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A Few Good Employees...making the most of a downsized team.

October 6, 2010

By: Carletta Clyatt

Is your current management strategy working for you? Does it help sustain growth? How effectively is it preparing you and your employees for the future ‘new normal’ expected within the banking industry? 

Given the range of challenges now faced daily by you and your team, it’s more important than ever to keep pace with the latest trends in management. If, for example, you’re simply encouraging employees to do a job well, you’re using antiquated, pre-recession training tactics. Excelling in a job is so yesterday. Because of today’s bare-bones staff, super lean payrolls and often unrealistic demands, you need each existing employee to excel in not just one, but several jobs simultaneously. 

And, like it or not, it’s up to you to make this happen. 

Doing all you can with staff stretches not only your financial budget but also the reach of each subordinate’s capabilities. But first you’ll need to ensure employees can successfully and comfortably carry out multiple tasks, by matching their abilities to your needs. And the best way to do this is to gain extensive knowledge of their individual strengths and weaknesses. If you think you have neither the time nor the need to do this, think again, as the payoff for leading a team of well-suited, versatile, satisfied and highly motivated workers is huge. It is what will set you apart as a manager and move your institution ahead of others as we pull out of this current recession. 

Start observing more frequently your employees’ typical work habits. Do you have CSRs, tellers, researchers or administrators who seem take charge and bold? Are they also outgoing? If so, this may signal strong sales ability or leadership tendencies. Further assessment of their core traits may point to your ability to use these employees in combination roles of service, sales and supervision. 

On the other hand, someone more quiet and conservative could be highly effective in a variety of administrative tasks, quality control or bookkeeping. Is there a future loan officer sitting unrecognized in your midst? 

Successfully tying employees to jobs and jobs to results means better potential to maximize success and buy loyalty. It makes managing so much easier in the long run.   

Offering staff the correct type of feedback is also necessary as they assume additional roles. In order to recognize and reinforce strong performances and encourage improvement where needed, however, you need to know the preferred communication style of each employee. Find out if your number one teller likes public accolades or feels embarrassed by them. Is that quiet but seasoned loan officer receptive to critiques?  Should you be direct or subtle when offering advice? 

Today, an increasing number of employers in all sectors of business are looking to fully develop their existing staff by assigning multiple roles. Doing so, however, is arguably most necessary in banking, given its unprecedented influx of new rules, ongoing policy addendums, government-related paperwork, massive layoffs and now limited number of employees. 

That said, are you ready to stop managing by yesterday’s standards and start effecting real, results-driven change?

Carletta Clyatt

Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group. She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses and behaviors. For more information about employee behavioral assessments, call Carletta at 813-280-3026 or email:

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