Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused nearly all credit union training to be conducted virtually—through webinars or other online platforms.
That is also the case in Ukraine, where World Council’s Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project team has moved training online for its partner credit unions.
While training was consistently provided prior to the pandemic as well, something interesting has happened since the shift to a virtual setting—more credit union branch employees are participating. Typically, CEOs and high-level managers participate in the in-person training sessions, but quarantine became the opportunity for involving loan officers in the training process as well.
In fact, close to 100 credit union employees attended the most recent webinar training that focused on:
- Time management.
- Negotiations with members.
- Product presentation.
Removed from a large conference room setting where credit union executives or board members might be present, credit union employees have also been more willing to ask questions and take a more active role in the virtual training as well.
“We’ve discovered the webinars have provided a good format to get much broader participation from credit union employees, especially those who work at the branches and have more direct interaction with members,” said Ivan Vyshnevskiy, deputy chief of party for the CAP Project.
Most credit union branch locations in Ukraine are still seeing reduced member traffic due to COVID-19, but that has also given employees more time to participate in the training sessions to help them prepare for when things open back up and the economy returns to normal.
And activity at those branches should pick up soon. The Kiev metro (subway) began operating May 25 for the first time since the government of Ukraine enacted a sweeping COVID-19 shutdown that even shuttered credit unions for a brief time in April.
Buses and domestic trains that ran from rural areas to cities have also been shut down, but many of those connections are scheduled to resume some level of operations starting June 1.
World Council of Credit Unions’ Credit for Agriculture Producers Project is a USAID-funded activity.