Remix the American Dream so it works for EVERYONE – CUInsight

  • July 6, 2020
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Excerpt from CUInsight, featuring GreenPath Executive VP of Strategy, Rick Bialobrzeski, shares tips for credit unions to serve everyone’s diverse needs. connects the credit union community to news, community and trusted partners.

A recent article from Rick Bialobrzesk, Executive Vice President at GreenPath Financial Wellness, looked at the challenges underway this year.

Rick notes that the year has catapulted many people into new and likely uncomfortable spaces.  Many in the credit union industry have transitioned to a remote work environment, and are challenged to serve their members remotely. Rick also calls out that credit unions, as well as all of us, must do more to promote diversity, racial equity, and inclusion.

Servicing credit union members remotely has emerged as critical. If credit unions have not yet invested and offered their members digital tools, 2020 has been a rude wake-up call.

Meeting the Needs of Credit Union Members

Credit union members expect their financial institutions to meet their needs without leaving the comfort of their home.  Expectations set during the pandemic aren’t likely to change going forward.

Rick poses mission-critical questions. How can credit unions make it easier for members to do business with you?  How can credit unions add value in innovative ways?

Diversity, racial equity, and inclusion are part of a credit union’s DNA.  Credit unions were built on community.  And, right now our communities are hurting and feeling fractured.  What steps can an organization take to help make the American Dream achievable for EVERYONE, especially people of color?

For credit unions looking at where to begin, Rick’s article offers the following suggestions:

  1. Lead: A unified approach created by credit union leadership is critical.  Leadership shows employees, members and community that the organization is committed to learning and growing.  It sets up the organization to display vulnerability and act courageously.
  2. Listen: Create opportunities to listen to people of color in the work force and community.  Listen and evaluate the information without bias or defensiveness.   At GreenPath, our first step was to engage with our employees.  Our CEO partnered with black team members to conduct town halls that created a safe space for employees to listen to each other and share experiences.  We also set up confidential listening sessions with our Employee Assistance Plan provider.
  3. Act: Determine actions the credit union will take.  But listen first. Assess the organizational structure, leadership and board of directors.  Are people of color adequately represented?  Is their voice heard?  Examine everything —culture, training, policies, processes, marketing and results.  Be honest about any gaps, and how to do better in the future.

Everyone’s version of the American Dream is unique.  Let’s remix that dream so it’s truly achievable for EVERYONE.  Credit unions have a role to play.


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