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According to the US Bureau of labor statistics, (2004) the employee turnover is simply a fact of life in the business world. The days when employees would stay and grow with a bank for the duration of their working life are gone. Studies reveal that individuals stay with their current employer for a maximum of five years before moving on. While 0% turnover is simply unrealistic, increased turnover in the banks indicates a serious problem in the working environment.
According to Ball, (2000) the US bank is one of the biggest financial institutions in the US. In addition to its employee’s competitive salary scale and good incentive avenues, the bank offers a comprehensive and competitive package of benefits to both full-time and part-time employees. Due to these competitive salary scales and other benefits the bank has experienced employee high turnover rates.
The US Bureau of labor statistics, (2004) asserted that there are multiple causes behind the problem the US bank is experiencing with a high employee turnover rate. One primary cause of high turnover rates is lack of an adequate hiring process. The current hiring process is focused on filling open positions and not on hiring qualified individuals to replace the vacant positions. While the US bank has standards for hiring new employees, the standards are not high enough to ensure that only qualified candidates obtain the open positions.
To make the matter worse the hiring process overlooks the necessity of defining and analyzing candidates’ personalities during the hiring process. The bank cannot control the factors that makeup individuals’ personalities such as hereditary forces, family relationship forces, social class and other group membership forces and cultural forces but it can find candidates whose personalities will better mesh with the position needed. The ideal candidate will be very extroverted and like situations with a good deal of social interaction.
They will be very agreeable so they can develop and maintain good interpersonal relationships within the bank. They must be rather conscientious because of the level of organization required with the positions and finally, they do not need to be highly open to experience in the stringent well-defined positions within the bank. Currently the bank is not analyzing any of these factors and hiring candidates who vary significantly from this ideal personality mix which causes the poor retention and high job turnover among its employees.
Another cause of high turnover among the employees in the US bank is the supervisory process. The bank supervisors do not properly evaluate their employees. There is no level of employee participation in the evaluation process as the supervisors go through set evaluation materials on defined schedules. Evaluation must be an ongoing process to be successful. The supervisors do not receive any formal training on how to administer and evaluate their employees, which compounds the problem.
The employees are left feeling unchallenged and unmotivated and this is reflected in the high turnover rate among the employees in the US bank. The supervisors also do not set good examples for their employees. The employees see the supervisors fail to meet their goals and using the attribution process make choices regarding their future behavior that it is not necessary to meet your performance goals.
Building on this, the punishment aspect of the reinforcement theory is not present in the bank. Regardless of how poorly an employee performs there is no uncomfortable or unwanted consequence that results from the behavior. Likewise there are not significant positive reinforcers for good behavior and employees are left feeling unmotivated so they leave the job because of job dissatisfaction. (US bureau of labor statistics, 2004)
The levels of stress also contribute to the bank’s turnover problem with the employees. The bank jobs for example the clerk position is a high profile position that includes high stress during peak busy times and the end of the month. The job can also be very low stress during times of low activity, during the middle of the week and the middle of the month. Factoring in the under load over load Continuum, the clerks have a very difficult times.
The US bank employees turnover and inadequate staffing of the banks results in more overload stressors on a regular basis. The bank does not have a wellness program to assist its employees with their physical and mental health, which will help them more adequately deal with the job’s stress. Although the US bank provides good task content for the employees with good work areas, nice environments, temperatures, and light, the bank still experiences a high employee turnover because of the high-stress level associated with the bank jobs and lack of assistance from the bank in dealing with the stress from the job. (US bureau of labor statistics, 2004)
The final cause of high turnover among the employees is the inability for the bankers (employees) to form or associate with informal groups. The employees are confined to stringent work areas that discourage interaction with each other. The tellers must take lunch breaks on schedules separate from any of their co-workers. The bank does not encourage interaction outside of the workplace and discourages socializing during work hours.
Groups are necessary for people because it allows people to fill their social needs, security needs and esteem needs. If these needs are not filled through interest groups or friendship groups the person’s behavior and performance will not be maximized, as both individual and psychological forces are not whole. Without groups to provide fulfillment of the employees’ needs, the employees will lack two of the major forces influencing behavior and performance and the end result for the bank is higher turnover among the employees. (Neoin, 2006)
Evans et al, (2001) asserted that with serious challenges of turning over rates facing the US bank, the Bank of America on the handset out in the year 2000 to improve employee satisfaction and retention with a corporate-wide annual integrated recognition program consisting of several key programs. Its first step was to create a customized Web site portal with extensive help from its vendor partner. Once the structure was in place, all associates were encouraged to start practicing basic recognition by thanking others for a job well done with an online card or note card known as the Spirit Celebration Card.
The bank of America made it clear that they expected 100 percent participation in this level of recognition. Managers were asked to reinforce the recognition culture by beginning each team meeting by thanking associates, acknowledging recipients and senders of Spirit Celebration Cards, and reminding people of other various recognition options. Senior leaders added their support by encouraging people to nominate their peers and by selecting the “best of the best” for an annual Award of Excellence incentive trip — the most coveted reward.
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All employees, from the top down, were encouraged to use recognition in a timely manner, to recognize associates at all levels, and to make their recognition public. This resulted in employee satisfaction scores increased from 50 percent to 85 percent, and turnover was cut in half, to 24 percent. This strategy made the American bank to reduce employee turnover rates.
Neoin, (2006) indicated that there are several ways that can reduce the amount of turnover in the US bank. The following suggestions were given as ways to reduce the amount of turnover among the US bank employees
- Offer training opportunities to increase knowledge areas
- Assess the changing workforce culture
- Measure the bank turnover rate
- Become more employee-oriented
- Hire the right people
- Set up effective Change Management
While there is no one answer to the issue of employee turnover there are many proven recommendations on how to limit the chances of it happening in the bank. It is recommended that an employer should take time to show appreciation to those that work so hard to make the bank successful. Most importantly they should listen to the needs of their employees and find ways to show that they are committed to them. It is believed that 80% of success is showing up and the other 20% is achieved by increasing on the ways to make the employees stay.
Ball, A. (2000): Take charge of your workers; compensation claim, 2nd California edition, Nolo press.
Branham, F (2000): Keeping the people who keep you in business. Economics journal. Vol 4.
Evans, M. Peter, B and Raunch, E (2001): Bureaucratic and growth: a cross-sectional analysis effect of American economy. Journal of monetary economics. Vol32.
Neoin, S (2006): Causes of high bank employees turnover. American business journal. Vol.2.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (2004): Turn over rates in American banks. Washington, DC, US Department of Labor.