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Women in Business

Loretta Roney’s COVID-19 Leadership Lessons

The CEO of Volt Credit Union shares three strategies that helped her get her team through the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Lillian Stone

Jul 06 2020 at 11:45 a.m.

Loretta Roney, Volt Credit Union
Photo Courtesy of Loretta RoneyLoretta Roney, CEO of Volt Credit Union

1. Be proactive, not reactive.

“If we experience another COVID wave in the fall or winter, we have to be ready to move forward without completely upending our business. To prepare for that, we’re investigating strategies to put more technology in place—for example, video components if branches have to shut down again, in addition to our online lending application and our online platform for opening a new account, which debuts in August.”

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2. Give yourself permission to fail.

“At this point, nobody knows if the decisions they’re making are the right decisions. At the end of the day—whether you’re a national leader or a company leader like me—we’re all being called up to make decisions we’ve never had to make before. So as a leader, if I’m running around stressed and concerned because I don’t have all the answers, I’m going to infuse that into my organization in a negative way. Instead, leaders need to be vulnerable enough to say we don’t have all the answers—and that’s okay.”

3. Focus on your people.

“We started with a one-time bonus to all of our staff in late March. We knew we weren’t laying off or cutting salaries, but we knew our staff members’ spouses might be in different situations—especially before the CARES stimulus money was distributed. We also started an internal fund for our staff and their family members to help with things like childcare during the crisis. Finally, our vacation and sick time is separate, so if people have to quarantine they don’t have to use up their vacation time.”

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