Articles by Adam Mertz

Tech Priorities

Rising costs for software and third-party services squeeze CUs’ IT budgets.
September 30, 2013
Anticipate larger IT budgets for new tech initiatives and maintenance of existing services and software.
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Executive Suite

Former Bankers Embrace CUs

Executives want to make a difference and strengthen the movement.
September 16, 2013
Three former bankers who’ve become CEOs at credit unions speak about the factors that fueled their decision to switch.
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Prefunded Plans Help Defray Rising Benefit Costs

CUs are hard-pressed to maintain their historical level of employee benefits.
September 16, 2013
Since 1999, health-care premiums have nearly tripled, according to the Kaiser/HRET Health Benefits Survey.
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Staff Scheduling: 'Err On the Side of Flexibilty'

Taylor CU aims to accommodate staff requests, within reason.
August 19, 2013
Taylor CU's Debbie Woods prefers to relax some of the hardships she encountered as she raised a family while pursuing a career.
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Employee Engagement Takes Teamwork

Action plans work best when managers and employees work together.
August 19, 2013
Ask employees five questions to generate participation, determine goals, and encourage ownership.
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Boards Benefit When 'Devil’s Advocates' Are Present

‘Values-based opposition’ improves your CU’s chance of making better decisions.
August 19, 2013
Directors should constructively challenge conventional thinking, investigate additional options, and combat hubris and the tug of short-term emotions.
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The Myth of Work-Life Balance

View time as a ‘wheel’ and determine how many sections to devote to each aspect of life.
August 18, 2013
‘It’s about picking and choosing, depending on the stage of life you’re in.’
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Employees’ Opinions Create Change at Grow Financial FCU

CU traces top workplace honor to staff-suggested improvements.
August 5, 2013
To improve internal communications, CEO Bob Fisher hired a PR specialist and created a video studio that produces regular updates.
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Executive Suite

Promoting Work-Life Balance

Employee-friendly policies foster staff loyalty and improve productivity.
July 11, 2013
CUs understand that a work environment built on flexibility, support, and solid benefits.
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Social Media Fuels Relationship Loyalty Programs

Members benefit from linking all of their credit and debit accounts under one rewards umbrella.
June 28, 2013
‘Explain not just what to do but what the possibilities are.’
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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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