applying and building on the lessons learned from the COVID-imposed work-from-home environment is something FI leaders should set as a goal. For credit unions and community banks, it will be important to think about:
Credit unions and community banks want to adapt employees’ skills and roles to a post-COVID environment. Putting the right people in the right places, and ensuring people have the right training, will help your FI build resilience. Don’t be afraid to make bold moves and try new methods of operating that make better use of your employees’ skillsets.
Global management firm McKinsey & Company calls this “reskilling” and offers several ideas for how to get started:
This graph shows the top four post-COVID priorities discussed above, plus all the other answers respondents gave to our survey question.
It is clear than community FIs have a lot to think about in preparation for a post-COVID world. These are the four most important priorities for your peer institutions. Have you had discussions about any of these topics within your organization? If not, there’s no better time to start than the present!