A Powerful Return On Investment

AFCU had a bi-annual bonus program that required a great deal of effort from many people to execute. While the high-touch program was what AFCU wanted, many employees had begun to work remotely—and the bonus program had to adapt. AFCU turned to Awardco to create something wonderful.

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At A Glance

92.5% decrease in administration time for bonus program.
296 work hours saved annually using Awardco (37 days!)
307% average month-to-month increase in recognitions.


How do you quickly adapt to a remote workforce?

Known for their exemplary customer service, AFCU works hard to thank their workforce for all they do with a bi-annual bonus program for each of their 3,300 employees. The program was detailed, high-touch, and designed to foster relationships between managers and their employees, and it worked.

Personal recognition efforts like this led directly to AFCU’s employees continuing to provide best-in-class customer service—all because they felt appreciated and cared for. However, the program had to pivot drastically after the COVID-19 pandemic forced over 1800 AFCU employees to work remotely. Because of these changes there was no way to administer the bi-annual bonus program as they did before, and a new system was needed.

“Semi-annual bonus distribution is a part of our culture,” says Kent Streuling, SVP of HR at AFCU.

“Previously every manager hand-wrote a message to their employees every six months thanking them for their hard work, and it was all tied in with the bonus distribution. It was very high-touch, very labor intensive, and we had the process down to a science. We liked the connections that formed between managers and employees as a result of this program, but after COVID-19 most of our workforce went remote. Our semi-annual tradition wasn’t possible any longer, nor was it feasible.” - Kent Streuling, SVP of HR at AFCU

Adapting Quickly

Adapting Quickly

Thankfully AFCU had implemented Awardco in October 2019 for their service award programs. The launch of their service award program had been so successful that AFCU approached Awardco to see if there was any way to use Awardco to facilitate the semi-annual bonus program. Awardco came up with a unique digital solution within a matter of days, and rolled it out to AFCU’s entire workforce within two weeks.

"After COVID hit we had over 1800 employees go remote. Our HQ campus became a ghost town. We couldn’t do the high touch thing anymore, but still wanted to engage our workforce,” says Jodi Gonzales, HR manager at AFCU. “Because of the nature of remote work we didn’t even know which employees were where, and there was no way we could use our old system of bi-annual distribution. We had gotten so much positive feedback with our service anniversary program that we reached out to Awardco to see if they could do something to help us with our bonus program.”

Time savings—with interest.

In working with Awardco, AFCU not only adapted to current circumstances to facilitate their bonus program, but they saved incredible amounts of administration time and logistical headaches, too. Whereas before an entire department would have to stop work for a day just to complete the bonus program twice a year, now with Awardco the entire program could be managed by two people in just a few hours. Managers still connect through personal messages, bonuses are still distributed, and employees still receive the high-touch treatment—all digitally through Awardco.

AFCU’s implementation of Awardco has been so well received across the board that additional employee recognition programs have begun, such as a spot recognition initiative that gives out gift cards for those that go above and beyond.

“Before Awardco we had no idea how many gift cards were going out or when, but now we have real-time budgetary updates. It’s been a game changer.” - Jodi Gonzales, HR Manager, AFCU

Time savings—with interest.
By the numbers.

By the numbers.

By the numbers.

Time savings—with interest.

Facilitating recognition programs for thousands of employees, many of them remote, has never been easier.

“Before Awardco we had very little insight into our physical recognition programs, but now we have real-time budgetary updates, an incredible time savings, and more options for rewards than ever. It’s been a game changer.”
Jodi Gonzales
HR Manager,

America First Credit Union

America First Credit Union (AFCU), founded in 1939, is the 6th largest credit union in the U.S. and employs over 3,300 people. It manages over $11 billion in assets for its 1 million members.
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