2021 was a pivotal year for bringing diversity, equity and inclusion into the credit union system. Great strides were made in raising awareness and building commitment. Credit unions rolled up their sleeves and leveraged DEI to improve both internal and member-facing experiences. Now, in 2022, a new opportunity presents itself for credit unions as they assess and redefine what role their hybrid work arrangements and physical workspaces can play in improving the employee experience and organizational culture. As hybrid work policies and office spaces are retooled, injecting DEI can deliver improved staff outcomes, teamwork, sense of belonging and commitment to shared mission.

When it comes to hybrid work and the role of the office, there will be no returning to business as usual. That mold is broken. Credit union leaders must recognize that the ground has shifted, expectations have changed, and attempts to "rein in" or "return" workers to some pre-pandemic state will not prove effective. Take the present moment as an opening to re-think and re-imagine a more holistic, inclusive and equitable set of workplace policies that will position your credit union to thrive into the future. Now may be a great time to include DEI principles from the outset and make strategic investments in your workforce policies and physical workplaces.

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