How will your credit union retain employees after returning to the office?

It’s an open secret that recruiters sign up to “return to office” Google alerts and reach out to employees after their company announces a return to the office.

Whether you’ve been working in the office the whole time, have already returned, or are planning to return, it’s critical to build an effective strategy that recognizes how employee expectations have changed over the past two years.

  1. Adopt a Hybrid Workplace Strategy

We believe that hybrid is the future of work.

Working from home has worked out well for the majority of office workers. They have validated the trust given to them and have demonstrated consistent levels of productivity. And many workers consider working from home a core aspect of their employment, a right that if taken away would drive them to other employers.

But that said, a large majority of both employees and employers still envision that a majority of their team members are going to return to the office in some form. Research by Harvard Business School shows that 73% of American workers want to return to the office at least part time.

By adopting a hybrid working strategy, you can combine the best of both worlds. You can give employees more flexibility in their life and free them from commutes, while also realizing the benefits face-to-face interactions bring to relationships, career development, innovation, and collaboration.

  1. Don’t Engineer Away the Benefits of Remote Work

The top benefits of remote work are flexibility and freedom from distractions.

Remote days are ideal for taking care of personal tasks. Consider policies that allow members of your team to be flexible with their schedule on remote days, such as getting a late or early start to the day.

Also, recognize that remote days are ideal for knocking out solo focused work, and consider policies that avoid them spending these days on Zoom.

The benefits of remote work can vary from team to team and between individuals, and it’s important to develop policies that take advantage of these benefits for both employees and the credit unions they’re working for.

  1. Realize the Benefits of Face-to-Face Work

An all-too-common situation these days is frustrated workers commuting into the office just to spend their whole day on Zoom. Or when you have eight team members in the office and two at home, and while the eight are fully engaged and participating the two at home feel pushed out or a lesser part of the team.

While it’s important to give employees flexibility around remote work, it’s also important to emphasize in-person interactions. Let employees choose their days out of the office, but also build structure and consistency into their schedules. If there are meetings that need to happen, make sure they happen on days when everyone can meet face-to-face.

When remote work is spontaneous, there often isn’t deliberate collaboration happening amongst your team. But when employees can plan around a structured hybrid schedule, they have more opportunities for face time and an easier time building and maintaining relationships.

  1. Create an Environment Where Your Team Wants to Work

Creating a place where employees want to be and that supports and empowers them in their work is critical.

If they have to work on focused tasks in the middle of a noisy hot-desking space, they’re going to be frustrated. If they need to collaborate but don’t have easy access to their team, it’s going to make their job more difficult.

Activity Based Working is a strategy that addresses this by understanding what types of working environments your team needs to do their work and providing them with the ability to choose spaces that work best for the task at hand.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is also an often-overlooked aspect of physical working environments. There is a growing body of research around how credit unions can build more inclusive working environments and help create a true sense of belonging.

  1. Don’t Make it Arbitrary

This can’t be stressed enough. Decisions around RTO or hybrid working need to be driven by strategy.

When you create rules, make sure that “why?” can be answered.

Are there specific roles that benefit more from being in the office or working from home?

While many organizations across the country have implemented effective RTO strategies that both the organization and employees are happy with, this isn’t always the case. Famously, Goldman Sachs ordered all employees back to the office with their CEO referring to remote work as “an aberration that we’re going to correct as quickly as possible.”

The result?

Only half of their employees showed up to work.

Ultimately, it’s about recognizing the role that employees play in your organization and showing them the trust and respect that they deserve.

Check out our recent credit union workplace articles to learn more.

Jay Speidell

Jay Speidell

Jay Speidell is the Marketing Manager at Momentum, a strategic design-build partner that takes a people centric approach to helping credit unions across the nation thrive. Web: Details