Universal banking is a tried and true method of developing traditional tellers and process-focused staff into organizational consultants with a wide-reaching breadth of knowledge and abilities to serve customers.
These jack-of-all-trades banking staff members can meet a customer, learn about their unique needs, and address a wide range of requests, from loan applications, to account openings to helping troubleshoot your financial institution’s app.
However, the wide-reaching ability of these individuals is developed by deliberate training, incentives, and retention, and can fall short if the upfront effort isn’t put in. Consider the following ways you can improve your universal banking staff and make them truly effective.
Simply put, a universal banker only becomes effective through constant and effective training. Take a step back and look at the efficacy of your organization’s staff, and how well they’re actually able to execute a wide range of activities.
The natural tendency for organizations and individuals is to find something they’re good at, and then focus on that activity, becoming somewhat siloed in their capabilities, but extremely effective at those same activities.
In order to overcome this, your organization needs to constantly train, re-train and refresh staff on the diverse skill sets they need to know, especially with those skills that become rusty after not applying them for some time.
How-to sessions, Q&A opportunities to discuss nuances and a regular calendar of both intense learning as well as “refresher” sessions can help your universal banking staff deliver on its promise of an effective yet wide-reaching set of skills and greater customer satisfaction.
Create A System That Rewards
A major part of your organization’s success depends on your staff’s will and desire to continuously improve and acquire new skills necessary for universal bankers. Consider ways you might be able to encourage this learning. In particular, financial incentives such as bonuses, appreciation posts, and creating a “gamified” module of learning and checkpoints can create a road map for your staff to follow as they become more wide-reaching and effective employees.
Similarly, once staff demonstrate proficiency in a skill, create a system that has them regularly teaching that skill and refreshing it to others in order to keep them sharp and spread knowledge they have about the nuances of their role’s diverse skill set.
Most importantly, your staff needs to understand the importance and end result of their effort to become effective universal bankers. If your staff is trained well, customer experience scores should follow and put you at a competitive advantage. Make sure to communicate these results to your staff so they understand how their efforts are making your organization better, and how that improvement impacts your bottom line.