Marine Federal Credit Union (MFCU) was founded in 1959 when eight individuals working on a Marine Corps Base Camp in North Carolina pooled their money together. Since then, the organization has grown into a full-service financial institution that serves the military and the surrounding communities. Its mission is “Working together to secure and protect your financial success,” which means prioritizing both its employees and its customers to build long-lasting relationships.
Banking & Finance
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Employee reward and recognition, employee communications, employee discounts, employee surveys
With 13 branches across locations in North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina, company information wasn’t reaching all employees at the right time. MFCU’s hybrid workforce consists of 35% frontline employees and 65% remote employees, which meant there were silos within the organization and messaging was inconsistent. This made it difficult to know what was resonating with people or what departments were receiving the right information at the right time.
Not having a central location also meant that great work happening around the organization wasn’t visible to the Leadership Team. The Operations Team, including Professional Development Manager Heather Shafer and COO Ryan Lycans, knew that they needed to create a culture of appreciation (and be able to measure it) to increase visibility across the entire organization. Heather received buy-in from Ryan to look for a new tool to boost employee engagement and he championed the initiative.
Around this same time, the organization was also going through a brand refresh, but it was facing a bit of an “identity crisis” when it came to identifying who MFCU is and who it serves. This led the team to start working with Reward Gateway to create a centralized, branded platform that was available to all employees called “The Wire!”.
The Wire! is an employer-branded employee engagement platform that houses employee reward and recognition, employee communications, employee discounts, employee surveys and employee benefits information. It has become a one-stop-shop for dispersed, frontline employees to stay connected on any device, at any time.
In order for Heather and the team to address the challenges of increasing visibility of the hard work happening at each location – and create a family-feel environment at work – they implemented a tiered-recognition approach:
|Peer-to-Peer eCards: These are values-based eCards that help shine a spotlight on desired behaviors across the organization such as “Make People a Priority.” Alongside these are greetings-based eCards such as “COVID-19 Heroes,” to recognize those who work on the front lines during the pandemic.
|Employee Spotlight Stories: Employees at MCFU love highlighting their colleagues. Before The Wire! Ryan would interview employees on an internal podcast, but these spotlights needed a new home. Now, they’re streamlined in one centralized place, where employees can nominate anyone for going above and beyond. Employees are interviewed and featured in a company-wide blog post – blending employee recognition with communications to increase collaboration.
|Core Value Awards: Currently Ryan’s team is trialing these awards, but in the next phase it’ll be rolled out to all managers across the organization to recognize employees with a monetary award for going above and beyond to live the company’s values.
|Marty Goldman Award: Marty Goldman was the previous Chairman of the Board and was great at recognizing employees. This award was created in honor of him and all employees can use The Wire to submit their nominations. The board annually chooses winners and they receive a monetary reward.
With the analytics dashboards, Heather and the team are able to see which departments or teams are sending recognition to other parts of the business. This gives Heather direction on which areas to focus on in the future and informs her about how the tools are helping to break down silos and increase collaboration.
Heather adds, “With The Wire!, we’re now able to celebrate one another across the organization which wasn’t possible before Reward Gateway. The platform helps embed our company values into our everyday culture and the recognition amplifies this. Our employees and leaders are much more aligned with our culture than ever before.”
Before working with Reward Gateway, the team shared blog posts but there was too much information in them and it was overwhelming, so people weren’t able to keep up with it. The team then worked with their dedicated Client Success Manager to create a strategic communications plan to keep all employees in the loop, ensure they’re receiving important company updates and boost cross-departmental connections. The blogs include:
In addition to the themed blogs, Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for other key updates from different teams to boost awareness, like Information Security Day.
All of the blog posts allow for two-way communication, where employees can ask questions, comment or add reactions which gives Heather insight into what types of communication is working or what needs updating.
For more insight, the team also uses employee surveys such as an eNPS to gauge how employees are feeling about working at MFCU. Employees can also give feedback at any time on the “Give Us Feedback” tile that lives on the homepage, encouraging a more open and transparent culture.
To round out its offerings, The Wire! also houses employee discounts that help employees save big on everyday purchases, such as home appliances or electronics, which has been especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since launching The Wire! in June of 2020, there’s been a cultural transformation at MFCU. Gaining leadership buy-in at the start of Heather’s employee engagement journey was key to engaging managers and leaders on the platform. In fact, manager-led recognition has increased, with 57% of all recognition coming from managers and 43% from non-managers.
Recognition has been central to the culture at MFCU and 94% of all employees have received recognition to date. On top of that, nearly half of all employees have sent recognition. Since June 2020, 2167 eCards and awards have been sent, demonstrating a shift in building a culture of appreciation. The technology is helping improve cross-departmental recognition and visibility, shown by the 3,375 reactions to and 1k comments on recognition moments.
In addition to the R&R enhancements, the streamlined and strategic communications plan has resulted in a boost of two-way communications, available at any time for hybrid employees to read on-the-go. So far the team has published 188 blogs, receiving 46k total page views and 1.91k reactions from readers.
When the team initially hosted an eNPS survey in August of 2020, the score was 60. With the introduction of new employee-focused tools that promote connectivity, the score has increased to 65 and this number continues to climb.
Heather says, “The Wire! has changed the culture of the credit union. We no longer have information silos or bottlenecks that prevent us from reaching our people in different locations. And we’re seeing employees collaborating more and recognizing others in different departments, which was something that didn’t happen before. The Wire! is our one-stop-shop to keeping our employees engaged and creating a sense of community.”
of employees have received recognition in the first year