Overheard at GAC: How Did You Help Members During the Recession?

CUs offer loan adjustments, tried-and-true service to help members through tough times.

February 25, 2013
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Bruce Foulke
Bruce Foulke

'Inundated with mortgage requests'

Our credit union was inundated with mortgage refinance requests, especially from members whose homes had lost their value. So we implemented a massive mortgage refinancing program. We also expanded our financial literacy programs in the schools.

Bruce K. Foulke
American Heritage FCU

High dividends, low rates

Errol Greene
Errol Greene

As much as possible, we tried to keep interest we paid to members high and the interest we charged members low. We made loan adjustments when we could, so members could stay in their homes.

Today our delinquencies are still high, but not as high as they had been.

Errol L. Greene
Second board vice chairman
Lake Mary, Fla.

Cookie Yoder
Cookie Yoder

Tried-and-true service

In a way, we didn’t do anything new. We just practiced credit unions’ tried-and-true member service philosophy.

We fine-tuned our risk-based lending program. For example, it was taking weeks for a loan approval, and now we get it done in 24 hours. We also offered discounted one-year personal loans—which members loved—at rates as low as 5%.

Cookie Yoder
City Co FCU

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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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