Gamification Strategy Best Practices to Engage Credit Union Employees

By Patrick McElhenie, Director of Product Management & Lender Development Program Support for CUNA Mutual Group.

Gamification is an innovative workplace strategy designed to engage employees through game-like scenarios in real-life settings. The strategy behind gamification is the usage of game mechanics (or the elements that make up games) like points, levels, rewards, and leaderboards, in an office setting.

How can credit unions use gamification?

Many credit unions already use gamification in their interactions with members. Strategies like loyalty programs, affiliate rewards, and coupons all use elements of gamification. So the question we’re really after is this: how to translate this gamification into a way to engage credit union employees?

One way is leaderboards. New gamification technologies allow for near real-time feedback on employee performance. This feedback is reported as a leaderboard – a way for employees to see where they stack up against their coworkers. As employees are working, they can see how they’re progressing, whether they’re trying to reach a certain sales goal or trying to attain another metric. Multiple leaderboards provide the opportunity to measure different benchmarks.

What are gamification best practices?

If you want to see if gamification is right for your credit union, you could start by first speeding up your feedback, especially positive feedback. Keep score of how your employees are doing, and do it publicly so they can see their progress. A leaderboard is one way you could accomplish this. A gamification partner can help you provide near real-time feedback to your employees.

In addition, allowing optional competitions between your employees can encourage friendly competition to hit their goals. Help your employees focus by giving them specific goals and objectives, and then give them a way to see their progress towards their goals and objectives.

Finally, take the time to celebrate successes. Make sure to recognize your top performers publicly and communicate “wins” to your team when they’ve done a good job. Don’t forget – if you’re implementing gamification correctly, it should provide near real-time feedback, keep your employees focused, and most importantly, it should be fun for your team.

For more information about gamification, including additional best practices and key research findings, listen to Real Time Engagement Drives Credit Unions’ Success, the second installment in a two-part series about gamification.

If you missed the first part of our two-part series, listen to How Much Are Disengaged Employees Costing Your Credit Union? during which we explained the elements of gamification in more depth and discussed common pitfalls in implementing gamification.

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