Welcome to CEOpulse, where we discuss the initial findings of our ongoing study surveying CEOs across the country about what they believe is happening in our industry during this crucial time to affect organizational success.

In December 2020, we interviewed 50 CEOs, of which many who are current clients of ours. While we won’t fully know the pandemic’s impact until later this year and in the years to yet come, these are great insights into what financial organizations are currently experiencing.

Let’s dive into an overview of the hot topics in CEOpulse!

Economic Impacts from COVID-19

Of course, financial institutions’ abilities to successfully grow their way out of the
pandemic will depend largely on the soundness of their local economies. Overall, CEOs have a positive outlook on what’s yet to come – but it vastly depends on lockdown restrictions in place among various areas around the country, and how those areas have responded and adapted to the lockdowns.

With many changes and uncertainties in the U.S. economy within the past year, it’s no wonder that this is a major contributing factor in the success of financial institutions.

Financial Performances from 2020 – and what that means for organizations today

Again, overall, we have uncovered more positive news among CEOs regarding their financial performances during the pandemic. Delinquency has been at or below target, while asset growth has significantly boomed.

In 2021, the expectation is that earnings and ROA will take a hit, the result of increasing delinquencies – but that non-interest expenses will improve.

This is great for the outlook into 2021 to set up our world for future success.

Impacts on Employee Culture

As evident from the survey findings, majority of “work from home” employees and leadership reported improved use of technology and communication practices during the pandemic, which will follow suit well into 2021 and beyond. 

In fact, 50% of respondents expect dramatic changes in organizational structure and staffing, while only 30% expect it to stay the same. Almost all respondents noted their WFH (work from home) model will remain in place throughout 2021. Some indicated 75% of staff were consistently in a WFH scenario.

It’s no secret that organizational culture will continue to adapt and make changes, but the pandemic paved the way we do business everyday – ultimately affecting employee behavior.

Strategic Shifts for 2021

We are in for an interesting year still ahead with many unknowns. But organizations have solid strategic plans for 2021 to navigate the many changes in our world – backed up by data and more than just simple predictions.

While it may be off to a slower start than anticipated, the flight to digital channels has accelerated, as evident in our previous ReBalance surveys. Most respondents are enhancing their focus on marketing and branding efforts that not only impact their digital channels, but also their facilities. Branches may operate differently, but they are still useful.

The key is to remain flexible, empathetic, and compassionate with service in mind to successfully navigate through the rest of the year ahead and thrive in our “new normal.”

Want to watch the full series for a data deep dive? Join NewGround’s VP of Strategy Scott Florini and FI Strategies’ CEO Paul Robert in a four-part video series to learn more!

Watch here: https://www.newground.com/ceopulse-2021/