Community Service

CUs Lend a Helping Hand During the Holidays

A look back at some of the holiday memories created by the CU movement this season.

January 11, 2013
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Genisys Credit Union

Genisys CU lights up the community

Genisys Credit Union, a $1.4 billion asset institution in Auburn Hills, Mich., sponsored a local holiday tree lighting ceremony in December at a local township office.

The festive event included Christmas caroling, holiday food and drinks, and Santa’s arrival by fire truck.

More than 300 people attended the annual tree lighting event to see the Township Supervisor present Santa with the key to the Township and to participate in the community sing-a-long.

“The Tree Lighting Ceremony is one of the many wonderful events that Genisys sponsors in Chesterfield Township throughout the year,” says Jackie Buchanan, president/CEO. “It’s a great way for families to celebrate all that the season has to offer.”

The credit union also participated in Lighthouse of Oakland County's Adopt-A-Family program this year.

The Lighthouse Adopt-a-Family program is a long-standing tradition that helps many local low-income families who struggle to afford food and have little to no money to provide the basics such as coats, gloves, blankets or toys.

It also enables Lighthouse to match donors with local families and seniors to fill this void.

Auburn Hills, MI

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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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