from Verve, A Credit Union:
Verve’s resilience through the pandemic crisis is an affirmation of our long-established culture and digital strategy. We are thankful to have an incredible team that lives our Why (our shared purpose) and uses their unique talents to make a difference for our members and community.
Verve had already established remote work access for a small group of team members, with policies and procedures in place to support the strategy, so we were prepared to enable even more team members. This allowed for the recommended spacing precautions for remaining team members in our offices and branches. We created limited movement guidelines within the offices and created dedicated break spaces to eliminate unnecessary exposure.
Once basic human needs for health, safety and continued employment had been met for our team members, and member financial relief efforts were underway, leadership attention was immediately devoted to fostering high-functioning teams in a socially distanced work environment. We provided education and tools from our engagement partner, Gallup, to support leaders in serving their teams in trying times. Each of these actions have a strong connection to our Why, which drives our resolve to stay open and serve the community as an essential business.
As a financial with twenty-one branches in two states, leveraging digital tools has always been a central part of our strategy. The keys to Verve’s morale and productivity staying high during this time, as well as any other time, are well-adopted digital tools to keep connections strong, particularly video calling and video meetings, and our intranet platform. Instead of using a phone call or chat service, team members were using a video call through Microsoft Teams for most interactions long before the pandemic. This daily habit provides meaningful connections and keeps projects moving forward.
At the start of the pandemic, key Verve leaders established a Covid Response Team that met daily for several weeks and continues to meet three times per week. Decisions made in these meetings to support the team were communicated daily through well-adopted channels. Increasing internal communication frequency through our intranet platform – making sure each piece is meaningful and invites comments – has kept team members in the know of our response efforts and new benefits available to them, and provided much-needed space to connect with peers. A Covid-19 response podcast series was launched to give transparency to safety plans, business continuity and member financial relief efforts in a creative and engaging delivery channel. We are thankful to have this information delivery channel long established before the pandemic hit so our team members knew exactly where to go for transparent and timely communication from Verve leadership.
Our Wellness team immediately transitioned to digital programming – still providing actionable content and supporting team members in healthy habits during quarantine. A wellness vlog, chat groups, daily stretching webcast and stretching/fitness routines are available to all team members to help them stay healthy and connected. In a meaningful way, these wellness interactions have served as a digital alternative for the “water cooler” and have been a welcome brain break for team members facing pandemic stressors.
We are grateful to have received high team member praise of our Covid-19 response initiatives in one-on-one interactions as well as in our Gallup Covid-19 Response Survey in late April. Team member survey feedback ranked Verve in the top quartile of all companies responding.
The pandemic experience was an extraordinary test of our team and strategy, and we are very proud of the way our team was able to rise to the challenge and still deliver a benefit to our team members, our members and the communities we serve.