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Own It: Reflecting on 2018 Growth

Own It: Reflecting on 2018 Growth

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With the end of the year coming, it’s a good time for reflection. While many of us only focus on how much progress our institution made this year, it’s also important to take time to reflect on personal progress. What did you accomplish? Did your accomplishments move your career forward? With the stress of busy lives sometimes our own goals and aspirations fall to the wayside. It’s important to take charge of your own professional development and leadership skills. In turn, your organization will also experience growth and progress.

For those who manage a team, many of you may have individual action plans in place for team members and group goals for your department. But do you have one for yourself? The new year is the perfect time to create an individual action plan and take ownership for your own professional development for the next year.

Here are the best practices for creating a S.M.A.R.T. individual action plan:

  1. Specific: Make sure your goals are specific, don’t generalize and be sure to include details.
  2. Measurable: This could be in the form of improved financial success for your department or organization, more positive survey results, or a specific number of prospects you want to see each quarter.
  3. Achievable: Are your goals realistic? Can you reasonably attain them within the quarter or year? Don’t set yourself up for failure.
  4. Relevant: Whether it’s learning a new skill in your organization, or vying for that promotion, make sure the goals are relevant to your current career plan.
  5. Target Date: Give yourself a deadline. Deadlines are all about accountability and who should be accountable for your results but you?!

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s important to take time to think about ourselves. Starting the new year with a S.M.A.R.T. action plan will set you up for success and help you own your professional development, and ultimately your career.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com

Why Bankers Should Focus on Financial Literacy

Why Bankers Should Focus on Financial Literacy

In a recent survey done by Wallet Hub, American’s top five financial fears are: an unplanned emergency, (26%) not enough retirement savings, (26%) job loss, (20%) fraud, (11%) and poor credit (7%). When faced with any of these scenarios, the most common place Americans turn to for help is their financial institution.

If you are a financial institution, how would you rate your staff’s financial literacy? Are they prepared to respond and answer the range of questions related to common financial fears? If the answer is no to either of these, it may be a good idea to develop a training curriculum related to product knowledge for both your staff and customers.

A growing number of financial institutions offer financial literacy classes to the public free of charge. This not only creates a better understanding of the financial industry, but also positions your brand to better assist new and existing customers with financial questions.

Tips for deploying a financial literacy program

  • One of the first steps is to educate your staff on what products and services you offer, and then make sure they are comfortable uncovering potential financial needs for their customers.
  • Encourage your staff to personally use the products with your institution. If they bank where they work, they are more likely to provide recommendations to their customers confidently.
  • Managers can help drive financial literacy among their staff through skill practice activities and coaching touchbases with their teams. This helps ensure employees have the confidence and knowledge to ask high gain and clarifying questions to better serve your customers.
  • Training your staff to know the four areas of financial need (Manage, Borrow, Protect and Grow) and how to use a customer’s banking relationship is essential to tailoring an appropriate solution for your customer.

Offering classes and information to the public is a great start to any financial literacy program. Educating your staff and reinforcing your products and services will only enhance your ability to assist new and existing customers.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com

Experience is Everything: Achieving Service Excellence

Experience is Everything: Achieving Service Excellence

A recent Walker research study cites evidence that the customer experience will soon
overtake price and product as what’s most important to consumers. Does this mean that
price and product performance will take a back seat? Of course not. But these types of
trending indicators validate the long-held premise that experience is everything and brand
loyalty is at risk.

Successful organizations are taking time to deploy reinventions of the customer experience.
They’re also prioritizing their attention on the individuals who interact with their customers.
Hiring the right talent and providing ongoing support with structured training and
development initiatives is increasingly important throughout an employee’s career with your
organization.

For call center teams, you’ll not only want to hire for knowledge and skills (phone etiquette,
computer proficiency, basic customer service skills), but you’ll also want to screen for
candidates who are patient, creative, positive and have strong communication skills. Job
growth for call center professionals is projected to increase 12.6% by 2022.

Along with measuring an employee’s performance by metrics such as response time,
abandonment rate (percentage of people that hang up before someone helps them), or firstcall
resolution, you’ll also want to facilitate ongoing support towards growth and training of
the individual. Reinforcement training activities should always be part of a training and
development initiative for ongoing success and to keep the employee engaged in
development.

Key questions to ask:

  1. Does your hiring protocol ensure that you screen for both verbal and written
    communication skills? With technology rapidly changing how we communicate, both
    are critical to success in a call center role.
  2. Are your managers actively engaged in nurturing their employees’ success?
    Reinforcement activities are ideally suited for regular coaching sessions with
    employees and their supervisor.
  3. What kind of opportunities do you provide for employees to learn cross-selling
    techniques, skills for making proper recommendations, and help setting goals for their
    career? The vitality of every employee’s growth plan will translate to your
    organization’s success.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com