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Predicting Most Profitable Customer Behaviors is Key to Branch Revenue Growth

December 14, 2018

There are billions of dollars spent every year toward improving account holder experience in the branch, and in many cases financial institutions are left scratching their heads on the ROI.

Sure there are several high level metrics to account for sales and service. However, these KPI’s are not nuanced enough to determine such activities like how account holders feel a financial institution is helping them realize personal values, attaining freedom and independence in life or simplifying life in a complicated world.

In a new white paper from Motista, titled Making the Emotional Connection: Financial Services, the case is made around measuring and managing these nuances in the emotional connection organizations have with their customers.

Emotional Connection_general

Historically, institutions have two categories when measuring account holder service – satisfied and dissatisfied. This dated-approach leads to marketing investments into a broader spectrum, as opposed to a more targeted or tactical area. While some account holders are dissatisfied with a specific institution, most are actually unhappy with a particular sector of the business, like credit cards in the above chart.

When you dive deeper into the nuanced data you can see even the impact of more engaged account holders into specific areas, like mortgages in the below chart.

emotional connection_mortgage

Clearly, investing in customer experience solutions like lobby management software can have significant gains. However, it’s critical to understand the nuance measurements in order to more tactically invest in the branch.

See modern branch software in action and how it can improve the branch experience here.

In the Branch, Hassle-Free Onboarding is Critical

December 7, 2018

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With attrition rates in the branch running as high as 40 percent, it’s extremely important to focus efforts on ways to improve employee engagement. Effective onboarding can lead to improved retention, reduced turnover, and faster time to productivity.

Download this infographic, which highlights how financial institutions are more likely to have direct goals for their onboarding programs that include: integrating new employees into the culture, creating new-hire buy-in with organizational business strategy, clarifying responsibilities of roles, and reducing time to proficiency.

With the right tools, onboarding can be a hassle-free process that allows organizations to focus on the human part of human resources.

Future Branches Must See Sessions

November 27, 2018

Kronos is excited to once again be exhibiting at Future Branches in Austin, TX next week. The show that is billed as the only conference that explores how leading financial institutions are revamping retail banking technology, retooling front line associates, and creating the branch and retail banking experience of the future has a ton of promising sessions. The below are the ones we recommend you check out.

  • Tuesday 12/4 at 11:05, Panel: Picking the In-Branch Technology That Works Best For Your Employees and Your Customers It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new piece of tech, but are you truly thinking about how it can be useful for your customers?
  • Tuesday 12/4 at 12:00, Branch Technology Roundtables, Customer Engagement Technology Critical to Increasing Branch Sales
  • Tuesday 12/4 at 2:45, Going Fully Automated: Does it Make Sense for You? Is this even something that is necessary? What kind of savings will you see for something like this?

See the full agenda here, and make sure to stop by booth 106 & 108 to see a demo of our industry leading branch lobby management software.

New Digital Banking Report Relays the Critical Importance of Innovation

November 20, 2018

Innovation-in-Retail-Banking-Cover-small-for-web.jpgA new study by Digital Banking Report doubles down on the importance of innovation in the sector to keep up with tech alternatives.

“It is clear from this year’s report, and the reports from the past, that great progress around innova­tion has been made, but that there is still much to do. The increasing demands of the consumer, fueled by digital experiences from technology lead­ers, is relegating the banking industry to playing a game of ‘catch up’. This is especially true with smaller organizations, who often lack the resources to deliver the digital functionality of larger peers.”

Learn of some of the latest branch innovations.

New Study: Unplanned Absence Wreaks Havoc on Retail Store Operations

November 9, 2018

According to a new study by the Workforce Institute at Kronos the effects that unplanned absences have on store operations, which, according to more than half of retail managers worldwide (52 percent), is one of their organization’s most difficult, complex, and time-consuming issues.  Most notably, for every 10 hours of in-store labor budgeted, more than one hour is wasted due to staffing misalignment caused by unplanned employee absence.

Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos says of the study, “Business performance has always been tightly aligned with how well you are able to stick to a plan. The corrosive effects of absenteeism can swiftly knock retailers’ plans off course and erode performance potential. How you minimize and manage absence is critical to staying on target, and it starts with understanding employee preferences, considering their availability, and making it easy for them to modify their schedule or swap a shift as needed. After all, employees who work schedules built around their preferred hours and availability and who are empowered by self-service workforce management technology will be happier, have fewer instances of absence, be more productive, and have a longer tenure.”

Retail banking managers should take note of these trends as they can play a critical role in their workforce engagement and efficiency.

See more details around the study results here.

 

Transform onboarding in the branch from a paper-laden burden to a happy occasion

October 29, 2018

Starting a new job should be an exciting opportunity, but too often the first day begins with uncertainty and confusion (Where do I park? Who should I ask for when I arrive?) followed by seemingly endless, mind-numbing paperwork. Let’s compare that traditional experience—something most everyone has been through—to what onboarding could be.

First, the standard approach: Top candidates receive, negotiate and accept job offers and then don’t hear from their recruiting or hiring managers for weeks. They have to follow up to find out any details about their first day. When they arrive, they are ushered to a conference room where they spend hours filling out forms, thumbing through policy manuals and watching training videos. Their workstation may not be ready, they’re on their own to figure out lunch, and their manager may be too busy to welcome them until the end of an exhausting day.

Now let’s envision a better start: New employees receive an email from the recruiter within days of accepting job offers, with a warm welcome, an agenda for the first day, an introduction to the organization and maybe even their new team, and links to required documents in paperless format with instructions on how to complete them electronically at their convenience.

When they arrive for their first day, new hires are treated as VIPs, greeted at the front door by their recruiter, manager, and/or new colleagues, who present them with a personalized gift of company swag. After a quick tour, they spend the morning (or day) learning about the organization and have lunch with their supervisors. When their initial orientation is completed, they are guided to meet their team and learn about how their training will proceed.

In short, suggests a new ebook from Kronos, “Improved Best Practices for Onboarding,

What you need to know to create a more effective new-hire strategy in financial services,” employers can design a new-hire strategy to “simplify the process for your HR team while delighting your new hires with a more positive experience.” The goal in re-envisioning onboarding is to enhance retention of new employees and to improve training and coaching so that they are more productive more quickly. The benefits of developing a more effective onboarding process could show up in:

  • reduced turnover, with a corresponding decline in recruiting and training costs;
  • improved service delivery and related financial results through a faster transition from new hire to trainee to proficient employee; and
  • positive buzz from new employees that offers an advantage in a competitive hiring market.

As the Kronos guide sums it up, “a good onboarding plan gives new hires clear direction from the start on their responsibilities and goals, provides solid training to set them up for success early, encourages engagement with their manager and coworkers, and monitors for trends to keep them on the right track.”

‘Gifted’ new employees

Union Bank & Trust, Lincoln, Neb., upgraded its onboarding program with the aim “to make it more of an experience for new employees than just showing up and getting paperwork shoved at them,” HRIS & Benefits Coordinator Katie Davis says.

In fact, a lot of that paperwork is behind them by the time they officially launch their careers with UB&T. In their “preboarding” phase, new staff members have the opportunity on their own time to review and sign required documents online through an automated paperless DocuSign system.

Now when they arrive for their first day, new employees are greeted with a personalized gift bag that includes a UB&T branded pen, tumbler and tee shirt to wear when volunteering in the community for their company. Their first-day orientation includes viewing a short video on the bank’s 100-year history that also introduces its CEO and a PowerPoint presentation reviewing the documents they have signed previously.

Other onboarding enhancements are a new employee checklist for managers to keep everyone on track with all the first-day and first-week introductions, Davis notes. For example, managers line up colleagues to have lunch with their new team member every day for their first week on the job.

Proactive, positive, productive

UB&T’s example demonstrates many of the elements at the core of revamping the onboarding process: automating the paper trail, planning a positive first day and first week for new employees, and lightening the load for HR and hiring managers with a handy checklist for scheduling and implementing each step in welcoming and training new employees—not just for the first day, but for the three to six months required for new hires to develop their skills, competencies and confidence to fully handle their responsibilities and get comfortable in their work environment.

