Drive Revenue with your Branch Scheduling Processes
Your branch workforce management processes ideally empower your network to maximize sales while controlling labor costs, but this can be easier said than done. Many banks still rely on dated technology and processes, like paper schedules, regional float pools, and the inability to schedule colleagues for multi-skilled roles in their labor management. With new patterns in branch traffic, high service expectations from customers, and new regulatory fines for predictive scheduling violations, many branch banks are looking for ways to update their scheduling models and processes to ensure they’re driving revenue, improving efficiency, and increasing employee satisfaction.
Improve Forecasting and Analytics
With the rise of digital banking, many branches are now serving as consulting centers in a connected, omnichannel approach. If you want to drive revenue, it’s key for branch staff to be able to have time for customer conversations, maximizing customer service and converting sales. This requires accurately predicting staffing needs and recognizing both short-term and long-term trends in branch traffic and wait times; applying machine learning models to your forecasting process empowers you to easily make sense of past labor forecasts compared to actuals, the impact of weather, and other anomalies that influence staffing needs. A forecasting solution with AI can drastically improve forecast accuracy and someday even allow banks to match employee personas or experiences with those of its employees for a deeper, more useful connection.
Additionally, your forecasts should account for the full workload in branches, so you’re not solving just a piece of the puzzle. With a workforce management solution that operates natively alongside activity management, time & attendance, and branch execution solutions, you can ensure that your forecasts account for factors like queue levels and wait times, upcoming events or promotions, routine activities like opening and closing procedures, and any variations in actuals versus forecast. As a result, you are able to ensure you have the right number of people with the right skills in the right place at the right time to efficiently foster customer engagement.
Reduce Friction for Branch Managers
Many banks have introduced market-level scheduling, floating specialist, and part-time labor pools, but are struggling to apply these modern labor models in legacy scheduling solutions. Crafting schedules can take branch managers, district managers, or regional float pool managers hours every week. A lengthy, complicated scheduling process means that these leaders have less time to focus on other responsibilities in the branch network like coaching and engaging with clients and that it’s more difficult for them to respond to last-minute changes like call outs.
However, with the right workforce management solution, branch managers can get optimized schedules in a matter of minutes. Advanced solutions use AI-powered algorithms to autogenerate optimized schedules that account for labor forecasts and budgets. Branch managers can also ensure that the branch will be adequately staffed for anticipated workload and branch traffic, while balancing colleague availability, skill set and certifications, preferences, and local or national labor rules and regulations. They just need to make small tweaks and revisions to get the final schedule, reducing a process that used to take hours to a matter of minutes.
Branch managers can put that time back into training branch colleagues, engaging customers, and driving sales.
Get Buy-In from Branch Colleagues
The scheduling process should also be easy for branch staff; when colleagues are happy with their schedules, they’re more likely to be engaged at work and less likely to call out or seek opportunities elsewhere. Research has shown that unplanned absences can be costly for employers, so getting schedules right and increasing employees’ confidence in the process is key.
Employee self-service tools empower branch colleagues to engage with the scheduling process and help branches fill open shifts effortlessly. With iOS and Android mobile-first self-service apps, staff can easily view their schedules from their phones, adjust their availability, call in sick or request time off, as well as swap shifts or bid on open shifts at neighboring branches. They can ensure that their schedules meet their needs and managers can easily review and approve changes on the fly.
With mobile employee self-service as a native function of the workforce management platform, these changes are automatically incorporated into the schedule. Managers are alerted if any proposed changes would violate labor regulations or branch rules, avoiding penalties or overtime expenses.
In the today’s thin branch network, there are a number of opportunities to use modern workforce technology to drive revenue, efficiency, and colleague satisfaction. The question facing banks is when and how you should upgrade or enhance your workforce tooling to make the most of these opportunities. Consider starting this process as soon as possible. Legacy solutions are only going to fall further behind as transactions shift to digital channels and the pressure mounts to optimize branch staffing.
For more on the technology that makes a difference to today’s thin branches, check out the recent Celent survey, Managing Today’s Branches with Yesterday’s Tools.