Dear Workforce How Do Banks Manage Employee Performance

By Staff Report

Aug. 25, 2004

Dear Tabs on Tabulators:

An organization’s overall performance-management system begins with the development of organizational strategy. Before any assessment of individual performance is made, make sure the organization’s direction is articulated and communicated. Although looking for bank-related standard performance indicators may be an attractive solution, you’ll achieve better results and have greater buy-in from all stakeholders if key performance indicators are defined on the basis of the bank’s mission, vision and values, combined with the job’s accountabilities, objectives and standards.

Once you have defined the accountabilities, one way to define performance standards is to identify “high-performers” or “stars” within each unit of the bank. This can be segmented into management and non-management. Then, using a standardized set of questions, interview both the star and the star’s manager. Draw out what makes this person a star within the organization. What results are generated by high-performers? Capture direct measures of output. There are only four direct categories of output: quantity, quality, cost and time. Identify the most effective and valid measures for each of these categories.

A performance-appraisal form then can be designed on the basis of traits, talents and results found in high-performers. The design of the form is not as critical as the research that went into it. However, given that the form is a kind of report card for the individual, the better the design, the more effective it will be. BancOne Corp.’s performance factors (from 1996) are listed in Dick Grote’s The Complete Guide to Performance Appraisal. While most of the performance factors are similar to those found across all industries, several are bank-related:

For Management
Business and Operational Management
Financial planning/forecasting
● Controlling
● Asset quality
● Compliance and internal controls

Quality Process
Solicits customer feedback/complaints
Measures key customer/financial indicators
Develops and reaches quality plan objectives

Customer Relations (internal/external)
Monitors customer/client feedback
Develops new/improved customer relations

Grote states: “It is unnecessary to determine in advance the level of performance that will earn a rating at each position on your scale (highest to lowest). Only the core requirements for fully satisfactory performance need be identified.”

You also could design a special form for measuring traits considered critical or most important for a given job. You would indicate the level of importance of a specific trait to a job (high, medium or low).

Then you’d use a numerical scale of 1 through 5 to indicate the level of performance observed or documented for the employee. For example: 1 = clearly below acceptable levels; 2 = needs immediate improvement; 3 = meets high standards; 4 = consistently exceeds high standards; and 5 = always exceeds high standards and consistently works effectively beyond the scope of the job. Include a comment box to support your rating with objective results using quantities, qualities, costs and time.

SOURCE: Carl Nielson, principal, The Nielson Group, Dallas, Oct. 25, 2003.

LEARN MORE: About 67 other items on performance appraisals, including sample appraisals.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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