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New Faces in Congress Make D.C. Presence Critical

We must make our case for reducing the regulatory burden and enhancing the CU charter.

February 13, 2013
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This is a critically important year for us to have a strong presence in Washington. The 113th Congress includes a number of new faces, plus changes in key committee leadership posts.

Ensuring members of Congress understand and appreciate our unique structure and the value of our cooperative business model is essential.

We know a dominant theme for policymakers will be helping the nation’s middle class. Who does that better than credit unions?

Our members save billions each year using credit unions rather than banks. And when it comes to consumer satisfaction and trust, credit unions are in a class by themselves.

These are defining characteristics that members of Congress need to know about credit unions—especially in a year when tax reform is high on the agenda.

Our tax status is causal to our ability as not-for-profit cooperatives to deliver affordable financial services to 95 million hardworking Americans.

We also must make our case for reducing the regulatory burden and enhancing the credit union charter so we can keep pace with our members’ changing financial services demands.

If we do not set the agenda and establish our priorities on Capitol Hill, our opponents in the commercial banking industry will step in and do it for us. The education process with legislators begins here in Washington at the GAC.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to political involvement in support of the credit union movement.

MIKE MERCER is CUNA chairman and president/CEO of the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates.

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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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