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Ready for Takeoff

The plane truth about dealing with adversity and other issues.

February 06, 2012
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Employee issues

Unload your baggage with a report from PLoS One: “Overtime Work as a Predictor of Major Depressive Episode: A 5-Year Follow-Up of the Whitehall II Study.” 

Results are inconclusive, but the interesting analysis notes that “Data from middle-aged civil servants suggest that working long hours of overtime may predispose to major depressive episodes.”

Parachuting through health news brings to earth some interesting studies.

In “Health and Access to Care Among Employed and Unemployed Adults: United States, 2009-2010” from the Centers for Disease Control, several points indicate unemployment has grim repercussions for health care. Among them:

  • Unemployed adults aged 18-64 years were less likely to have private insurance and more likely to be uninsured than employed adults;
  • Unemployed adults in 2009-2010 were more likely to have fair or poor health care than employed adults; and,
  • Unemployed adults were more likely to have serious psychological distress than employed working-age adults.

Tracking Employment-Based Health Benefits in Changing Times” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics iterates, “One measure of the current state of the health care system is the number and percentage of people with access to health insurance coverage.

“According to March 2011 data from the NCS, 70% of all private industry workers had access to health care benefits through their employers; among the lowest 10% of wage earners, however, only 20% had such access.”

One final boarding call on healthcare comes from the Knowledge Center in “Medicaid Spending,” which explores trends in health-care spending by region: “The average annual growth in Medicaid spending lags behind the growth in all health care spending, suggesting that states have successfully implemented public policies to control Medicaid spending.”

Are you prepared to predict how health care costs and various ramifications in the health care industry may affect your members and business operations?

Let’s change gates to housing issues. “FHFA Releases Analysis of Principal Forgiveness As Loss Mitigation Tool” provides the analytic and legal basis for FHFA’s previously announced determination on the use of principal forgiveness as a loss mitigation tool.

And, “Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Fiscal Years 2011 and 2010 Financial Statements” by the Government Accounting Office is worth noting.

Welcome aboard “The Next Evolution: Store 3.0” by Deloitte. This report examines consumer attitudes with regard to the retail experience and concludes that “retailers who combine the best of both retail worlds—the sensory experience of a brick-and-mortar store with convenient access to extensive online information—can gain the upper hand in an intensely competitive environment.”

Is your credit union aligning with consumer preferences in product and service delivery? How can you create a competitive advantage with such a goal?

The “plane truth” is that every cloud has a silver lining. I was delayed overnight in Minneapolis—but I made other connections onboard my first flight.

This camaraderie allowed us to view our inconveniences as common challenges to overcome.

After the missed flight, I ran into my Southern Gentleman friend at baggage claim. He’d missed his connection to La Crosse, Wis. But we smiled about it anyway.

LORA KLOTH is a research librarian in CUNA’s business-to-business publishing department.

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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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