Coronavirus Test Drive – Scaling Up Remote Employees – Put Your Critical Thinking Skills to Work Now
March 13, 2020
6 minute read – Thinking through a scenario or multiple scenarios can be extremely effective at helping you and your team identify issues and work through tough decisions before you need to actually implement them.
Below is an excerpt of a larger scenario you may want to consider test driving. Test driving is a great way to rehearse tomorrow today so that when the future suddenly arrives you and your team are better prepared.
If you want to think through a more complex, larger coronavirus scenario, click here.
Scenario Excerpt – Working Remotely and with Limited Staff
It is up to you to fill in the blanks to create a relevant test drive for your credit union. Remember, this is a test drive so stretch yourself.
To prevent the spread of the virus, schools and daycare centers are shut down and people are being encouraged to stay home and maintain social distancing. Public transportation is limited. Taxi and ridesharing drivers are staying home for fear of catching the virus and because gasoline is being rationed. It is difficult for employees, credit union members, and other community members to get to typical destinations such as work, the store, the doctor, and the pharmacy. The elderly are especially hit hard because of the lack of transportation options.
In an effort to protect the health of employees and members, you have decided to have ___% of your employees work remotely.
Additionally, ___% of employees are sick and/or not able to work for family-related issues, including key positions such as ___% in IT, ___% in the contact center, and ___% of Senior Management.
While there are many questions to answer, here are a few to get you started. The questions are not listed in any particular order. As you work through them, you will certainly come up with lots of other questions. Document them as they come up.
- How do we define success in this environment? Think about adjusting SLAs and productivity expectations.
- How might we need to adjust our leadership and management when we don’t have eyes on many of our employees?
- What are our internal and external communication plans? How will we keep staff up-to-date and appropriately informed? How do we want to control messaging to our members, communities, press, vendors, regulators, etc.?
- What IT capability and security do we need to have in place? Remember, hackers love chaos so they may have an advantage here.
- How would we need to adjust our phone systems and protocols for this scenario? How reliant are we on a 3rd party to handle overflow calls? How might it impact our success and member service if many other financial institutions are relying on this same 3rd party?
- What hardware and backup hardware do we need to have? Do we have access to what we need? If not, how long is the pipeline to get what we need? Consider, how many employees use multiple screens daily. What if the hardware does not work, how do we deploy assistance? A simple HDMI cable or power cord going on the fritz can stop productivity.
- What setup capabilities do our employees have? Internet speed, updated firmware on routers and modems, home phones, quiet workspaces, etc.
- What do we need to update/create regarding a remote worker agreement? Many people are not used to working from home. Basic things like locking computers when stepping away and ensuring no one (kids) are allowed to use company hardware should be thought through and included in the agreement.
- How dependent are we on paper and printing?
- How can we implement in-the-moment process improvements for this scenario?
- What additional steps and safeguards do we need to take to protect member information?
- What are essential and non-essential functions? What functions require physical presence onsite? What are our backup plans if we can’t have physical access for these functions? Think wet signatures.
- As we test drive this scenario, what practices and efficiencies are sustainable beyond this scenario?
- What are people feeling, wishing for, anticipating, or fearing? (Define people – employees, members, board members, community, 3rd parties, regulators, etc.)
- When should we start actually testing our plan? If we don’t test now, what triggers should we have in place to help us determine when we should take action?
- What decisions could we make today for our credit union that would not harm us in this particular future?
Remember, you can make a difference with your mindset. Times of great uncertainty present opportunities for your institution to contribute in a meaningful way to the well-being of your members, employees, and community. Approach these issues with a determination to make a real difference.
Call us. We are here to help. We work with hundreds of institutions and can help you think and explore options. We can appreciate how recent events are impacting the normal course of business and are happy to schedule time outside of normal business hours – early in the morning, late at night, or on the weekend, as needed.
You can reach us at 800.238.7475 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.