JACKSONVILLE, Ark. – Putting a new twist on "whistling while you work", Arkansas Federal Credit Union Branch Manager Terry Vick and his staff kick off each workday with a morning Happy Song. "I got the idea last year while attending the University Lending School in Chicago. Rex Johnson related member satisfaction to happy employees and happy employees equals happy members", said Vick. "Johnson also asked `Why do we have a TGIF and not a TGIM?' We should be happy every day, not just on Fridays-and it clicked." Morning meetings open with the Happy Song followed by a discussion of issues, a question/answer period and then the branch opening five minutes early. Vick and his 18 employees have fun tinkering with Happy Song verses. "I asked all my employees to make up their own song or cheer and we take turns leading with our own individual cheers" said Vick. According to Vick the singing serves as a simple and effective way to boost employee morale. He may be onto something. The turnover rate at his branch has declined from 53% in 1999 to only 17% in 2001 and members have rated the overall branch service as exceptional. AFCU has $310 million in assets and serves over 56,000 members. [email protected]

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