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It appears that the COVID-19 crisis will be with us for a while longer. Even with a vaccine on the horizon and improved treatments for the disease, this new normal is challenging credit unions on many fronts. One of the deepest challenges is continuing the strategic planning process effectively, despite facing physical distance and personal employee distress. Organizations that have cultures that foster communication, agility and employee engagement will have the best chances of succeeding in these difficult times.

Even with a vaccine emerging sometime within the next year, your strategic planning must include organizational readiness to face an uncertain future for employees and the business. Your planning must include preparing for scenarios that will have completely differing outcomes. The consequences for both employees and the organization will be completely different if a 75% to 90% effective and widely accepted vaccine becomes available in the early spring versus one that may be less effective and comparable to the annual flu vaccine, which according to the CDC is only about 50% to 60% effective. Challenges also will come from those who refuse to be vaccinated at all.

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