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‘When We Tell Our Story, We Win’

Across the Dakotas, CU advocates scarcely took a break for the holidays.

February 17, 2014
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Across the Dakotas, credit union advocates scarcely took a break for the holidays. Their efforts ranged from a national Hike the Hill visit to a fast-paced series of local presentations across South Dakota.
 
Advocacy ramped up in early November as a 12-member delegation from North and South Dakota visited both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and NCUA offices in Washington, D.C.
 
“Regulatory issues will affect credit unions’ future at least as much as legislative issues,” notes Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD) President/CEO Robbie Thompson. “The impact is bigger than in the past,” he adds, “and we took an assertive approach on this visit.”
 
Meeting with CFPB representatives, delegates conveyed the challenges presented by proposed new mortgage rules.
 
“We expressed to CFPB how difficult it will be for all credit unions to comply with the mortgage rules, and in particular to comply by the January deadline,” says Thompson.
 
At NCUA, the delegation highlighted the challenges credit unions face during examinations, as well as the need for regulatory relief provisions such as raising the exemption threshold for appraisals on higher-priced loans, and raising the current 15% cap on development and construction loans.
 
The delegation also met with Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; John Thune, R-S.D.; and Tim Johnson, D-S.D., focusing on three issues—preserving the credit union tax status, reforming privacy notification regulations, and maintaining credit union access to the secondary mortgage markets.
 
Fighting fires
 
In November and December, South Dakota credit unions scored early victories as various city and county commissions voted to table or take no action on the South Dakota Bankers Association’s “Equalization in Taxation” resolution.
 
During the past several months, a group of South Dakota banks had been promoting a statewide effort imploring local lawmakers to impose taxes on not-for-profit credit unions.
 
The objective was to gain support from local taxing authorities to echo bankers’ calls to repeal the tax exemption, and to amplify that call to state and federal policymakers.
 
In Yankton, Vermillion, and other localities, CUAD staff and credit union representatives mounted an active defense of the current credit union tax status.
 
“What we know to be true is that when we tell our story, we win,” says Jeff Olson, CUAD vice president of advocacy and awareness. “No voices are stronger than those of our own credit union CEOs, managers, employees, and volunteers.”
 
The association has asked South Dakota credit union leaders to remain vigilant in scanning local school board, city, and county commission agendas for more bank-sponsored resolutions to tax credit unions and farm credit institutions.
 
Unite for Good
 
Credit unions remove barriers by actively participating in grassroots activities and the political process—one of the objectives of the national Unite for Good campaign. Across the country, advocates are working toward the goal in which Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner.
 

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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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