Apple Federal Credit Union Increased Staff Loyalty Scores

Apple Federal Credit Union Increased Staff Loyalty Scores

Company Profile

Financial/Banking/Credit Union

475 employees

Improve Retention

Recognition & Rewards


In 2019, Apple Federal Credit Union’s staff loyalty was at an all-time low. Organizational changes and shifts in their IT systems had taken a toll on employee morale. Apple’s recognition strategy needed a major overhaul. 

With their previous paper-based rewards system proving too cumbersome to maintain, team members were left missing the individual recognition they were used to getting. Apple needed a strategy that could be easily accessed and easily maintained, to boost staff loyalty – fast. 


Apple partnered with Kazoo [now WorkTango] to launch a modern Recognition & Rewards solution across their 21 branch locations and corporate office. Within three months of implementation, 91% of supervisors and 85% of employees were using Kazoo [now WorkTango] and cross-department recognition rose to 50% participation. The credit union also set up customized rewards and Incentives that aligned with their four key principles, as well as with current HR initiatives and events. Now, the rewards allow team members to save up for items and experiences they really care about, or even send points to their colleagues. 

After implementing Kazoo [now WorkTango], Apple FCU’s staff loyalty is the highest it’s been in several years. As a result, recognition is happening broadly, easily, and constantly – without the administrative burden of Apple’s old paper rewards system.


When it came to employee recognition, Apple Federal Credit Union had a weighty administrative problem to solve. 

Their former rewards program – StarBuck$ – offered options tailored to employees’ unique preferences, but at a great logistical expense. Under the old system, supervisors were given paper “money” to award staff members, who called HR when they were ready to “spend” it, who then ordered each and every reward individually. With about 475 staff members in 21 branch locations, this process became incredibly cumbersome. 

Apple FCU’s first attempt at simplifying their rewards program was to shift away from personalized rewards, and instead offer standardized perks like shared meals; however, managers immediately got feedback that their team members wanted their customized rewards back. Around the same time, the organization was undergoing multiple growing pains and staff loyalty hit an all-time low and turnover was rapidly increasing.

Something had to be done—fast. Jenn Madden, Associate Vice President of Talent Development, was given the daunting task of “moving the needle on staff loyalty” for the entire organization. With help from other key players, Jenn set out to find a solution that would reduce administrative burden, provide easy mobile access, ramp up recognition, and re-establish connection. That’s when she found Kazoo [now WorkTango].

After evaluating three vendors, Apple made the decision to partner with Kazoo [now WorkTango] for their employee recognition program. With Kazoo [now WorkTango], Jenn and her team were able to customize their rewards and Incentives to align with Apple FCU’s company culture without adding administrative burdens to the HR team. With Kazoo [now WorkTango] team members can cash in points for a wide variety of options, from special experiences to corporate-branded clothing from Lands’ End. Rewards and bonuses are tied to the company’s four core principles, or work in conjunction with current initiatives related to DE&I, wellness, team-building events, and more. One of the team’s favorite features has been the ability to buy and send points to others.

“We’ve gotten better at coordinating with our wellness committee, our DEI committee, our fun committee. So if they have spirit week and you do twin day, you’d get points. If you do sports day, you get points… They say, “We’re planning X thing, can we add a bonus in?” And we’re like, “You got it.” — Jenn Madden

 Jenn knew early on that rapid, wide-spread buy-in would be critical. Within a few months, 91% of supervisors at Apple FCU were engaging with the platform. What’s more, 85% of the staff across all departments were involved. Cross-department communication zoomed up to 50% participation. Previously, only a small handful of people got high-visibility recognition through a program called The Apple Way. Now, in addition to that structure, recognition and rewards happen every day through Kazoo [now WorkTango].

About five months from kick-off, staff loyalty was registering even higher than it had before the dip. Jenn attributes her team’s success to increased communication with leadership, and to their new all-in-one employee experience platform. 

“We just did our staff loyalty at the end of 2020, it was higher than it was in 2018. So even though we had that huge dip, when it came back up, it came back up higher than it was previously.” – Jenn Madden, Associate Vice President of Talent Development

“We just did our staff loyalty at the end of 2020, it was higher than it was in 2018. So even though we had that huge dip, when it came back up, it came back up higher than it was previously.”
— Jen Madden,  Associate Vice President of Talent Development

Key Results:

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staff members are engaged with the Kazoo [now WorkTango] platform

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of employees have sent recognition

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employees have received recognition

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employees have recognized someone in another department


point increase in eNPS after implementing Kazoo [now WorkTango]

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