If your credit union has a record year of awesomeness, do you reap any benefits? Do the CEO and board offer you a raise? Maybe first choice in the holiday kickball game? If nothing else, will songs be sung of your glorious battles?

Success should be rewarded, of course. This helps reinforce good activities and inspire future successes. What if I said there was a strategy your CU could take that almost ensures regional, if not national, exposure?

Of course, you might be doing it already, in which case, skip over all the boring explanation parts and get right to the marketing suggestions at the end. Only I’m not telling where one section ends and another begins…good luck! (It’s probably easier just to read the whole thing)

What’s the first line of relationship between your institution and member? The team of member relations agents! Who establishes the first layers of trust and advice for your members? Yes, that same bunch. Are they also invested in everyone’s success?

It will require a bit of tracking, but what if you rewarded your employees every time they helped approve (and close) a loan? Or every time a member took on a new service through their suggestions? Say, $25 for a car loan, $50 for a mortgage, $5 for GAP…the values are up to you and your accounting team. How much more invested in the CU’s success will they be if every week, they see the bonuses for their referrals?

Ok, so that’s the strategy. How do we make the CU look good in the industry? Marketers, take note. Go ask for those numbers. How much did they make in addition to their salary? Might a short article about how your credit union has rewarded their employees (insert dollar value here) rise to the top of industry publications? Especially coupled with a statement from the CEO about how you had a breakthrough year compared to the industry average? Who wouldn’t publish a story about a CU rewarding thousands to their employees for above and beyond performance?

Your members are happy. Your employees are happy. The CU looks awesome. Industry journals love it. In the words of Stephen Colbert, “You’re welcome, America.”

Disclosure: If our own CU clients implement employee incentive/reward programs, they will likely do more business in ancillary services. If we happen to offer one of those services, we have more success as well.