Community Service

Cheney Shares ICU Day Message

CUs save members more than $7.5 billion each year.

October 21, 2010
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Best wishes to everyone nationwide celebrating today, International Credit Union Day!

This year’s theme of “Local, trusted, serving you” perfectly captures what makes credit unions so appealing to consumers across the nation and around the globe.

Here in the U.S., the 90-million-plus Americans who are credit union members have an advantage over all other consumers in our nation: They experience, firsthand, the benefits of receiving financial services from member-owned, cooperative financial institutions—which practice a philosophy of putting people before profits.

In fact, in doing so, members and their families realize substantial, direct financial benefits: More than $7.5 billion this year alone from favorable rates and lower fees as a result of using credit unions rather than other financial institutions.

That breaks down to an average of $84 for each credit union member or $159 for each member household.

Because credit unions are member-owned, this savings stays right in local communities. It is no wonder, then, that survey after survey shows consumers trust credit unions to look out for their best interests more than any other type of financial institution.

Our goal, as committed credit union supporters, should be to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to realize these benefits through a simple, effective path to membership.

Best regards to you and your colleagues on this International Credit Union Day.

BILL CHENEY is president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association.

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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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