The Bank Employee of the Future

1 The trend toward universal bankers will only accelerate, and in-person branch staff will need to become expert not just in transactions and sales but also in the full range of financial products they might offer a customer and in the array of technological channels a customer might use. Customers will expect any employee they contact to know how to perform banking functions using any channel—and employees need to be prepared to wow customers over any channel.

“In the future, our bankers will have more virtual partnerships that will need to be cultivated differently than they are today.”

Debbie Crowder, head of branch and premier banking, SunTrust Banks

“Make sure your employees are users of the bank’s technologies, or they won’t be good at selling or servicing them with customers.”

Jeff Plagge, president and CEO, Northwest Financial Corp.

“We see branch personnel needing to become technology facilitators and product advisers, a role similar to the Genius Bar in Apple stores.”

Çagri Süzer, head of retail banking, BBVA Compass

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2 Headcount won’t disappear entirely as transaction assistance technology is perfected. In fact, it might grow as staff are freed up for more productive work. Productivity growth is always the key to “leveling up,” either in a single business or an overall economy. Employees may be anxious about the transition period, but better opportunities await bank staff in the future.

“On a staffing level, intelligent teller machines allow us to spend more time developing the strengths of our employees. Staff enjoy handling more value-added tasks, rather than repetitive cash and account transactions that can be easily automated.”

Bryan Luke, president and COO, Hawaii National Bank

“Artificial intelligence, automated workflows, account onboarding process automation, etcetera will transform the way bank employees work, making them more efficient and freeing their time to focus on truly strategic initiatives.”

Christopher George, SVP, Nymbus

3 Bank teams of the future will be made up of lifelong learners. Given the learning curve of new technology plus the pace of its adoption, bankers will have no choice. Training—whether it’s a college degree, a certification or an online course or two—will not only help employees keep pace with change, it will also give them greater command over their career roadmaps. Employee satisfaction and confidence can be seen on the bottom line.

“We are spending more time than ever training our employees. That means finding and hiring the right people and working with them to develop their career. We recently worked with each of our nearly 200 employees—from teller positions up to our management team—on mapping out their career paths.”

Bryan Luke, president and COO, Hawaii National Bank

“It almost takes a college degree… to be a teller today. There are so many things they have to be watchful for.”

Annette Russell, president and CEO, Security Federal Savings Bank

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ABA at Your Service

ABA’s conferences, schools, online training and credentials help bankers at all levels of their careers become bankers of the future. Learn more at aba.com/training.

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About Evan Sparks

Evan Sparks
Evan Sparks is editor-in-chief of the ABA Banking Journal and vice president for editorial services at the American Bankers Association.