developed that assigns a cash drawer to each of our teller-side
associates. The associate locks the drawer and moves to the
platform if a customer transaction requires that shift or if there
is heavy transaction demand to be covered on the platform
side,” says Fisher. “Our associates demonstrate great flexibility
over the course of a day. They make this choreography invisible
to the customer.”
“The universal banker job does not have one definition—you
want to have multiple levels of these associates, providing a path
for promotion and career advancement,” explains Johnson.
“The basic universal banker may be a teller with some training
on selling simple accounts. At the next level, you may provide
greater depth in sales training to a platform associate. That may
include pro-active cross-selling techniques or consumer-lending
training. A third level may have securities or insurance licenses,
or the ability to talk about residential lending [although the
associate may not take applications].
“Beyond establishing this career path, we work with our
clients to carefully position this change with their branch staff.
It is important to let staff know that this is a customer-focused
change. As transaction levels have dropped, those remaining
trips to the branch require a more highly trained associate. You
are ‘skilling up’ positions with traditional platform functions
as opposed to ‘skilling down’ by adding teller transactions. We
have seen 80 percent of existing branch staff successfully make
this change. Beyond existing staff, our clients hire people with
selling experience,” Johnson adds.
On the compensation front, Novantas sees the entry-level
universal banker position compensated 10 percent higher than
an average teller grade. Levels two and three are generally paid
on par with traditional platform roles of the same grade.
ABA Offers Training for Universal
ABA has begun offering a Universal Banker Certificate, which is designed to
prepare frontline branch staff to serve as the single point of contact for satisfying
the diverse needs of walk-in customers.
The coursework leading to the certificate includes key product knowledge,
relationship building, customer service and expert referral skills.
For a more complete course description or other information, visit
www.aba.com/UBCertificate or call 1-800-BANKERS.
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