In Pursuit of Life, Liberty—And Balance

When it comes to managing risk, we’re often our own worst enemy.

February 01, 2014
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Risk is definitely a part of life. For example, what about that driver who just cut you off on the way to work? Was he actually shaving behind the wheel or just texting?

And then there’s Mother Nature. When I lived in Southern California, I lived with her threat of earthquakes. Now that I’m in the Midwest, I’m mindful of frostbite as so many of us today are emerging from another deep-freeze and record snowfalls.

Target’s data compromise last year sent us scurrying to scrutinize our payment card statements and checking accounts. And recent reports claim “black hats” infested Yahoo. com with their malware. Will our personal data ever truly be secure?

While we like to consider ourselves knowledgeable and alert when it comes to managing risk, the truth is, we’re oft en our own worst enemy.

We can’t lock ourselves down to the point where we become unproductive, but we can’t be naïve either, thinking we don’t need security because we’re immune from all risk.

As you’ll read in Craig Sauer’s feature, it’s no different at your credit union. Balancing productivity and the need for security is a constant struggle.

To mitigate the risk of a data compromise, staff and members must implement an array of security protocol—despite the irritations of managing multiple passwords and other security practices.

Our cover story shows how security will be a dominant driver for your future technology decisions. Judy Dahl talks to Robert Reh, chief information officer of Nassau Financial Federal Credit Union in Westbury, N.Y., for his take on how credit unions should prepare for these trends.

And finally, CUNA senior economist Steve Rick gives us a fresh perspective on the state of credit union mortgage lending and the impact of overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You’ll also find CUNA’s 10 principles for the reform of government-sponsored enterprises.

All this and more are in this month’s issue of Credit Union Magazine.

Thanks for reading!

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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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