Operations

Understand Your Merger Goals

Asking questions can help clarify your goals when you consider a merger.

May 05, 2011
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  • Geographic coverage: Does your strategy call for remaining within a specific geographic or municipal area, such as the City of Utopia? Must merger partners serve a territory that is contiguous to your existing area, for example, or are you interested in partners who are based in another neighborhood, another region or even another state as a way to diversify your membership to reduce the impact of economic shifts? Should proposed merger partners already have a branch in place that would “anchor” your expansion to a new geographic territory?
  • Branch footprint: Is a lack of branches hampering your ability to grow in specific neighborhoods with high potential for growth? Does the merging credit union offer a branch footprint that will help you reach appealing areas?
  • Leadership talent: Does your succession plan reveal the need to fill executive positions in the near future, starting with the CEO? Does the potential merger partner possess talented leaders who can help the credit union continue to thrive in the future? In a tight labor market or at a credit union focused on cross-sales, this issue might extend beyond the executive branch to other areas of the credit union as well.
  • Financials: What is your level of financial strength? Do you have plenty of capital? How does this impact your ability to select merger partners? Can you afford to work with a credit union with potential loan losses, for example, as long as they meet other goals?
  • Operations: How do you approach operations issues such as staffing levels, using electronic tools at the front line, and cross-selling products? How will you introduce these concepts to your merger partners as you welcome their members and incorporate their branches into your operations?

Adapted from CUNA's "Guide to Mergers."

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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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