McElhenie Davis Discovery Conference 2016
Gamification principles can enhance employee engagement, say Patrick McElhenie (right), director of CUNA Mutual Groupā€˜s Lender Development Program, and Matt Davis, founder of gameFI.

CUs motivate employees with engagement technology

Interactive tools produce results by combining feedback, focus, and fun.

October 19, 2016

Incorporating gamification concepts into your credit union’s training and evaluation processes improves employees’ productivity, profitability, and interaction, says Patrick McElhenie, director of CUNA Mutual Group's Lender Development Program.

“Today’s millennial workforce has grown up with online gaming and real-time interaction via mobile devices,” he says. “Bringing technology into the workplace to improve participation levels translates to better employee recruitment and retention, and ultimately, creating better connections with members.”

Gamification’s profile has risen dramatically in recent years as the job market improves and employee engagement continues to lag. McElhenie offered a remedy to that challenge Tuesday when he teamed with gameFI’s Matt Davis to present “Credit Union Gamification: Why the Future of Work Is Fun” at CUNA Mutual Group’s Discovery Conference.

“According to Gallup, only 34% of the American workforce feels engaged at their job,” McElhenie says. “The three key elements of gamification technology—feedback, focus and fun—are the same elements credit unions need to reshape their culture and improve engagement.”

CUNA Mutual recently introduced a new engagement tool involving gamification principles that aims to increase employee production in its Lender Development Program.

The tool features leaderboards, peer-to-peer rankings relative to progress goals, as well as rewards, coins, and badges for high achievers in employee duels. In addition, credit unions have access to real-time metrics, online coaching and training interaction, and team building through online competitions.

Early results from CUNA Mutual Group’s pilot with a small group of Lender Development Program credit unions are strong.

Participants indicate a 5% to 11% improvement in protecting members’ loans with payment protection products, such as credit insurance and debt protection. Also, 78% of loan officers agree that seeing real-time feedback increases their engagement and motivates them to accomplish their goals. And nearly 75% of the pilot participants report that measuring their rank against peers helped improve their performance.

To learn more, watch McElhenie’s Discovery Conference breakout session.