Meet the Needs of Evolving Member Households

CUs should gear their strategies and products toward population and cultural shifts.

March 21, 2013
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A new report by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals interesting trends in the makeup of American households.

For example:

These statistics have far-reaching implications for credit union membership growth and marketing strategies, experts suggest.

And that’s why it’s critical to understand how your membership is changing—not just in terms of demographics but also according to household makeup.

Questions to consider:

A large proportion of older householders also live alone. In 2012, more than half of householders 75 and older did so, compared with about 25% of householders under age 30, according to “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012.”

Other Census Bureau report highlights:

►The number of couples living together without being married has more than doubled since the 1990s, from 2.9 million in 1996 to 7.8 million in 2012. In 2012, 40% of unmarried partners had children under age 18.

►The prevalence of married households continues to decline, from 71% in 1970 to 49% in 2012.

►In 2012, 27% of households have only one person, up from 17% in 1970. On average, American households have 2.55 people.

►The median age at first marriage in 2012 was 28.6 for men and 26.6 for women.

►The share of all U.S. households headed by a white non-Hispanic adult fell to 69% in 2012, down from 75% in 2000.

►The share of households headed by 55- to 64-year-olds rose from 13% in 1990 to 19% in 2012. Meanwhile, the share headed by adults who were younger than 30 fell from 16% to 13%.

►The percentage of married couples with both husband and wife in the labor force declined from 56% in 2000 to 52% in 2012.

►Stay-at-home parents have become more common since the 1990s. Among married-couple families with children younger than age 15, the percentage with stay-at-home mothers grew from 20% to 24% between 1994 and 2012.

►Almost all stay-at-home parents (96%) are mothers. But between 1994 and 2012, the percentage of stay-at-home parents who are fathers increased from 1.6% to 3.6%, and their numbers more than doubled from 76,000 to 189,000.

►The percentage of children living with two parents, regardless of their marital status, differs by race and Hispanic origin. Of single-race Asian children, 85% currently live with two parents, compared with 77% of single-race white non-Hispanic children, 66% of Hispanic children, and 38% of single-race black children.

(Via Credit Union Directors Newsletter)

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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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