Technology

Special Report, Part I: Technology Best Practices

Debit debacle leads CU to a homegrown solution.

October 29, 2010
KEYWORDS credit , staff , technology
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Even highly customizable software applications sometimes require the development of tools the vendor forgot to include.

Envision Credit Union, Tallahassee, Fla., used its internal knowledge base and the skills of staff members to address a vendor deficiency that could have proved disastrous.

The $220 million asset credit union jokes that its approach was similar to that taken by the Little Red Hen of the beloved children’s tale. When working with others who were unwilling or unable to offer the help she needed, the Little Red Hen fell back on a tried-and-true response: “Then I’ll do it myself.”

Envision’s creative, do-it-yourself solution won a 2010 CUNA Technology Council Best Practices Award in the miscellaneous category.

A massive problem

Subscribe to Credit Union MagazineEnvision’s problems began when the credit union changed vendors for debit/personal identification number (PIN) processing.

The credit union quickly learned that the pre-conversion process was inadequate to prepare for post-conversion issues as reconciliation problems occurred on a massive scale.

The electronic funds transfer (EFT) department was at a loss as it pondered options for reconciling internal member accounting systems with activity reports from its new debit/PIN solution.

Envision’s internal information technology (IT) group, its core processor, and its accounting staff pitched in to examine the problem. The vendor also shared its expertise.

Yet the inability to properly balance member accounts remained a problem at the end of every day. Anxiety levels rose as days turned into weeks.

Next: An overwhelming task

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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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