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When I was playing team sports the last piece of advice from the coach was often “Go out there and enjoy yourselves”. The attitude seemed to be if you were having fun then everything else would fall into place and you would have a successful outcome. Not true, as we all know, but at least you played your heart out until the final whistle. In the modern workplace the coaches, that would be the boss, don’t seem to have the same attitude. It has been a rare occurrence that a boss has told me to go out on a client engagement and enjoy myself. They are mostly interested in meeting budgets, productivity measures, operational KPI’s, increasing revenue, decreasing costs, sales, and more sales. That’s the reality we live with in today’s competitive environment. So what was I learning with all those team sports at school. That’s easy, teamwork, how to work co-operatively with my team mates to achieve a desirable outcome….a win. That’s a skill that is very applicable to today’s work environment, and a vital ingredient in a successful business.

The other important difference between school sports and today’s business environments is that in general all the teams we competed against had the same basic equipment. We all started equal. That is not true in business where companies have different investment plans and equip their teams (employees) with vastly differently equipment (hardware, software, policies, procedures, etc). The right equipment can give my team, or staff, a decisive advantage over my business competition. Why go to all this trouble. To maximize your staff’s performance they need the right environment, the right team, and the right leadership. Numerous reports show staff with superior support infrastructure will perform better, and have a superior attitude and motivation regarding their workplace. This leads to happier staff, with measureable improvements in productivity and efficiency.

The above are important points, but a growing priority for Banks today is Customer satisfaction, to avoid the loss of market share that is common in today’s market. Customer satisfaction leads to Customer retention, but what impact does staff satisfaction have on Customer satisfaction? A large percentage of Customers satisfaction scores are based on the Customer experience, i.e. the interactions they experience with Bank staff and systems. Those interactions involve a large number of contributing factors, including the customer, the staff member, environment, training, Customer data, product data, process automation, consistent manual processes, ease of access, performance, to name a few. However, the human factor cannot be underestimated. It is important that you have supported the staff with the appropriate infrastructure to enable them to perform their job with confidence and accuracy. Providing staff with the right tools enables them to feel positive about their ability to contribute and will be reflected in the way they interact with Customers. This includes tools that provide a clear, concise, and complete view of the Customers relationship with the Bank, and more importantly tools that guide the staff member in the proper process to be followed, no matter what demands are made by the customer. Knowing that the system will guide and supply any customer requests gives staff the confidence to interact in a positive manner with the customer.

Happy, positive, motivated staff will increase the perception of professionalism that is received by Customers, which leads to a positive experience. This builds trust between the Customer and the Bank, which again greatly influences the Customer retention rate. Lack of trust in an organization is a major contributor to shopping around for a new relationship. Trust is mainly attributed to person to person interactions, and less so to those unstaffed channels. In a business environment with ever increasing unstaffed channels of communication, internet, mobile, social media, a Bank still cannot evade the requirement for some sort of human interaction channel of communication. Staff then, although leveraged by technology, remain an important and necessary asset of the Bank. A Well Managed Bank needs to maximize the potential they gain from this asset. As Customers we still base a large portion of our appraisal on the human interaction we experience, regardless of the volumes of business we may put through the unstaffed channels. Thus happy staff will provoke superior interactions, leading to superior appraisals of our professionalism by Customers and higher customer satisfaction and trust in our organisation.


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