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Living on the Edge? Staffing with Part-timers on the Teller Line and in Operations

The article “Improving Branch Productivity with Part-time Tellers” on BAI Banking Strategies reinforces an idealistic concept which all businesses have regarding staffing, particularly in today’s economy; keep FTE (Full Time Equivalents) costs low! 

The concept of employing part-timers not only supports the strategic goals of an organization to remain competitive in the marketplace, but also helps in many other ways including:

  • Easier to replace workers who are not reaching full productivity levels
  • Reduces overtime costs
  • Reduces overhead and benefit costs
  • Limits the challenge of long-term employee complacency
  • Offers a more flexible workforce

However, in the case of tellers and operations, this strategy also brings risks. For example:

  • Customer relations: it’s harder to build relationships with part-timers than well known, longer term teller employees
  • Commitment: many times part-timers have little commitment to the organization and when a better offer comes along, they move on quickly and without notice
  • Overstaffing: it’s beneficial to slightly overstaff in case a part-time employee decides not to come into work (this of course slightly increases costs)
  • Training and productivity: with high turnover, the productivity levels can be much lower due to ramp-up and training time of new tellers and operations staff
  • Marketplace dependency: if the market experiences fluctuations related to availability, you might find it difficult to staff

In order to help staff properly for teller operations as well as back-office processing, reporting is critical to the process. An excellent example of such reporting is shown in the eReports Volume by Hour Analysis. This kind of report enables managers to see how volume flows through the day, both front counter and back-office. Based on these volumes, one can predict upcoming employee requirements and plan accordingly. Additional granularity would be needed in order to staff appropriately at each branch, so a breakdown can also be provide by branch.

Are part-time employees worth it?  We’ve heard both sides of the story from customers. Even if you use them in a limited capacity, it’s good to leverage planning tools to maximize employee utilization!

Source: BAI Banking Strategies

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