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The Teller Line is Led by Example
by Honey Shelton, InterAction Training Systems

Managing and motivating tellers is no job for amateurs. The role of head teller or teller supervisor in today's "right-sized" banking environment is challenged on an ongoing basis to meet the demands of the customer, cope with personality conflicts, overcome scheduling dilemmas, be accessible to staff, stay current on regulations and protect the bank against preventable losses.

It would be highly unusual for a person with all this responsibility to have received training on the demands of supervising and shaping up the teller line prior to taking the role of head teller. Any supervisor position in a financial institution requires skill in the areas of leadership, communication, and planning. When a head teller or teller supervisor is lacking in those skills it can directly affect customer satisfaction, employee morale and turnover.

Most teller supervisors are expected to work a teller window and perform duties befitting a supervisor--train, grant approval, plan, schedule, coach; the list goes on. A highly motivated teller supervisor who wants a dynamic teller line will feel crowded when trying to work a window and at the same time be accessible to the tellers.

It would not be uncommon for a financial institution to establish limits tellers will be required to observe when handling cash transactions or large items presented for deposit, cash or exchange. The teller supervisor will be called on to approve transactions that exceed the established limit. If the supervisor is waiting on customers and a teller needs assistance, the teller will have to wait, delaying the customer or interrupt the supervisor's transactions.

Balancing has many interpretations on the teller line. There is the balancing of the cash drawer at the end of the business day, and then there is the ongoing balancing act of the teller supervisor. Balancing several tasks at once, such as waiting on customers, answering teller line questions, calling vendors when equipment fails, and seeking replacements for tellers who call in sick.

Wanted: Teller Supervisor.
Must be highly motivated, organized, competent, good listening skills, customer sensitive, team player, work well under pressure, and can hang on to a sense of humor under the worst of circumstances. Experience as a miracle worker helpful.
The job can have an exceeding amount of stress associated with it, and it can also have a great sense of satisfaction. The teller supervisor who wants to excel and develop a strong team of professional tellers will have to make some hard choices and must lobby the institution for proper support.

This supervisor will need to lead by example. The type of impression the institution wants the tellers to have on the customer will be guided by the teller supervisor.

Teller Supervisor Checklist
  • Am I a good example to follow?
  • Do I present myself in a polished and professional manner each day?
  • Is my attitude positive?
  • Am I sure to smile and greet the tellers by their name each day?
  • Do I call the tellers I don't see and greet them?
  • Does my department have quarterly goals concerning:
    • attendance
    • punctuality
    • balancing
    • quality customer service
    • error free number of days
    • training time
    • informational meetings
  • When goals are reached is there a reward system in place?
  • Do my tellers receive positive reinforcement from me?
  • Are new tellers brought on the line with adequate training?
  • Do I address conflict, inappropriate behavior and mistakes head on?
  • How often do I remind my tellers of how important they are and how much they are appreciated?
  • Am I dependable? Do I do what I say I am going to do, when I said I would do it?
  • Are my tellers encouraged to call the customers by their name?
  • When was the last time the teller line came together for some fun and fellowship?
  • Is my work area neat, organized and well stocked, just as I expect all the tellers' windows to be?
These are tough questions. The teller supervisor has a tough job. How successful a teller supervisor you are depends greatly on how well you lead by example.

Honey Shelton's depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and compelling personality are the driving forces behind InterAction Training Systems, Inc. (ITS). As president of this leading seminar provider, Honey uses her talents in motivating professionals to reach their full potential. She and her hand-picked team of dynamic training consultants impart insight across the United States and Europe. More than a quarter-million professionals have honed their skills through the ITS fast-paced, highly-informative, and entertaining seminars.

Shelton began her career in the banking industry. Prior to founding ITS, she served as Vice President of Marketing and an Executive Committee member for a major holding company bank in The Woodlands, Texas. During her 15 years in banking, Honey began developing a passion for training others to succeed. Since forming ITS, numerous corporations confidently consult with Honey for training, public relations, teamwork, effective communication, marketing, and quality improvement.

As a graduate of the School of Bank Marketing from the University of Colorado, she realizes the value of quality education. Honey invests time as a faculty member for banking schools around the country. She is a repeat presenter for most of the state banking associations and has a full calendar providing in-house training for an impressive list of clients. In addition to banking, Honey has extensive experience with a wide variety of industries ranging from health care, oil/gas, telecommunications and manufacturing.

In 1998, Honey began executive and life coaching practice. Her coaching consultations with individuals and teams focus on building and refining skills necessary to identify and sustain success with integrity. Shelton encourages them to turn dreams into goals and intentions into strategies that will strengthen relationships and enhance accomplishments.

Honey continues in her own personal pursuit of excellence. She has obtained certification in both Reality Therapy from the William Glasser Institute and the Training and Development Certification Program at Texas A & M.

First published on BankersOnline.com






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