Management

Grassroots is King

In three months, CUs delivered more than 600,000 constituent contacts to Congress as part of the interchange fight.

March 12, 2012
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Grassroots movements—instigated or supported by credit unions—had a significant impact on the battle over interchange last spring and Bank Transfer Day in the fall.

Though we didn’t prevail in the interchange battle, it wasn’t a loss for credit unions; their grassroots prowess shined.

In three months, credit unions delivered more than 600,000 constituent contacts to Congress, urging representatives to “stop, study, and start over” with the interchange fee law.

As Federal Reserve Board members announced the final rule—an improvement over the proposal—they noted the outpouring of comments by credit unions.

This fall, the movement by consumers to credit unions spawned yet another grassroots movement—Bank Transfer Day. CUNA estimates the number was at least 650,000 strong.

Lessons from these events as we head into a big political year include:

  • Grassroots is king. Let’s exercise our capabilities when necessary, so we’re ready for the next big fight.
  • Social media can (and does) make a difference. Now’s the time to get on board.
  • Consumers get it. They’re searching for fair treatment, and they’ll get it once they become credit union members.

This has been a phenomenal year for grassroots involvement. Let’s learn and build from it, because there’s so much more for us to gain.

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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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