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"You want me to do what?"

“So, let me get this straight. You want me to open new accounts, complete personal loans, AND process transactions?”

We’ve heard this all before. A poorly executed shift to a universal banker model from a traditional teller/seller model, along with open concept banking, will cause severe heartburn for associates. For executives, the transition seems so easy on paper – it’s a leaner, more efficient model and far more profitable for the institution. The truth is, this shift does not happen overnight. It takes months of preparation and education to ready the branch, employees, and consumers for this model.

Whether you’re building a new branch or remodeling an existing location, there are four key pillars to examine: People, Process, Design, and Technology. The most critical - and often overlooked – of these is the investment in your people. Consumers rarely have a relationship with a community banking institution because it has the best design, or the newest technology – your competitive advantage is your team, building sustaining relationships with consumers. For the universal banker model to be effective, it’s imperative for associates to have a unique set of skills that differ from the traditional teller/seller model.

Here are some of the essential ingredients for a successful universal banker:

universal banker characteristics

How are you preparing your associates for the transition? Consumers identify best with someone who can seamlessly transition from processing a routine transaction one minute, to discussing financial well-being with deposit and loan products. The more knowledgeable and limber the individual contributor is, the more valuable they are to your consumers and institution. Some of your existing employees will naturally thrive in the new model and, for some others, the new role will not be a great fit. Additional training will bridge the gap for some employees and, in some cases, the best choice will be to find another role. Defining the roles and responsibilities of the new positions, identifying suitable team members, choreographing the branch flow, and developing and identifying delivering training to employees are all part of developing your transition plan.

Thinking of making the shift to a universal model? We can help. We have the expertise and experience to prepare your team for the transition and guide your institution in a successful implementation.

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