Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

The Headache

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

The Headache

Article excerpt

For many, 2010 was a banking year to forget; at best, to learn from. What is your bank doing in 2011 to improve results? Add your ideas to all Aspirins online at

Remedy 1: Get everyone involved


Leonel Castillo, president and CEO, American Bank of Commerce, $50. 6 million-assets, Provo, Utah

Improving asset quality and earnings is our focus in 2011. In 2010, employees knew our strategic focus; however, not all were aware of how their daily actions impacted our objectives. In 2011, each employee will better understand how their personal activities will directly affect asset quality and earnings improvement. We expect that with greater emphasis on the details, the big picture result will be easier to achieve.

We broadened the number of individuals involved in planning. In prior years senior management developed annual plans. Now all managers are involved in the process. The vital objective for all employees is performance benchmarking directly related to asset quality and earnings.

Staff is currently involved in establishing individual benchmarks. Each manager is developing performance benchmarks for their area of responsibility. Each benchmark will have a direct correlation between measurement and impact on asset quality and earnings. Critical measurement will tie to a direct improvement of asset quality and earnings. Benchmarks in development are ambitious; encourage higher performance; and promote greater accountability from all.

To effectively disseminate information throughout our organization chart, we held communication and team-building training. Training involved all staff in varying combinations. This exercise is improving communication skills and developing greater confidence in each other. Challenging benchmarks are more achievable with better interpersonal skills, particularly healthy recognition of personal strengths and weaknesses.

Our marketing department (a half-time person) is developing an internal promotional campaign tied to the accomplishment of our objectives. This action will generate momentum and maintain focus through the year. In January, we will have a kickoff event for 2011. Promotional events will be coordinated with benchmark objectives. Quarterly celebration and recognition events will celebrate successes, prompt midcourse adjustments, and maintain program enthusiasm. …

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