Management

'Not All Financial Institutions Caused the Meltdown'

February 24, 2010
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“The CEO of Toyota was on Capitol Hill yesterday and he said he’s not sure if they’ve fixed all their problems,” Rep. Spencer Bachus, told attendees at Wednesday morning’s General Session. “The same could be said of Congress—we’re not sure if we’ve fixed all the problems that caused the recent financial meltdown.

“We need to be careful not to paint with too broad of a brush as we try to identify the culprits and enact solutions. All financial institutions didn’t cause the meltdown. All Wall Street firms weren’t part of the problem.”

Bachus thinks Congress has missed the mark and hasn’t addressed some issues that played a prominent role in the recent financial meltdown:

  • Credit reporting agencies. “We have not adequately addressed the role they played in all this.”
  • Housing policy. “We all assumed everyone should own a home, but not everyone could afford a home. Consequently, people took on too much debt.”
  • Too big to fail. “The thinking that some institutions are too big to fail is wrong because that implies institutions like yours are too small to save.”
  • Spreading mortgage risk. “Taxpayers—even those who rent apartments—have now assumed 95% of the mortgage risk in the U.S., and that’s not fair.”

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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 (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) 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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