Survey Says … Impact of COVID-19 on Mindset and Behaviors
July 15, 2020
10 minute read – No one will know the answers to the following questions for a long time, but that does not mean trying to gain insight, early and often, is not a worthy objective – that’s what we did. We surveyed employees of credit unions across the nation in an effort to gain some insight. Using this insight can help leaders think through how they would answer the following questions:
- How will social distancing and fear of a prolonged threat from the pandemic change our business model?
- What opportunities can we create as a result of changes and fears?
- What are longer-term implications on talent and culture if a distributed workforce becomes a way of life?
- We were quick to respond in the midst of a crisis – how can we maintain our successes and scale them to create strategic advantages?
- What new or enhanced products, services, and/or delivery options can we offer in light of changes to consumers’ mindsets?
A little more about the survey…
There were approximately 2,900 participants that completed the survey. Participants ranged in age from less than 20 years old to in their 70s. The participants’ demographics also covered a range of:
- Roles in the institution: front line staff to executives
- Living environments: rural, suburban, or urban areas
- Housing situations: multi-family vs. single family homes
The credit unions that participated were also geographically diverse, covering various regions of the US and representing different asset sizes.
The specific question we asked was: In 12 months from now, how do you believe your behaviors and/or mindset will be different compared to pre-COVID-19 level in the following areas?
As you can see below, participants responded on a scale from “Substantially Decrease” to “Substantially Increase” for 13 different behaviors and mindsets.
There is a wealth of information in the survey results with many insights that are useful for credit unions to consider and explore further. Below are a few takeaways:
There is a significant increase in the desire to work remotely. Right now, many organizations are wrestling with the role of remote work and a distributed workforce. While remote work can create competitive advantages in many areas, such as, talent acquisition, a key question is: How will credit unions maintain and build their culture, which is key for delivering on their value proposition?
This ties into another takeaway, which is most participants expressed a decrease in their attendance and willingness for in-person activities (concerts, social gatherings, air travel, etc.). From an organizational perspective, how do you create strong social ties that build your culture if employees are less willing to physically interact? From a membership perspective, how do these results impact branches and branching strategies?
Lastly, the increase in personal savings targets for a majority of participants, combined with a decreased willingness to borrow for a little over a third of the participants. This type of mindset and behavior could create ROA pressure. Keep in mind participants were responding based on their mindset 12 months from now, so the effects of this pressure could be felt for a longer period of time as deposits may continue to grow and lending opportunities could decrease.
We encourage you to dig into the results and notice the differences, and similarities, by age group. We believe this insight can help you find opportunities to begin to answer the questions outlined above. If you have any questions or would like to discuss digging deeper into the results, we are here to help.