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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

This is a great chance for CUs to approach the nation’s largest and fastest-growing ethnic group.

September 21, 2010
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Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrates the rich history and diverse culture of the nation’s largest minority group. And there’s a lot to celebrate.

De Dios
video Watch a video about Hispanic Heritage Month.

Many nonprofit groups, schools, and other organizations hold cultural fairs, festivals, and other events to raise awareness of how the Hispanic culture has influenced all aspects of American life.

President Lyndon Johnson established Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. And in 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the celebration to one month.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, many Latino nations celebrate their independence from Spain. The period ends Oct. 15—near the date of Columbus Day and Dia de la Raza (“The day of the race”), a celebration of Hispanic heritage in Latin America.

There are many ways credit unions can participate:

  • Inform your members and the community about Hispanic Heritage Month events;
  • Learn about different cultural celebrations the makeup of your local Hispanic community;
  • Partner with a local organization or event to support a Hispanic Heritage Month activity; and
  • Inform the Hispanic community about your credit union’s efforts to meet their financial needs.

Of course, you can celebrate the Hispanic culture and heritage any time. This can be as easy as visiting a new part of town, having dinner at a new Latin American restaurant, or getting to know a Hispanic co-worker or neighbor.

These are great opportunities to learn about the nation’s largest, fastest-growing, youngest, and most underserved ethnic group.

MIRIAM DE DIOS is vice president of Coopera Consulting, Des Moines, Iowa. Contact her at 866-518-0214.

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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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