Three Onboarding Ideas to Give Your Staffing Shortages a Quick Jolt
by John W. Smith, CFM
February 27, 2023
Credit unions are facing what seems like more challenges than ever before.
Growing interest rates, fighting to keep members and deposits, keeping up with fintech innovations, and even amid a changing labor market—talent. 50% of financial institutions recently reported challenges with both staff retention and recruiting. (Cornerstone Advisors, 2023)
Typically, these issues are happening with frontline branch staff. And if we’re looking for the root cause, it’s largely because frontline onboarding experiences stink. The role of the entry-level teller is met with months of training, difficult systems to learn, hefty balancing needs, and detailed processes. And all of this comes with the expectation of being a member-relationship builder, too.
Not the gig it once was.
Where did it go wrong? Have people just changed?
As transactions, branches, and consumer expectations continue to evolve—the technology tellers use largely remains the same. And that’s causing major friction in both the employee and consumer experience.
While legacy systems aren’t going away anytime soon, there are some quick wins to entice stronger talent, increase retention, and make the onboarding process more palatable.
Oftentimes the simplest answers are the best solutions. So, here are 3 ways to simplify your process.
1. Foolproof the Balancing Process
The problem starts before the teller or associate even enters the branch. Most likely, when you are hiring you are looking for two main skill sets, personable tellers who can strike up a conversation with any member and someone who is detail-oriented or has traditional “banking” skills that ensure they care deeply about accuracy. But finding a unicorn with highly developed skill sets for both is nearly impossible. Too often, we hear of new employees working out of a job because the pressures of balancing are too great.
While most credit unions have removed tedious cash drawers, many still experience end of the night balancing issues—even with cash automation technology.
No one wants to be blamed or be responsible for errors. Even worse, having to stay late every night can be demoralizing, plus costly in extra FTE hours.
Take the risk out of their hands by automating as much as possible and preventing human error with balancing. Direct core integration with your cash automation hardware, through software like S4+NORM, provides automatic EOD balancing/reconciliation and real-time transaction posting, while cutting out dual entry and outdated screen-scraping software.
This nearly makes the process foolproof, giving any newbie the confidence to handle transactions, balance with ease, and provide great service to members. Sign me up!
2. Get Staff Operationalized Faster
One of the biggest complaints from both an employer and employee perspective is the time it takes to learn how to use old-school teller applications for handling transactions.
Young adults today don’t want to spend hours interacting with confusing systems. They’re too used to the slick, intuitive applications of their mobile phones. So even attracting talent to use archaic systems is problem number one.
On the flip side, credit unions are feeling the pain of spending large amounts of time onboarding people. Operationalizing staff is time-consuming and costly, and oftentimes turnover is high. Double whammy.
Most believe they are simply stuck with their systems, because we all know switching cores is even more painful than the onboarding process. But new software that integrates with your teller applications, like NOMADIX, makes transactions possible on an easy-to-learn and easy-to-use interface. By removing the friction, getting staff comfortable handling transactions can be reduced from months to weeks. And when staff gets a glimpse of the tools they’ll be using on a day-to-day basis, they aren’t left running for the hills.
3. Untether Associates from Teller Lines and Workstations
The expectations of both consumers and employees have changed. Being chained to a teller line all day doesn’t exactly sound like the most appealing position for anyone. Plus, the added duties of being more advisory with the same technology from 1999 doesn’t sound possible to even the bravest of people.
It’s time to stop putting tellers behind a line. Literally and figuratively meet people where they’re at!
While transactions were previously constrained to workstations next to cash recyclers and peripherals, new options for untethering your associates are surfacing.
With solutions like RTA and NOMADIX, transactions can be done from portable workstations like laptops, from anywhere in the branch. Instead of having to be standing next to a cash recycler and being at a dedicated workstation, staff can run transactions from anywhere in the branch, and leverage shared transaction stations to serve members. Not only does this create a more conducive environment for advisory conversations, but it can help keep your staff happy and excited to come in each day, rather than frustrated.
Your members will notice the difference almost immediately.
CFM helps credit unions optimize the foundational technology behind transformation by integrating cash recyclers, self-service kiosks, tablet-banking interfaces and other peripherals into credit union cores. These integrations and powerful data analytics capabilities allow credit unions to simplify the complex banking ecosystems of disparate technologies, and leverage hardware to its full potential and support modern banking experiences.