Community Service

Herring Winners Dedicated to Education

CUs go above and beyond for members’ financial health.

March 15, 2012
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This year’s Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service award winners have demonstrated a dedication to improving members’ financial health.

CUNA’s Awards Committee presents the Herring award to credit unions demonstrating the “internal application of the credit union philosophy” to improve financial matters and expand financial education opportunities for members.

Judges look for creativity in the award entries, says Amy Bucaida, vice president of marketing and communications for the Missouri Credit Union Association, and a member of the CUNA Awards Committee. That’s what will get them noticed, she adds.

Some initiatives recognized by the Louise Herring Award program include exceptional member service, financial counseling for struggling members, and educating members about the credit union difference.

Credit Union Magazine recently spoke with two winning credit unions: Hank Hubbard, president/CEO of Communicating Arts Credit Union in Detroit; and Rachel Langtry, vice president of marketing and communications Credit Union 1, Anchorage, Alaska.

Hank Hubbard
Hank Hubbard, president/CEO, Communicating Arts Credit Union

 

Communicating Arts Credit Union was recognized for meeting the specific needs of low-to-moderate income members with products and services such as the MyPayToday loan and a saving program, Save to Win.

Credit Union 1 won their award for providing reasonably-priced
financial products and services to Alaskan residents who previously lacked access to them.

Credit Union Magazine: Why is it important to offer products and programs encouraging good money management skills to members and/or the local community?

Hubbard: Low-income people [like in our area] often don’t feel like
they have an alternative. They cash their checks at the local liquor store because they don’t feel they like they would be allowed to open
a bank or credit union account. It’s really important for us to get out there, be in the community, and let them know there is a choice out there.

Langtry: Our credit union began as a teachers’ credit union, so education is in our roots. And we take that really seriously. Our goal is to bring financial education to every person we can: from our teller lines, to schools, to the general public.

We want people to know that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and everybody deserves a second chance. We really make an effort to help our members and community navigate through tough times so they can build stronger futures.

Next: More from these award-winning 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 (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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