Operations

Small CUs Seek Ways to Work Together

Avoiding mergers or liquidation may require greater cooperation.

June 17, 2013
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FederationPartners-1.jpg
 
The survival of small credit unions in the future may depend on their ability to work together.
 
They must form networks to share information and resources, and form partnerships, according to industry leaders at the 2013 Annual Conference of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions in Baltimore.
 
These networks come in many forms, including those organized by service providers, leagues, or credit unions—all with the goal of avoiding mergers or liquidation.
 
Service providers
 
“There is a place for small credit unions,” says Joni Brown, president of Service Center for Credit Unions Inc (pictured above, center).
 
Service Centers for Credit Unions contracts with about 20 small credit unions in Pennsylvania to provide services including data processing, staff training, loan processing, and basic office functions.
 
“I don’t want to see mergers—I don’t like to see you go by the wayside,” Brown says.
 
Credit unions can save money by sharing forms, office staff, and services through Service Centers for Credit Unions, Brown says. The company's largest credit union client has about $10 million in assets.
 
“We are not afraid of each other trying to steal members; we are helping each other,” Brown says. "That is the whole object, to share services.”
 
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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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