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Annual Competency Tests for Front Line Staff

Question: 
Do any financial institutions require annual competency tests for front line staff? We have a teller over 70 that doesn't realize her capabilities are declining. This has become more evident since our bank went to teller capture 18+ months ago. We don't want to get in trouble for age discrimination.
Answer: 

by David Dickinson:

This is really a legal issue, but here's my opinion:

If someone is not capable of doing their job in a competent manner, why do you still employ them? Why is there a fear to critique this teller? If you aren’t honest about this, others will see that management is sanctioning this incompetence which leads to a loss of respect and it destroys trust within your organization. You're not discriminating because someone is older. You're holding people to a standard the this person is no longer capable of achieving.

If you want a healthy organization, you need to speak the truth in love (yes, love), mixed with a good amount of emotional intelligence. Withholding truth from someone, either about the validity their idea or the efficacy of their behavior, is actually a form of cruelty. Being "nice" isn't cruel and wrong.

Answer: 

by Ken Golliher:

One of the worst management styles I have ever seen is to take an action that affects all employees because there are concerns with a single employee.

If this person is no longer capable of performing the tasks assigned to her that should be reflected in her recent evaluations. (That would be a basis for termination where there would be no evidence of discrimination based on age.) My guess is her evaluations say her performance is satisfactory or better...

Answer: 

by Randy Carey:

I concur with the statements by David and Ken. Additionally, even pre-employment competency testing is a tricky environment to ensure that the tests are neutral as to all prohibited basis employment discrimination considerations. Post-employment testing is even worse. If you continue to choose to go down this path, you need a very good employment attorney in your back pocket. It is not as simple as writing up your own test and basing continued employment on a pass or fail grade

First published on 10/29/2017

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