Human Resources

CUs Back Staff In The Military

September 01, 2005
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CUs Back Staff In The Military

Employees leave behind their families, homes, and careers when called to active duty. That's why credit unions' support of employees/soldiers is so appreciated. Here's how two Texas credit unions show their support.

Resource One Credit Union, Dallas, display a banner Junjak-Ivens took with her when stationed in Iraq as a Marine reservist. It's covered with the signatures of service members and civilian contractors she met during her tenure overseas.

'I met so many people from so many places,' says Junjak-Ivens. 'And we all tried to share something that was part of our roots in the states. Any time you integrate something from home into the working environment over there, it reminds you that people back home are thinking of you and supporting you.'

Branch Manager Rebecca Campos welcomed Steven Palomo, account service representative for

San Antonio Federal Credit Union, when he returned from deployment to Iraq.

'Steven is a fine employee and a wonderful person,' says Campos. 'He works hard and gets along well with members and fellow employees. We're so glad he came back safely.'

Palomo's wife, Sonya, visited the credit union frequently while her husband was gone. 'People would ask her, ‘How's he doing? Tell him we're thinking about him,'' Palomo says. 'She felt a lot of support from the people I had worked with at the branches, and I knew they hadn't forgotten me.'

Palomo serves in the Army Reserve.

San Antonio Federal Credit Union (SACU) has had five employees deployed since August 2001, each with different leave and return dates. The credit union deals with the deployments by beefing up the work force around its reservist employees.

SACU illustrates its support for employees' family members in the military with a Wall of Honor of 37 photographs of enlisted men and women. Credit union collections official Bobbie Ferguson started the display with six or seven pictures after the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Reported by Paige Ramsey-Palmer, Jo Taylor, and Judy Weidman.


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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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