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When and How to Tackle Universal Staffing

By Meredith J. Deen, COO at FMSI

The idea of having universal employees has been around for a while, but it is recently gaining more attention.  With increasing adoption of mobile banking and continued reduction of transaction activity, the need to explore a universal environment has become much more urgent.  If you have decided that a universal model is the right strategic move for your organization, you may still be struggling with when and how to actually go from a fairly traditional environment.  The following suggestions help identify opportunities to help be more successful with universal.


When to Tackle Universal
 
It’s Time for a New Branch or Remodel  A major component to a true universal model is the branch design.  Retrofitting existing branches can be costly, but if it’s time for a new branch or remodeling an existing branch, this can be the ideal time to explore the universal model.  Most design organizations, like P. W. Campbell, can assist in the most efficient way to design a universal branch.  Technology is also a key component, so you will want to explore recyclers and a branch pulse capture solution like FMSI’s Omnix Lobby TrackerTM to ensure that your team is focused on sales versus the transactional issues a traditional environment would handle.

Investing in Branch Technology  Many organizations are investing in branch technology as part of the migration to a branch of the future.  For instance, you may be considering Personal Teller Machines (PTMs) or recyclers.  These items can require some retrofitting of the branch, and with PTMs, front-line staff will move to a centralized location.  This is a good opportunity to both train and staff to a universal model.  Be sure to focus on removing the transactional activities from the branch.

How to Tackle Universal
 
Identify Idle Time for Targeted Training  Universal employees tend to require more training than traditional staff, and it is important to develop an ongoing training program to support this.  One of the biggest challenges institutions face is knowing precisely when to hold this training.  FMSI’s Omnix Staff SchedulerTM helps with identifying idle time, for each individual employee throughout the day, and can assign training sessions during these periods.  This approach can be instrumental in successfully implementing and managing the required higher-level ongoing training.  It’s a good idea to start with cross training employees first and then introducing ideas of the sales focus.

Assess Current Staff  As you consider the ideal employee for a universal role, you may find that existing staff does not fit the profile you need.  While training can help, it doesn’t always remove the need for specific skill sets or personality traits.  Use business intelligence tools, like FMSI’s Omnix Performance AnalyticsTM, to help assess employees and use turnover to help build your universal team.
 
Transitioning from a traditional branch environment to a universal environment may be daunting, but it’s not insurmountable.  Be sure to map out your plan carefully, and use the right supporting technologies, like FMSI’s Omnix solution to support your transformation.