Our new ebook sets out onboarding essentials from the first day (make sure the tour includes pointing out where the rest rooms are!) through the next six months (a final HR check-in to make sure employees are settled in and to seek their feedback on the process).

An additional advantage of establishing a formal onboarding program is that HR and hiring managers can more easily assess the effectiveness of its elements and monitor outcomes. Ongoing evaluation with the aim of fine-tuning the new-hire strategy brings this process full circle. Monitor turnover rates, especially among employees in the first six months. Establish your metrics for proficiency and then measure how long it takes new employees to get there. Set up regular check-ins with the HR team, trainers and managers to ensure completion of onboarding steps and discuss any useful modifications in the process.

Effective onboarding can and should be a positive experience for new employees and their managers and coworkers as their newest colleagues become productive contributors. Perhaps the best evidence that the process is working is that it will be needed less often as those new hires become long-term, impactful members of the team.

New Infographic Links Increased Sales Opportunities to Branch Appointment Software

October 19, 2018

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A new infographic from Kronos for Banking clearly shows that branch interactions booked through appointment technology is significantly greater than sales generated through walk-in branch interactions.

Why? Because online appointment-setting technology provides branches with the information needed to assign branch staffing resources – and ultimately produce more sales. The infographic also demonstrates that online appointment technology supports the cross-selling of services.

Tracking cross-sell metrics allows financial institutions to provide targeted cross-selling coaching to individual employees for better results.

Download this informative infographic to learn how appointment software gives branches the information needed to schedule the right staff at the right times to deliver optimal service levels and drive sales.

Branch Scheduling Adherence: A Game of Cat and Mouse

October 5, 2018

Tracking how well employees are adhering to schedules in the branch can be like a game of cat and mouse. There are a variety of reasons why employees might deviate, all of which impact employee engagement and business performance. Understanding how well employees are adhering to schedules is tricky.

Employees sometimes don’t work when they are scheduled and sometimes they work beyond their scheduled hours. Sometimes schedules are edited to account for this and sometimes they aren’t.

The Kronos data science group developed a metric called Schedule Adherence to better help understand what was happening. A high Schedule Adherence means employees are working to the schedule and a low value means they are not working to their scheduled hours. High performing companies or departments typically score in the 80’s.

Once again, the score can be applied at any level of the organization. It uncovers a variety of situations. In one case the Kronos data science group saw a score in the high 90’s. At face value, the company might’ve congratulated the manager for exceptional performance. But it seemed unusual to have such a high score.

By charting the below histogram of schedule edits for this manager, shown below, it shows edits were primarily made after the schedule had been worked, which is not typical nor recommended. By looking at the individual edits, it became apparent what was happening at several locations. Supervisors were changing schedules to match whatever hours employees worked to make it look like employees were following the schedule which was the company’s intended practice. The x-axis in this chart shows how many days before or after the day of work that the schedule is edits. 0 is the day of work.

Learn more about how branch scheduling with built in scheduling adherence tools can help your institution.

historical-edits_scheduling adherence

Branches Benefit from More HR Data Driven Approaches

September 26, 2018

With turnover rates being so high for new branch employees, most credit unions are looking for tactics to improve employee engagement. Look no further than onboarding.  Starting a new job should be an exciting opportunity for branch employees, but too often the first day begins with uncertainty and confusion (Where do I park? Who should I ask for when I arrive?) followed by seemingly endless, mind-numbing paperwork. Let’s compare that traditional experience—to what onboarding could be.

First, the standard approach: Top candidates receive, negotiate and accept job offers and then don’t hear from their recruiting or hiring managers for weeks. They have to follow up to find out any details about their first day. When they arrive, they are ushered to an office where they spend hours filling out forms, thumbing through policy manuals and watching training videos. Their workstation may not be ready, they’re on their own to figure out lunch, and their manager may be too busy to welcome them until the end of an exhausting day.

Now let’s envision a better start: New employees receive an email from the hiring manager within days of accepting job offers, with a warm welcome, an agenda for the first day, an introduction to the financial institution and maybe even their new team, and links to required documents in paperless format with instructions on how to complete them electronically at their convenience.

