Magazine article American Banker

A Path Forward for Tellers as Branch Visits Decline

Magazine article American Banker

A Path Forward for Tellers as Branch Visits Decline

Article excerpt

Byline: Lou Whiteman

Debbie Richards, head of human resources at Bank of Tennessee in Kingsport, used to cringe when she heard a branch employee referred to as "just a teller."

Not only did that phrase minimize all of the work branch employees are now expected to do, but it also implied a sense of immobility.

So, two years ago she and her team began developing an individual development account program that aims to eliminate that perception.

As of last January all "customer experience officers," as tellers at Bank of Tennessee are called, started taking part in a complex training program designed to broaden their skills and earn them higher pay. The training, which consists of a series of modules developed internally at the bank, include salary boosts as sections are completed that overall can bump individual wages by 23% in about a year's time.

Richards said that the program aims to increase the number of employees moving up through the organization, and to help map out the necessary path to reach a career goal.

Bank of Tennessee -- which made its debut in American Banker's annual Best Banks to Work For ranking this year -- is developing career progression plans for each department so that in future years a new employee hired as a teller would have a clear idea of what training and exposure they would need to move into lending, for example.

The program is both a recruitment tool and a reaction to technology. Banks and their front-line employees need to evolve, as the reasons why people visit branches change. …

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