Community Service

Maxwell, Herring Winners Reflect CU Principles

Host of innovative initiatives demonstrate CUs’ dedication to social responsibility.

February 13, 2013
KEYWORDS awards , children , service , winner
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This year’s Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service and Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service awards winners have demonstrated a dedication to social responsibility, working to better their communities and improve members’ financial health.

Community initiatives first-place Dora Maxwell winners coordinated include:

  • Hosting a “bike-a-thon” to raise funds and awareness of prostate cancer.
  • Launching "Operation: Maximum Impact," a version of the television series “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” to assist members in need.
  • Raising funds for the Georgia Health Sciences Children's Medical Center by leveraging a parking lot, which is convenient to a local concert venue.
  • Sending individuals with special needs to summer camps through an “Adopt a Camper” fund-raising campaign.
  • Hosting a Military Appreciation Day at a minor league baseball ballpark.
  • Funding a “Secret Meals for Hungry Children” program to feed at-risk children on the weekend when school lunch program aren’t available.
  • Repurposing a former office for a local nonprofit organization that provides health-care services to the uninsured or underinsured.
  • Supporting hospitalized children with a music therapy program so they can work through trauma and developing coping strategies.
  • Raising funds to build a pirate-themed distraction therapy room at a local children’s hospital.

First-place Louise Herring winners demonstrated member service and financial education outreach by:

  • Offering a matched savings program for first-time homeownership, microbusinesses, higher education, and vehicle purchases.
  • Partnering with social service agencies to open microbranches within their facilities for underserved members.
  • Inviting members and potential members to save money by offering a free review of current bills and credit reports.
  • Providing members an estate planning essentials program to give them tools to plan and obtain peace-of-mind.
  • Presenting $8,000 in scholarship awards to students annually.

All winners will be honored during the GAC.

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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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