Community Service

Goldmark FCU a Haven for Hounds

CU’s dogged determination helps animals and delights members.

March 14, 2012
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We are a small credit union with six ambassadors—employees, as some would say.

We all have a role in promoting the credit union within the community. One of our unique efforts is our Animal Ambassador program, through which we partner with local animal shelters for adoption days.

These occur mostly on Saturday mornings, when our members get to view the local pets that need homes. We have had more than a dozen success stories.

For extreme animal abuse cases we hold fundraisers. We brought in more than $2,000 for a mix poodle that was adopted by one of our members.

We also have “Pet Fridays.” The members just love coming into the office to visit their furry friends. Of course, our members’ pets are always welcomed.

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Goldmark FCU's Animal Ambassador program helps local animal shelters place stray pets in homes.

The community recognizes Goldmark Federal Credit Union for the work we do to help the furry members of the community.  We have also been a drop-off center for the shelters that need supplies, and we have collected items that were delivered to the Springfield area after the tornado that passed through the city.

Sometimes it’s the ones that don’t have a voice that give us the most attention.

This is just one of the great things we do to be creative and get the community talking about Goldmark Federal Credit Union. We have had many stories in the local Sun Chronicle newspaper.

Animals help people reduce stress, and those that do not have pets get real enjoyment helping them and sharing our dogs on Fridays.

JOANNE ROBIDOUX is president of Goldmark Federal Credit Union, Attleboro, Mass.

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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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