Answer by Andy Zavoina:Many bankers have problems with this. I'll be the first to say that we had a guard at my bank who was armed, was the first one there each day, and did a great job. He also almost shot me when I had a very early flight one morning and had to go to my office for some files at about 4:30 AM.
First, train on why you have these procedures. They are not meant to be a hassle, but to avoid mourning over another employee. Then train on what you actually do and be sure to change it up periodically. Then test it. Go in one morning and don't set the signal. Those employees and officers who enter when they shouldn't should wear a black armband or button for the day. Those who do follow the procedures should get some reward, $5, a lunch coupon, a candy bar, doughnut or something that recognizes they did what is supposed to be done.
Answer by Dana Turner:It's also helpful to get some different employees to actually time how long it takes to clear the building. Calculate an average, add three minutes and use this as the time the parking lot employee must drive away and call 9-1-1. Then reverse the process and time the closing procedures. You'll likely be surprised how little time this process takes, and how much longer-than-necessary you leave the clearing employee to be taken as a hostage.
This probably doesn't happen in your institution, but sometimes managers and staff actually lie to you when you ask them if they follow procedures. If you can, video some of the opening/closing teams occasionally before you ask that question.
First published on BankersOnline.com 7/12/10