Does Your Credit Union Have Hybrid Work Norms?

CUES managing editor and publisher Theresa Witham
Theresa Witham Photo
VP/Publications & Publisher

3 minutes

From the editor

I started telecommuting in 2004 when I moved away from Wisconsin and the CUES headquarters. Not long after, CUES fully embraced flexible work, and soon many more employees were working full-time from their homes. 

At that time, it was hard to imagine how a credit union could ever make remote work, well, work for them on a large scale. Now, while bosses and employees argue about getting back to the office, it does seem like remote work is still not for every position or every company. But then I had an eye exam, and the doctor was on Zoom! 

When I made my annual appointment, the receptionist asked if I would mind coming on the doctor’s work-from-home day. Not at all. That sounded interesting! This is how it worked: A technician was in the room and did some of the tests and photos. Then the doctor and I spoke through Zoom, and she controlled the lens machine remotely, flipping between options A and B, etc. It was very easy, very smooth and very fast. Plus, my new glasses are working great. (Even though, sigh, they’re progressives.) 

Now, this was not a fully remote office, of course. Someone had to be there in person to check me in and set up the machines. But I left thinking, “If an eye doctor can work from home, why not a teller with the right technology?” 

When credit unions were forced to embrace remote work during COVID-19, many thought it would be a short-term solution. But three years later, most of you are still embracing flexible work arrangements. 

In CUES’ latest credit union talent development survey (out this month!), 81% of respondents told us they employ remote workers. This includes fully remote employees and arrangements in which some or all employees work remotely part-time. In the 2022 survey, 87% of credit unions said they employed remote workers; in 2021, 80%. That’s quite a contrast from early 2020, right before COVID-19 hit, when only 26% of credit unions reported using remote workers. 

That is a big cultural shift in such a short time, and it’s perfectly normal to be still navigating the challenges. Now is a good time to ask yourself: Do our hybrid work norms help or hinder our retention efforts? That is the question we ask in an article of the same name on our award-winning website. 

Workplace “norms provide a framework for employees to understand what is considered acceptable or appropriate behavior in the workplace. They contribute to creating a cohesive and harmonious work environment, promoting consistency, cooperation and productivity. Norms can influence how employees interact with one another, how conflicts are resolved and how tasks are approached,” explains Lin Grensing-Pophal, SPHR, a contributing writer and HR consultant. 

Hybrid workplace norms could include things like guidelines for communication channels, response times and preferred methods; virtual meeting etiquette; and availability and core working hours. Not establishing norms for hybrid work can lead to higher turnover. According to Gartner, it’s 12% more likely that employees will leave if you don’t have the right setup.

Read more here and let me know how your credit union handles hybrid workplace norms.cues icon

Compass Subscription