Lending

CUs Kept Lending When Others Curled Up in a Ball

As the economy regains its footing, CUs seek to do even more.

March 01, 2011
KEYWORDS credit , cuna , political , unions
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On behalf of the CUNA board, it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the 2011 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC)—the credit union movement’s premier political event. I thank you for choosing to be part of it.

For all the terrific speakers who appear before us on the GAC’s main stage and in our breakout sessions, it is you—the leaders of the credit union movement—who give this conference its unique energy.

The political dynamism that occurs when more than 4,000 of us join together to bring our message to Capitol Hill is something wonderful to behold, and it could not happen without your involvement.

These past few years have been challenging ones. Credit unions did not cause the financial crisis, but like so many others we have felt the strain of the ensuing economic recession.

Yet when other financial institutions curled up in a ball, credit unions kept on lending and finding innovative ways to help our members cope.

As the economy regains its footing, we seek to do even more. I can cite many such examples from my credit union, and I know you can from yours, too.

These are the real-life examples we must convey to our members of Congress when we meet with them this week. Help them understand how supplemental capital and a higher member business lending cap will increase our ability to serve our members, and how the growing volume of costly regulation too often holds us back.

These are our priorities. You help give them voice by being part of this conference.

Your commitment to political involvement—at the GAC and at home throughout the year—provides the core strength at the grassroots level that has done so much to distinguish CUNA and the credit union movement in Washington.

Let’s give it our all at the GAC this week. Together, we’ll achieve a great deal for credit unions and the 92 million consumers we so diligently serve.

HARRIET MAY is CUNA’s chairman and president/CEO of GECU, El Paso, Texas.

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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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