Community Service

WOCCU Celebrates 40 Years of Service

Growth comes only for those able to fulfill their mission.

February 27, 2011
KEYWORDS credit , unions , woccu
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The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) celebrates 40 years of service in 2011.

We opened for business Jan. 1, 1971, having evolved from CUNA’s World Extension Department, an initiative Roy Bergengren lobbied for the year before he died.

We’re honored by our origins, as we are by the many individuals, organizations, and credit unions that have helped WOCCU grow to the level of service it has reached today.

Growth comes only for those organizations able to fulfill their missions and add to the greater good of their constituencies. Credit unions are like that, as is CUNA.

I also believe that description defines WOCCU. That is our mission and the goal for which we strive every day.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “romance” of international development, an arduous task many of us know as having no romance at all. But the rewards from helping others in extreme need through credit unions are more fulfilling than most of us could ever hope.

And it’s those rewards that keep WOCCU moving forward, a momentum that furthers our legacy of service.

Credit unions everywhere are emerging from some tough economic times, but there is light on our collective horizon. If we stay true to our mission of providing service to members, we will continue to make a difference locally as well as globally.

And that’s a legacy of which I am sure Roy Bergengren would be very proud.

PETE CREAR is president/CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions.

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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 ( 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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