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Small CUs Seek Ways to Work Together

Avoiding mergers or liquidation may require greater cooperation.

June 17, 2013
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CU partnerships
 
Small credit union leaders have taken it upon themselves to band together and try to push back against the trend of mergers and acquisitions.
 
Three years ago, Joy Cousminer, president/CEO of $32 million asset Bethex Federal Credit Union, Bronx, N.Y., helped start an organization called We Care for Credit Unions.
 
"We watched what was going on with anger and fear,” Cousminer says. “As each credit union disappeared we said, ‘soon, we will be next.’ "
 
The alliance, which includes more than 30 New York metropolitan-area credit unions, brings credit union leaders together to collaborate. The organization is seeking 501c3 status to be able to work as a nonprofit that can receive donations.
 
Small credit unions must fight to stay alive—and they need to do so together, Cousminer says.
 
"Remember how hard it was to get your charter? That is how hard you are going to have to fight to keep your charter now," Cousminer says.

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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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