HR Answers: Top Talent Development Challenges

talent development manager selecting high performing employee block
Theresa Witham Photo
VP/Publications & Publisher

3 minutes

Credit unions report five major concerns in the latest CUES survey.

In today’s dynamic and competitive global business landscape, talent has emerged as the ultimate differentiator. The rapid evolution of technology, changes in work patterns and shifting societal expectations have led to a significant transformation in the workforce. Like other organizations across various industries, credit unions are adapting to these changes by focusing on talent development as a pivotal cornerstone for sustainable growth and maintaining a competitive edge. 

A notable trend in this transformation is the increasing automation of routine and repetitive tasks, which has led organizations to emphasize the development of critical and specific skills for their employees. Additionally, remote and hybrid work environments have become the norm, catering to the diverse needs and expectations of a multigenerational workforce. This workforce increasingly seeks inclusive workplaces that prioritize work-life balance and employee well-being, reflecting the growing importance of holistic employee development. 

Amid this changing landscape, the credit union sector faces its own set of challenges, including digital transformation, shifting demographics and heightened competition. To remain competitive, credit unions must focus on cultivating a skilled and resilient workforce and fostering a culture of continuous learning, personal growth and professional advancement. 

Survey Says 

The recent findings from the fourth annual HR and Talent Development Survey conducted by CUES shed light on the pressing needs and challenges faced by North American credit unions. One of the most significant findings is the increasing struggle to find quality employees, with 29% citing this as one of their greatest challenges, up from 18% last year and 14% in 2021. Wage and benefit competition and limited advancement opportunities compound this challenge, indicating the need for proactive talent management strategies. 

While the percentage of credit unions allowing fully remote work decreased slightly, remote and hybrid work arrangements continue to gain prominence, with 81% of respondents supporting some form of remote work. This shift has positively impacted employee engagement, indicating a significant shift in the work culture within credit unions. 

The survey also highlighted disparities in talent development approaches between smaller and larger credit unions, with smaller institutions prioritizing short-term goals and larger ones focusing on succession planning. Furthermore, a perceptual gap between CEOs and HR executives was observed, with CEOs emphasizing talent attraction and advancement opportunities, while HR leaders focused more on building bench strength and developing future talent through mentoring programs. 

Top 5 Credit Union Talent Development Challenges 

Based on the CUES survey, the top challenges faced by credit unions in training and talent development are as follows: 

1. Attracting and retaining quality talent: This was cited by 88% of respondents as a major or moderate challenge, with CEOs particularly emphasizing this challenge. 

2. Building sufficient bench strength: This has been a persistent concern over the four years of the study. 

3. Providing regular advancement opportunities: This has recently gained prominence as a significant challenge. Almost half (44%) of respondents noted providing regular advancement opportunities as a major challenge, ranking it the third highest-rated talent management issue. In previous years, providing advancement opportunities was ranked a moderate challenge for credit unions. 

4. Developing future talent: This ranks in the top five; however, a considerable number of HR executives and CEOs indicated the existence of a plan to address this challenge. 

5. Building robust mentoring programs: This is an area that still requires attention, as indicated by the low percentage of survey respondents with concrete plans to address it. 

In conclusion, the evolving workforce landscape demands that organizations, including credit unions, prioritize talent development to remain competitive and sustainable.  Understanding the challenges highlighted in the survey and implementing effective strategies will be crucial for credit unions to foster a skilled, engaged and resilient workforce.

Theresa Witham is VP/publications & publisher at CUES. 

Get the Full Scoop!

Learn more about the industry's most pressing talent development needs and how those challenges are being addressed in "Navigating the Shifting Landscape: Talent Development Trends in the Credit Union Industry," a report on the 2023 CUES Talent Development Survey.
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