Credit Union Employee Recognition: 4 Effective Ways!

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People are moving to Credit Unions because CUs provide a better member experience. Part of that experience is interacting with happier staff. Since CUs are for the community and are smaller by nature than big banks, the HR team has a better chance at engaging and keeping staff happy. HR member experience teams know that when employees are happy, members are happy.

Learn more about employee recognition & rewards at credit unions


At the same time, Credit Unions are moving from no change to change is a constant, to now suddenly rapid change is a constant. Even before the pandemic, CUs were growing 4% each year. That means more employees and more branches. Covid-19 has rattled the banking industry, especially for small community-oriented organizations with many locations. Employees are working from home due to the pandemic, but many will continue to work from home, at least partially, far into the future. How does CU HR adjust?

The good news is these changes have brought much-needed adjustments into using technology to facilitate the employee experience. Credit Union employee recognition by Human Resource departments are looking to unifying employee apps and experiences inside Microsoft 365, Google, Slack, or other tools. In 2020, Microsoft Teams, a social collaboration app, jumped over 50% in usage. That’s why the app Recognize, and many other important tools, are in Microsoft Teams or Outlook. This way, staff can stay in one or few tools to do many functions. The end result is these advancements are making knowledge sharing and time-to-app faster.

Incentivize Wellness & Good Habits

Woman stretching

Credit Unions value the health of their employees much like they value the wellness of the organization the credit union services and the community at large. With technology, companies can gamify wellness and make it more fun.

One example is using points. Credit Unions can give points to employees who complete specific tasks, such as meditation or going for a walk. You can manage the points through a spreadsheet, email, or a program like Recognize.

In the employee recognition platform, Recognize, admins of the incentives program assign points to tasks and then choose which employees to submit that task. When they do, their manager is notified to approve or deny the task. If approved, the employee earns points that can be redeemed in the rewards catalog in Recognize.

Social Recognition for Credit Unions

credit union employee recognition ideas

Does your company have an employee recognition program currently? According to Recognize research, 58% of companies do have an official recognition program. So, the importance of employee recognition is essential for the company. For many HR leaders, it is a no-brainer to have the program but the question is how to implement it without it being a lot of work for HR, while still being relevant to staff. That’s where Human Resources can easily get hung up and riddled with choices.

Off-the-shelf solutions, such as Recognize, help make that easier to manage. Recognize is an employee recognition app that employees, managers, and admins use. Recognize makes a connection between employee recognition and productivity, provides company engagement insights, and helps retain top employees.

Credit Union Employee Recognition

All employees can give a Thank You recognition to any other employee. This is a non-monetary recognition. At the end of each month, the leaders or admins give a shout-out to the top recognitions.

Manager Recognition at Credit Unions

What really matters to your organization? What do managers want to recognize each other for? Ask them and ask your staff. Find trends. The tool is a survey tool to help companies ask questions and analyze results for even free.

Once accomplished, companies can give a ‘Critical Thinking Award’ twice a month worth $25. This award for instance can be used to encourage looking for ways to save money or improve processes.

Innovative and puncture employee recognition badges

Leader Recognition

Executives and leaders in the company can give a once or twice a quarter recognition for ‘Innovation Award’ for instance. This award could be worth $250-500 and will go towards a special mention at the holiday award. To earn the award employees will need to exhibit leadership capabilities, such as creating new product lines, upsell strategies or cost-saving tooling.


Automatic Anniversaries & Birthdays for Credit Union Staff

How do you manage birthdays and work anniversary celebrations now? Many credit unions have an employee who manages a spreadsheet. This is time-consuming and not a good use of anyone’s time. Many companies are using tools like Recognize to manage the anniversary. This way staff automatically earn points for anniversaries to go towards a rewards catalog of gift cards and experiences.

Setting up the points and message in the Recognize anniversary program

Make Work Anniversaries Social

A social feed helps let others see the daily anniversaries for the company. Staff can comment on the public anniversaries. The good news is employees can turn off public anniversaries to make their work or birthday events private. Recognize knows when the event occurs by importing the information into Recognize ahead of time via an HRIS feed or spreadsheet.

A social recognition of a work anniversary

Nominating CU Staff Who Go Above & Beyond

Research shows most staff prefer meaningful, less often recognition than micro-bonuses. The takeaway is a quarterly and yearly nomination program can have a strong impact on employee engagement at credit unions.

Employee award winners in Recognize

Nomination Ideas:

  1. Bank Teller of the Year
  2. Fraud Detector of the Quarter
  3. Cost saver of the Year
  4. President’s Award of the Quarter/Year

Have employees vote on who they think is the top person for these company values. With Recognize, admins can say how many times employees can nominate, or vote, and if they can vote on someone who has already been awarded. Admins can also allow staff to nominate themselves for certain awards.

Final Words

More and more credit unions and banks are recognizing their employees as well. Through these events, employees are given the opportunity to show their appreciation for the good work they’ve done and for their contributions to the credit union and the community.

This is an excellent opportunity for credit unions to recognize the impact their employees are having in the communities they serve and for their contributions to the credit union as a whole.

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