Over the last year, more than ever financial services have proven to be indispensable community partners. Credit unions are not only positioned to be leaders in the national conversation about financial well-being, but some now have the data to demonstrate just how much they are improving it.
Improving well-being is a smart business strategy, too. Something Canvas Credit Union based in Colorado took to heart.
Three years after a full organization rebrand, Canvas embarked on a custom research project designed to benchmark well-being over time. “The pandemic has shown us that holistically we have to talk about more than just financial health,” said Tansley Stearns, Chief People & Strategy Officer at Canvas Credit Union. “When you hear well-being, you might immediately think about physical health, but it is so much more. The social, financial and mental well-being is interconnected in a way that cannot be ignored.”
After establishing a clear definition of what well-being is, Filene worked with Canvas to design a survey to assess three main well-being dimensions: Health, financial, and social ties well-being. Canvas knows their members strive to be their best physically, mentally, socially, and of course, financially and in their quest to understand what that means and how to improve the wellness journey of their Canvas extended family, this project measured Canvas members’ wellness compared to the average Coloradan.
“Prior work that we have done, showed that if we are able to understand that Canvas members are more well, we would be able to answer the question of 'what’s in it for me,'” Stearns continued.
This project began in 2020, serendipitously during COVID where individuals were keenly tuned in to their well-being. The results of this research project were groundbreaking.
Bottom line, this custom research project showed that Canvas members are better off than non-members in their respective communities. In fact, their well-being grows as their tenure matures, and the relationship deepens. And now they have the data they need to show potential members how they, too, can live better by being part of the credit union.
“The brands that will win when it comes to loyalty are those that have shown and continue to show the way they put customers first when it came to safety during COVID. People are going to make big decisions in the future with organizations they can trust with their wellness and Canvas has proven to be the community and financial partner that members expected during these trying times.”
Canvas went on to build an entire strategy around well-being that launched in 2021 focusing on both internal and external priorities. Internally, Canvas has now added a new role of Wellness Champion to help elevate well-being of their Canvas family. Externally, Canvas officially launched their Live Well(er) campaign inviting members to share in this holistic view of well-being. And this is only the beginning of their work to demonstrate the data and share stories of how belonging to Canvas Credit Union improves overall well-being of members and the community.
“This brand work has been phenomenally important for us. It is a huge investment to rebrand and critical for our board to be able to see the progress we are making," said Stearns. "The benchmarking work we did with Filene was an enormous support for us to not only prove our business case but served as a solid reminder that we need to keep measuring, listening and put that listening into action to improve the lives of our members.”