Magazine article Independent Banker

Stay Informed, Stay Relevant

Magazine article Independent Banker

Stay Informed, Stay Relevant

Article excerpt

One day while working the teller line I realized I wanted to do more than my job. I wanted to learn every job. Of course, one can never know "everything" about anything, particularly an industry as complex and fluid as banking. But I knew enough to realize I could best serve my customers by engaging in lifelong learning. Every job offered, every course taken, was a learning experience. The more I knew the more I understood my customers and the industry and what was necessary to make both successful.

That's a bigger challenge today than ever before. When I started in banking more than 20 years ago the technology wasn't as sophisticated; we still did hand posting and ATMs were in their infancy. The products and services weren't as complex; mortgages were 30-year fixed loans, not the exotic no doc, no money down ARMs of today that have gotten so many consumers in trouble. And while regulations always existed, never have they been so burdensome. Now we're required to provide documentation for practices we don't even engage in!

Staying abreast of industry developments on the competitive and compliance front is no longer a luxury-it's an imperative. It's why I continue to advocate continuing education. I had a friend once say, "I hate to educate my employees and then they leave." But ask yourself this question, "What if you don't educate them and they stay?"

Ignorance can be just as costly. Without the necessary skill set employees can't adequately serve customers. Without proper training employees can't adhere to regulatory requirements. …

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