When they arrive for their first day, new hires are treated as VIPs, greeted at the front door by their recruiter, manager, and/or new colleagues, who present them with a personalized gift of company swag. After a quick tour, they spend the morning (or day) learning about the organization and have lunch with their supervisors. When their initial orientation is completed, they are guided to meet their team and learn about how their training will proceed.

In short, suggests a new eBook from Kronos, “Improved Best Practices for Onboarding,

What you need to know to create a more effective new-hire strategy in financial services,” employers can design a new-hire strategy to “simplify the process for your HR team while delighting your new hires with a more positive experience.” The goal in re-envisioning onboarding is to enhance retention of new employees and to improve training and coaching so that they are more productive more quickly. The benefits of developing a more effective onboarding process could show up in:

  • reduced turnover, with a corresponding decline in recruiting and training costs;
  • improved service delivery and related financial results through a faster transition from new hire to trainee to proficient employee; and
  • positive buzz from new employees that offers an advantage in a competitive hiring market.

As the Kronos guide sums it up, “a good onboarding plan gives new hires clear direction from the start on their responsibilities and goals, provides solid training to set them up for success early, encourages engagement with their manager and coworkers, and monitors for trends to keep them on the right track.”

‘Gifted’ new employees

Union Bank & Trust, Lincoln, Neb., upgraded its onboarding program with the aim “to make it more of an experience for new employees than just showing up and getting paperwork shoved at them,” HRIS & Benefits Coordinator Katie Davis says.

In fact, a lot of that paperwork is behind them by the time they officially launch their careers with UB&T. In their “preboarding” phase, new staff members have the opportunity on their own time to review and sign required documents online through an automated paperless DocuSign system.

Now when they arrive for their first day, new employees are greeted with a personalized gift bag that includes a UB&T branded pen, tumbler and tee shirt to wear when volunteering in the community for their company. Their first-day orientation includes viewing a short video on the bank’s 100-year history that also introduces its CEO and a PowerPoint presentation reviewing the documents they have signed previously.

Other onboarding enhancements are a new employee checklist for managers to keep everyone on track with all the first-day and first-week introductions, Davis notes. For example, managers line up colleagues to have lunch with their new team member every day for their first week on the job.

Proactive, positive, productive

UB&T’s example demonstrates many of the elements at the core of revamping the onboarding process: automating the paper trail, planning a positive first day and first week for new employees, and lightening the load for HR and hiring managers with a handy checklist for scheduling and implementing each step in welcoming and training new employees—not just for the first day, but for the three to six months required for new hires to develop their skills, competencies and confidence to fully handle their responsibilities and get comfortable in their work environment.

Our new eBook sets out onboarding essentials from the first day (make sure the tour includes pointing out where the rest rooms are!) through the next six months (a final HR check-in to make sure employees are settled in and to seek their feedback on the process).

An additional advantage of establishing a formal onboarding program is that HR and hiring managers can more easily assess the effectiveness of its elements and monitor outcomes. Ongoing evaluation with the aim of fine-tuning the new-hire strategy brings this process full circle. Monitor turnover rates, especially among employees in the first six months. Establish your metrics for proficiency and then measure how long it takes new employees to get there. Set up regular check-ins with the HR team, trainers and managers to ensure completion of onboarding steps and discuss any useful modifications in the process.

Effective onboarding can and should be a positive experience for new employees and their managers and coworkers as their newest colleagues become productive contributors. Perhaps the best evidence that the process is working is that it will be needed less often as those new hires become long-term, impactful members of the team.

Perspective: Consumer vs. Executive Views of the Branch

September 20, 2018

celent consumer vs exectutive view

A new report from Celent highlights the difference in consumers and executive views of the branch.  For the most part executives were spot on, but the biggest discrepancy is the estimate of how many rarely, if ever visit a branch.

This is not surprising to see, because often times when executives visit a branch they see empty lobbies and teller lines. However, this can be misleading, as traffic comes in sometimes unpredictable waves.

See this Kronos branch study to see actuals around transaction levels in the branch.