Increased volunteer diversity couldn’t come at a better time. One of the hottest topics credit union leaders are embracing today is diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
This development is much needed and important in making sure the communities credit unions serve and the people they hire represent diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Volunteers represent member groups best when they can personally relate to their unique needs and challenges. Doing so improves the overall direction and decisions of credit union leaders.
How onboarding is evolving
The concept of onboarding volunteers is not new. However, expectations of current and prospective volunteers are changing. Onboarding practices also need to change to stay relevant.
Here are three suggestions for recruiting diverse board members:
The purpose of onboarding is to educate and integrate new volunteers, ensuring they are prepared to make informed decisions that are congruent with the organization’s mission, vision, and values. These decisions also must ensure safety and soundness.
Begin by setting realistic expectations for new volunteers so they understand what is required, such as participation, attendance, training, engagement, advocacy, and more.
Also, provide formal and comprehensive introductions to new volunteers. Take these steps:
Why it matters
Credit unions need volunteers who are ready to govern into tomorrow. The diversity of volunteers is critical as the communities we serve evolve.
Simply attracting diverse volunteers isn’t enough. Once we recruit them, we need to make sure they receive the proper tools and training to do the job well. Diverse and high-performing boards set the tone for a diverse and high-performing credit union.
Recruiting and developing the best board is a work in progress, but it’s necessary. The board’s focus on developing its future governing body should be one of its top priorities.
SCOTT BUTTERFIELD is the principal at Your Credit Union Partner (yourcupartner.com).