home / About Us / News

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side

By Kim Edwards, Senior Vice President of Client Services at FMSI

The Urban Dictionary defines the title of this article as the way we tend to look at other people’s lives, and other things that we don't have in general, through rose-colored glasses.  As you review and manage the information received each month through the Omnix Performance Analytics™ (OPA) solution, one of the charts provides telling information on your organization’s excess waiting for work (EWFW), and you always want the right side of this chart to be greener than the left. This Actual Staffing Effectiveness Chart (ASEC), which helps to manage idle time, is fundamental in assessing the effectiveness of properly staffing your organization.
Idle time, which reflects the percentage of time spent in the lower productivity ranges (or the red portion of the ASEC) is often caused by overstaffing. The Omnix Staff Scheduler™(OSS) helps to minimize this excess staffing by creating a schedule that takes the payroll commitments and volume demands into consideration. 
In the FMSI reports, the green portion of any bar on the EWFW histogram shows a percent of acceptable processing hours used for that range of transactions based on the transaction per hour (TPH) goal. When you are staffed for high performance, this chart should appear similar to a normal bell curve, with the highest bar peak­ing at your TPH goal. The green portion would appear inside the normal bell shaped curve and indicates the optimal time spent in productivity ranges.
When it comes to EWFW, not all branches are created equal.  The lower volume branches within your network will typically have more EWFW time than your other branches.  The EWFW report allows you to quantify the resulting costly impact for each branch.
The following EWFW histograms represent an assessment in idle time and a shift to the "greener side", or optimal side, of teller workforce efficiency.  This before and after view of the ASEC, can be a very useful tool for tracking the progress of minimizing costly idle time. The chart on the right (the more green chart) shows the organization (as a whole) staffed more efficiently to meet their goals.  This demonstrates the changes when an organization better meets their service demands and productivity goals. What is your ASEC telling you?

What are some actions you can take through utilizing this information and move results in the right direction, while maintaining account holder satisfaction levels?

  • Reducing teller positions through attrition
  • Replacing full-time tellers with part-time tellers
  • Adjust retail branch staffing levels to be more in line with account holder traffic patterns 

Tips for Maximizing Workforce Management:


  • Ensure your managers understand and are reviewing their monthly FMSI reports.
  • Set specific goals and hold staff accountable for achieving those goals.
  • Involve C-Level Management.  It is essential for the successful implementation and ongoing expectation of results.
  • Recognize and reward (especially through incentives) those important behaviours that will encourage and promote success.

It is important to see that the grass is greener on the other side. Having a secure handle on your financial institution's EWFW will improve efficiency and provide tellers with an opportunity to achieve their productivity goals. As valued FMSI partners, you have the business intelligence information you need to make decisions and take action to truly experience the greener grass on the efficient side of the histogram.