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Best Practices are Dead. Experiment Instead!: Research in Action Recap

It’s easy to assume that a policy adopted by industry leaders will lead to success for your organization. But what if best practices are only ‘best’ in specific contexts?Filene hosted a "Research in Action" event at our Center for War for Talent in Austin, TX and this report explores the presentations about how and why to run experiments that will lead you to a set of practices and policies that are effective for your particular credit union.

Executive Summary

In order to deliver a superior member experience, credit unions need dedicated, high-performing employees. Your human resources policies and practices should help you attract, develop, and retain talent. But so-called best practices are not necessarily effective and may even have unintended consequences. Ultimately, the only way to learn what is most effective for your organization is to experiment. And experimentation isn’t just ‘trying things to see what works.’ Fruitful experiments are ones in which subjects are randomly assigned to control and treatment groups, the data is rigorously analyzed, and any effects demonstrated in the experiment are investigated to understand what’s occurring and why.

Sound intimidating? It doesn’t need to be. Organizations like Filene can connect you with social scientists, share findings from experiments within the credit union sector, and work with you to design and implement randomized control trials in your organization. By partnering with researchers and collaborating with other credit unions, you can use strategic experimentation to optimize your organization’s performance, improve employee motivation and satisfaction, and deliver the highest possible value to your members.

The only way to learn what is most effective for your organization is to experiment.