Community Service

Herring Winners Dedicated to Education

CUs go above and beyond for members’ financial health.

March 15, 2012
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CU Mag: What are some factors to consider when designing products or programs intended to improve members’ money management skills?

Hubbard: You want to think about things from [your audience’s] standpoint. You don’t want to dumb things down, and you don’t want them to [feel] like they’re [getting] handouts. You really have to be careful in terms of how you present [a product or program].

Langtry: You need to know it takes a large time commitment, but it’s worth it if it’s something you really want to do. You have to tweak it, and listen to your members and your teachers teaching the program, and then adjust accordingly. You have to be adaptable. What works this year may not work next year.

Rachel Langtry
Rachel Langtry, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Credit Union 1

  CU Mag: What advice would you offer a credit union looking to start       programs and products designed to improve members’ money                 management skills?

  Hubbard: You have to look at the area that you want to serve. You         have to do your best to understand the area, and you have to make       decisions based on the area and the people. You [also] have to             realize who your target market is when you’re creating products, and       price the product accordingly.

  Langtry (left): If you want your program to be successful you have to     put the time and effort into doing it. You have to be proactive in terms     of marketing it. You also have to have a culture of community within         your credit union.

  You also really need to reach out to your nonprofit community. They       need a lot of help, and in turn they can help you get your program off     the ground, because they have clients and people that really need         the services of the credit union.

Louise Herring Award2011 LOUISE HERRING AWARD WINNERS

First-place winners of the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service award amped up their financial education outreach and services in these ways:

  • Communicating Arts Credit Union, Detroit, 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;
  • St. Louis (Mo.) Community Credit Union, for offering competitive, low-cost payday lending services, designed to help struggling individuals and families fund monthly budget shortfalls;
  • Credit Union 1, Anchorage, Alaska, for providing reasonably-priced financial products and services to Alaskan residents who previously lacked access to them; and
  • Eastman Credit Union, Kingsport, N.Y. for returning $4 million in assets this year to loyal members in good standing, as a part of its Extraordinary Dividend program.
Winning entries will be on display next week at CUNA’s 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.

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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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