Director, Partner Relations,
Credit Union Resources, Inc
Why does it seem that each year grows shorter and shorter and December 25th comes so much sooner? I truly enjoy the holidays, as many of us do. However, I always feel stressed and overwhelmed as the reality and planning for holidays commences. No sooner are the Thanksgiving leftovers (finally) gone that we are faced with planning holiday get-togethers, shopping and deciding what to buy for all on the list, preparing for family to visit or making plans to visit family, decorating the house to perfection inside and out, cleaning the house BEFORE you decorate, organizing the holiday menu, cooking and baking…..oh my, I’m already exhausted!
The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, yet often times immensely overwhelming as well. So in the next few weeks before Christmas day arrives, remember the most important thing…take care of yourself! Stress and depression are most often highest during this time of year. So before you drive yourself (or anyone else) crazy, here are a few tips to help alleviate overwhelming feelings and encourage a healthy YOU.
- Go for a walk or a jog – not only will getting exercise increase your endorphin levels and help you feel better, the fresh air, beautiful surroundings, and amazing aromas will clear your mind and naturally boost your energy.
- Take a hot bath – there is nothing like a relaxing hot bubble bath to wash away the blues and eliminate anxiety.
- Listen to your favorite music – whether holiday music or any genre that makes you happy, put music on, sing, and even dance away your blues.
- Have lunch with a friend –enjoying lunch and laughs with a friend is wonderful for the soul!
- Get a massage – this is a personal favorite as it not only feels amazing and relaxing beyond belief, it also allows you to slow down your breathing and find your inner calm.
- Read a book – even with the busy running around and preparations being done for the holidays, take time to sit for a little while and read a few chapters of a great book. Escaping with the characters in a novel may take your mind off the “characters” that are getting ready to come and visit for the holidays!
So as we prepare to gather for this holiday season, remember that we are blessed with wonderful family and friends with which to celebrate and surround ourselves with love and happiness! Just remember to take care of yourself too and ENJOY!
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year!
|Categories: Business Partners, Sales & Service
Credit Union Resources, Inc
Between buying and wrapping gifts, playing Santa and prepping and cooking a meal for 12, the JOY of Christmas season can quickly dissolve into stress if you’re not careful.
Some simple tactics can help reduce the holiday stress and allow you to enjoy the season, family, and friends more, like letting go of past family arguments and making time for yourself, whether it be to get some extra sleep or to exercise.
Just in case that’s a little easier said than done for you this year, here is your official permission to stop stressing about these 25 things this Christmas.
- Spending big bucks on the best presents. A homemade gift can be worth much more. Or consider having your family agree on gifts that ONLY fit in the stockings (make it fun).
- Crafting. On the other hand, if you just don’t have the time, no need to stress over those handmade gifts, either.
- Thinking up the perfect present for EVERYONE on your list. A gift certificate for a massage may not be the most personal choice, but she’ll (or he’ll) like it, we promise.
- Giving the same gift to multiple people. Unless they live under the same roof, they’ll NEVER know!
- If one of your giftees wants to return your gift - - don’t take it personally!
- Cooking EVERYTHING yourself – it’s okay to delegate. AND it makes others feel a sense of involvement in the day.
- Staging elaborate scenes with the ‘Elf On The Shelf’ - - who has the time? But do check out the new wardrobe options out this year for your Elf!
- A homemade pie crust – no one will notice.
- A last-minute addition to the guest list. They won’t expect an elaborate, personal gift; they’ll just be glad to have your company and hospitality.
- A real Christmas tree.
- Christmas-themed table decorations.
- Sending Christmas cards/photos. You keep in touch with the people you want to keep in touch with already. Shoot your other friends a “Thinking of You” email and save yourself the stress of staging that family photo.
- Arguments – they happen – MOVE ON.
- Wrapping stocking stuffers – that’s what the stocking IS FOR!
- Attempting to be everywhere at once. Trying to make it to 4pm Christmas dinner at your mom’s house, dad’s house AND significant other’s house is physically impossible. Don’t ruin your own Christmas just to please everyone ELSE!
- Accepting EVERY holiday party invitation. It’s important to say NO to certain things to make time for yourself.
- Going to church service on Sunday, Christmas Eve service on Monday AND Christmas service on Tuesday. IF things are getting stressful, just pick one.
- Preparing a 100% traditional meal.
- Inviting the WHOLE family over for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner. There’s plenty of time to see everyone throughout the holiday season.
