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Maintaining Effective Staffing Levels in a “D-I-Y” World

By Jan Southern, Senior Consultant 

In study after study, results indicate that an increasing number of consumers are choosing a “D-I-Y” approach to accessing financial products and services. According to a recent report by Accenture, 52 percent of U.S. adults utilize smart phones and tablets to conduct their banking business whenever and wherever they choose.

 

And while the rise in the number of video ATMs and mobile apps that provide access to online banking services has had a substantial impact on declining branch transaction volume across the country, there are still many instances where consumers prefer one-on-one interaction and expert advice when transacting important financial business. For traditionally staffed financial institutions, this creates a challenge to find the most efficient way to adjust to new service preferences.

 

This is no easy task. It can require time away from on-going operational responsibilities and sometimes forces management and staff to think outside of the conventional box to imagine a different way of doing business. But when compared with the cost of losing members to competitors that have taken the necessary steps to understand what consumers expect from their financial institution, taking a serious look at the effectiveness of your service model can be a very wise investment.

 

Is your current staffing model holding you back?

Historically, in a face-to-face service environment, maintaining friendly, knowledgeable and efficient personnel in every department and service line was a financial institution’s only link to its account holder base. But today, as busy lobbies are giving way to increased electronic connections, incorporating a right-sized staffing model can be key to profitable performance.

 

A staffing study is an effective tool to help facilitate appropriate staffing levels and scheduling – both now and as your personnel needs fluctuate in the future. Findings can help to identify areas where you may need to eliminate redundancies or bring in additional expertise, reduce overtime, and redistribute human resources during peak and non-peak business hours. In some cases, this may identify instances where part-time staffing is more efficient than full-time – which can reduce personnel costs.

 

As a result, your employees can work more efficiently and your members will be guaranteed a more satisfying experience. Also, by optimizing your staffing expenditures, you will have more flexibility to redistribute your personnel costs due to staffing changes or special short-term service initiatives. Excess dollars can fund new services – such as a call center – or be used to upgrade benefits or to add personnel to an under-staffed department. Or you can return any savings to the bottom line as an expense reduction.

 

Uncover the potential of your personnel

A staffing study will identify changes that you can implement in your credit union to achieve maximum productivity and business efficiencies. Throughout the discovery and implementation process, expect to uncover areas for improvement – and potential staff training needs –  all of which will enhance workflows and more effectively address member needs.  Moreover, a study can be the roadmap for your staff to follow in order to re-analyze your processes and procedures as conditions change.

 

In today’s business environment, you can’t be successful by doing business the way you have always done it. The more information you have about how to maintain a well-balanced, well-trained work force, the better equipped you will be to adapt to the service delivery expectations of your members – today and tomorrow – and thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.