Community Service

Many Members, One Mission

CUs provide an affordable alternative to other financial institutions and a social and economic lifeline to their members.

October 21, 2011
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They come in many sizes and levels of sophistication, and they operate under different names. But credit unions around the world have one thing in common—they put members first.

In 2010, nearly 53,000 credit unions in 100 countries served 188 million people, according to the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). Those numbers keep growing as more people understand the strength and capabilities of financial cooperatives, owned and operated by members.

During Credit Union Week, these diverse institutions take time to recognize the positive impact of credit unions on the lives of individuals, families, communities, and countries.

They’re called caisse populaires in Haiti, Islamic investment and finance cooperatives in Afghanistan, and savings and credit cooperatives (SACCO) in Africa. Whatever the name, the goals remain the same—to build a better world for the people they serve.

No matter where they’re located, credit unions provide an affordable alternative to other financial institutions and a social and economic lifeline to their members.

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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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