- Professional-caliber wrapping. It get torn, after all. It’s the gift that counts.
- Spending the same amount of money on each friend/sibling/child. Just because a gift for one of them costs a little extra doesn’t mean you love one any more than the other.
- Dining out. Lots of restaurants are open on Christmas, and you can start a fun tradition. Others will even whip you up a traditional holiday meal to then enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
- Buying a card for every present. A simple tag – even something made out of the wrapping paper – will do.
- Trying to cram in every single Christmas tradition – going out to look at lights, building the perfect snowman (well maybe not in the South), making sure you bake the Christmas cookies, having the house all decorated. If you run out of time for one (or a few) of these traditions, remember: There’s always NEXT YEAR!
- Taking the lights down promptly.
So take a look at all 25 - What holiday stressors can you stop worrying about this year?
|Categories: Education & Training, Employment & Staffing, Human Resources, Marketing & Printing, Sales & Service, Strategic Planning & Consulting, Succession Planning
VP Product Development,
Credit Union Resources, Inc
In a November 9, 2016 article in CUInsight.com John Pettit outlined four job perks that are “better than a raise.” The article pointed to free food, making vacation a priority, student loan repayment, and “no work on your birthday” as perks that go a long way toward creating employee satisfaction. But it doesn’t begin or end there…
Mr. Pettit’s article made my mind wander in the direction of those “best companies to work for” lists that are compiled by sources ranging from Forbes to local chambers of commerce looking seeking to showcase their benefactors. Based on my research, John is right about workplace perks. An “A List” review of best companies to work for yields an impressive menu of employee amenities including, but not limited to, liberal benefits (healthcare, time off, 401K, etc.), casual dress, free snacks and beverages, free or subsidized lunches and take-home meals, massage therapy, discount tickets, fitness classes, weightwatchers meetings, and even oil changes, vehicle maintenance and car washes. Wow!
So, all you need to do to have exceptionally happy and productive employees is to provide beverages and Bonbons followed by an occasional weight watchers meeting or fitness class to offset the undesirable consequences. Well, not exactly…
It is true that companies recognized as being a “best company to work for” all offer workplace amenities. But, in a May 5, 2016 article in Forbes, Ian Altman provides a quote from Joe Mechlinski, bestselling author of Grow Regardless and CEO of Entrequest, “Becoming an organization with an exceptional culture and environment is not just about the workplace tangibles like pay and benefits. What it’s all about is the strategic alignment of your employees around your vision. When your whole team is inspired and unified by the work they do, when they’re passionate about making a difference and changing the lives of the people they help, then you’ve set off on the right track to creating a powerful culture.”
Mechlinski’s observations may seem academic, but building a great team can be fairly straightforward – IF you understand and are faithful to your vision. While facilitating a credit union planning workshop a few weeks ago, I was privy to a conversation about how the organization could do a better job getting employees to participate in community activities on behalf of the credit union. This is not an isolated issue, you may even be experiencing the same thing at your credit union.
Ironically, the answer might be fairly simple, but you may not like the answer. You may have a hiring problem.
I love to paraphrase Jim Collins’ Good to Great, “Start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” A fundamental component of Mr. Collins’ philosophy is based on hiring the right people to do the things that support the organization’s objectives.
Let’s be honest, credit unions often seek and hire pleasant, caring, analytically inclined applicants because this type of person can put on a happy face to efficiently and accurately count money, book transactions, and balance a ledger. Unfortunately, these left-brainers are not naturally social beings. If you want / need employees who are willing or even eager to participate in community activities, you need to include social skills among the personality characteristics you interview and hire for.
It’s easier than you think. Using behavioral interviewing techniques, you might ask applicants what they like to do in their free time. If the answer is “read a book or play video games,” the applicant may not be a good candidate to become a community ambassador. On the other hand, if an applicant is involved in volunteer or “servant” pursuits AND they can count cash, they might actually enjoy advocating / volunteering on behalf of the credit union and you may have found your ideal candidate.
Rich workplace perks are common among “best companies to work for.” Thank you Cornerstone for the soda fountain in the breakroom! But perks are the tip of the cultural iceberg. All of the perks hosted by the best companies to work for would likely not yield strategic success without having the right people on the bus (especially leaders), the wrong people off the bus (including supervisors and leaders), and the right people in the right seats.
 Jim Collins, www.jimcollins.com
|Categories: Employment & Staffing, Human Resources, Sales & Service, Strategic Planning & Consulting