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The State of the Movement

May 22, 2009
Kathryn Kuehn There’s nothing like a history lesson to provide some perspective. In recognition of U.S. credit unions’ 100th anniversary, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) plans a “revolutionary” celebration at the America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo, June 21-24, in Boston ( acuc.cuna.org ). In preparation, CUNA published a... READ MORE

The 10 Comandments Of Meetings

May 20, 2009
James Collins For some people, the only draw to meetings is the doughnuts. Let’s begin with a little survey: Why do you attend meetings?   Because they provide opportunities for group decision making; To better coordinate between personnel on complicated projects; or Because meetings mean free doughnuts. The problem is... READ MORE

Celebrating the CU Centennial

May 20, 2009
Daniel A. Mica For 100 years, CUs have served the nation with outstanding commitment. This month folks from across the country are converging in Boston to celebrate the credit union centennial at the America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo. We do so at a time when the current economic situation... READ MORE

Ideas to Ideals, Ideals to Reality

May 20, 2009
CU 1 breaks ground this summer on a branch in a neighborhood without a financial institution for 20 years. READ MORE

Look Beyond the Magic 8 Ball

May 20, 2009
G. Kent Streuling Uncertain times deliver tough HR answers. My Magic 8 Ball® from junior high sits on my desk. During the current unstable economy, it reminds me the answers to my questions may be different each day. Wouldn’t it be nice to see what the next 18 months have... READ MORE

Control Costs, Boost Spreads

April 27, 2009
Judy Dahl Shrinking margins make cost control vitally important. Credit union margins are perilously low: Return on assets fell to 31 basis points (bp) at year-end 2008 versus a five-year average of 71 bp, reports the Credit Union National Association. This makes cost control more important than ever, say Eve... READ MORE

The Barometer of Influence

April 27, 2009
John Magill The movement’s political force has put CUNA at the bargaining table with legislators. Influence is to Congress what the dollar is to the economy. Both allow the holder to obtain a desired product. In the economy, the dollar gives you purchasing power. In Congress, influence gives you power,... READ MORE

Let's Get the Ape Off the Building

April 27, 2009
Daniel A. Mica The CU movement definitely faces a monster of a problem. Veteran comedian Bob Newhart had a famous routine that may describe best what credit unions have been experiencing during the past months. It goes something like this: It’s a security guard’s first night on the job at... READ MORE

CUs Need Conflict of Interest Policies, Disclosures

March 30, 2009
Kathleen Thompson Take note of IRS Form 990’s new Part VI on nonprofit governance. A new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirement has focused attention on credit unions’ need for conflict of interest policies and annual disclosure processes for board members and senior staff to report possible conflicts. Review a sample... READ MORE

Where's the Good News?

February 20, 2009
CUs sense a renewed urgency to invest in their communities. READ MORE

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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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