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Get the Cobwebs Out of Your Branch Culture

October 25, 2012

By Kim Edwards, Vice President of Client Services at FMSI

October is a great month to talk about change.  The weather is changing as the fall season rolls in, the leaves change to let us know winter is around the corner, and during Halloween kids change into super heroes, goblins and princesses.

What are you changing? It might be time to blow the dust off and clear the cobwebs from your culture. Wikipedia defines Change Management as an approach to shifting/transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state.

Changing or developing a new culture or reenergizing an existing culture is not about staff “buy in”, but rather about genuine ownership and accountability. It’s about passion, leading by example and doing the right thing.  We all know that change takes time and culture change is a process.

  • Develop a clear process with an expectation for execution and results.
  • Define what your goal is going to be.
  • Define what it will look like and what action you will need to take in order to get there.

Culture is set by the original values of the organization modified and improved over time and overseen by the senior leadership within the organization; those responsible for defining and driving the culture and setting the tone.  Involvement by strong, engaged leadership at the senior level is essential for success.

Internal and External Customers
A true service culture places a high level of importance on both internal and external service delivery expectations.  Happy employees are loyal employees and will perform at higher levels when made to feel what they are contributing is valued.

  • Does your culture promote excellence and move to cultivate loyal account holders?
  • Does your culture promote success, performance, reward and recognition to create and support loyal employees?

Although extremely important, if incentives are only being paid to platform staff for loan production and new account generation, your organization could be missing a valuable opportunity to incent those teller staff that have the ability to drive real cost saving results through performance.  When performance metrics are measured, is the organization willing to share a small portion of those cost saving improvements with the teller staff for improved workforce optimization? This type of incentive reward decision can certainly drive performance for success. It is usually a very small piece of the pie that is a very powerful slice in the long run.  Learn more by downloading FMSI’s Incentive Pay White Paper.

In a culture based on efficiency senior leaders typically are the ones managing the culture.  They are willing to explore and evaluate processes, procedures and controls. One of the most valuable and important resources a senior level manager can invest in their employees is time. Change management and keeping your culture relevant to the changing environment is a worthwhile venture.

It’s about accountability,
It’s about ownership,
It’s about expectations and performance results,
It’s about incentives, rewards and recognition,
It’s about time for you to do what you need to remove the cobwebs from your culture and everyone will benefit.

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