They're baaaack....

GAC Crashers Fight for CUs’ Future

February 27, 2011
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“Crash the GAC” was born at last year’s GAC when a group of young professionals decided they wanted to fight for the future of credit unions alongside industry veterans.

That original 25-person group has since grown into a grassroots community of more than 120 young credit union professionals known as The Crash Network.

This year they’re back in D.C. with a brand-new crop of 16 GAC Crashers who received scholarships from CUNA’s center for professional development.

The Crash Network, a project led by the Filene Research Institute, finds and creates opportunities for young people to be more deeply involved in the credit union industry.

During the past year, The Crash Network has partnered with groups such as CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group, World Council of Credit Unions, and state leagues to coordinate local, statewide and national meet-ups, pilot a mentorship program, launch an online collaboration network, and connect young professionals to service and growth opportunities such as the National Credit Union Foundation’s Reality Fair.

The Crash Network also aspires to bring the energy of passionate young professionals to the cause of keeping credit unions relevant, says Brent Dixon, founder of the Crash Network. “The fact that we happen to be next in line cannot be what creates the future leaders of the industry. We have to earn it.”

In 1930, a 70-year-old Edward Filene wrote: "Youth is too serious to become obedient. It is too ambitious to accept, not merely the old formulas, but the old theories of success." The group is driven by that call to create the future.

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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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