There’s probably nothing a CEO, executive or HR leader would pay more for than an accurate and reliable picture of what is to come. While I can’t provide you with a perfect glimpse of the future for every aspect of your credit union’s operations, I can provide you with some great data on what’s coming next in talent—plus solid recommendations for how to make the most of your talent for the rest of this year and into next.
My data comes from the just-in results of this year’s CUES Talent Development Survey. Our new report, “The State of CU Training & Development 2021,” honors National Learning and Development month.
Read on for help in creating a useful and effective 2022 talent road map for your credit union.
Three Key Findings
The top three findings from this year’s survey are important to keep in mind as you develop your talent road map.
The No. 1 finding is unlikely to surprise you. It is that credit unions greatly increased their use of remote workers over the last year. In our 2020 survey, 0% of respondents said they were using full-time remote workers; this year, that percentage increased to 43%.
Finding No. 2 is that time constraints continue to be a top talent management challenge. Having limited time was named the top concern in last year’s report and was edged out by remote work this year. This year, credit unions with less than $100 million in assets were the most likely to say time constraints were an issue for them (45%) compared with 36% of credit unions with $100 million to $500 million in assets. Credit unions in the largest two asset categories reported somewhat less concern about having enough time to focus on talent issues, 24% and 23%, respectively.
The survey also asked respondents to rate the level of challenge their credit unions faced for 14 functions of talent development. The same three functions ranked as the most significant challenges facing respondents’ credit unions in both 2020 and 2021 for a majority of respondents, although percentages shifted somewhat from last year to this year. The most challenging talent functions this year are building sufficient bench strength (45%), attracting/retaining quality talent (also 45%) and developing future leaders (41%).
Three Foundational Ideas for the Future of Talent
So, what does CUES recommend that you incorporate into your credit union’s 2022 talent road map?
First, take a flexible approach to staffing. While much is still unknown about how the impacts of the pandemic and new ways of working will affect companies in the long term, one thing is certain: There is no one-size-fits-all “right answer” about how to structure your credit union’s workplace. Even credit unions that had never previously considered remote work options found during the pandemic that it could be done—and that there were some related benefits worth exploring further. On the other hand, great energy and great ideas can come from being together in person.
Second, offer multiple opportunities and options for leadership development. Yes, this also relates to being flexible! Consider what today’s leaders need to know—and predict what they will need to know next year. For example, they probably still need to know about the perennial foundations of leadership, such as how to focus on the core business and key metrics and the ability to communicate the mission and vision and keep the team aligned to them. Tomorrow’s leaders also will need to know how to facilitate conversations and initiatives focused on diversity, equity and inclusion as well as how to lead virtual or hybrid teams.
In addition to flexibility in leadership learning content, credit unions will want to consider options in leadership learning delivery, which include (but are certainly not limited to) developmental project assignments, formal assessments of leadership, and both formal and informal online and in-person learning.
In all, credit unions shouldn’t put a singular path for leadership development on their talent road maps. Offering a wide range of options to meet varying staff needs and preferences can help boost participation, engagement and results.
Finally, introduce coaching and mentoring to improve management performance. In an environment that includes daily predictions about an impending mass exodus of employees, organizations are rightly concerned about losing talent. They’re also concerned about ensuring they have the bench strength to fill future leadership roles. Credit unions aren’t immune to these concerns. Coaching and mentoring can play a key role in attracting and retaining top talent.
There’s a lot more information and data in the full report, which members can download here. Once you read it and put together your 2022 talent road map using the CUES event calendar, I’ll hope you’ll share it with me and let me know how CUES can best accompany you on your journey to success.