ALEXANDRIA, VA — The initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic sent most companies into overdrive as they managed taking their workforce online, but in the financial sector, going completely virtual adds the challenge of security into the mix.
The United States Senate Federal Credit Union over came that challenge last spring because it was in their team’s DNA according to President and CEO Timothy L. Anderson.
“It’s been a really good exercise for us actually,” Anderson tells 104.7 WONK FM’s Jen Richer. “No one really wanted this environment, but it allowed us to be able to take our employees remote and still be able to serve our members.”
The team went right into action, creating a task force responsible for taking the credit union online. "We had to put together pretty quickly a crisis management team that dealt with putting things into place," Anderson described. "From the time we established a ... it took us about three weeks to take the entire credit union remote."
With a staff of over 150 people, taking the team from a brick-and-mortar mindset to working fully remote, while keeping the security standards is no small challenge. "We had to be able to go remote, completely remote, [but] we've never had a philosophy of remote telework, and so to be able to do that, and keep two objectives in mind - taking care of our employees, and looking after our members - I was really pleased," Anderson said.
Anderson credits the quick transition to his team, "our team pulled together, the senior management team, the crisis management team, the entire organization just to make sure we could serve our members."
As CEO, Anderson said his top priority though was safety, "Taking care of our employees, making sure that our people were safe, we [were] looking after their well-being."
Some of the biggest challenges USSFCU faced during the transition online understandably stemmed from the technical side. "We had to make sure we had the bandwidth, we had to make sure we had all the things in place to really support it from an IT prospective," Anderson described.
One of the biggest concerns members seemed to have at the beginning of the pandemic were what services would be available to them while the credit union was working remotely. USSFCU was able to assure members those services remained available, in addition to new services created to help members fare these uncertain times.
"We had members who were in need [so] we created special programs like a relief loan that could tide them over for those members who may have lost their job or had some other hardship, and just making sure that we'd be available," Anderson said.
For more information on USSFCU and how to join visit USSFCU.org
Listen to the full interview here: