Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

PERSONNELLY SPEAKING: Of Body Counts and Body Keeping

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

PERSONNELLY SPEAKING: Of Body Counts and Body Keeping

Article excerpt

During a break at a seminar, a Pennsylvania bank CEO was bemoaning the new mall that had opened at the edge of his town. He wasn't complaining about the mall pulling retail business away from Main Street. No, what had him singing the blues was the fact that all those mall stores had snapped away his best front-line employees. "Taking deposits at the teller counter isn't that different from ringing up sales at a dress chain or a big-name shoe store," he said, "except that they can give employees a better package than I can."

He's not alone--17 7.4% of the national sample reported similar trouble with major retail chains. And that's just the beginning.

For all the automation, for all the talk about the web, for all the efficiency and outsourcing, community banks still need people. But as Exhibit 13, bottom, shows, there were significant increases in banks reporting trouble attracting or retaining employees in this year's survey.

Low unemployment was cited most often as the reason for the trouble, and, as Exhibit 12 left shows, the banks' chief solution has been to attack the problem with the universal solution-cash.

              If your bank has had trouble either attracting
               or retaining help, what steps have you taken?
Increased our salary scale             67.9%
"Cash pays the rent"
Emphasized internal promotion            32%
Introduced incentive pay               23.9%
Adopted flexible scheduling            16.9%
Introduced profit sharing for everyone 12.9%
Improved medical coverage               7. … 
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