Six Questions Head Tellers Asked Us

Six Questions Head Tellers Asked Us

What is a head-teller to do when faced with tough stuff? We received six questions about six different situations. Here are our suggested responses!

1. Repeated Mistakes

I have a teller that continues to make mistakes – the same mistakes – on completing forms incorrectly. I have told her and told her. The customers love this teller and she is great at cross-selling but she is careless with her work.

Tell her that accuracy is a must and that you want her to succeed. Acknowledge to yourself that telling her isn’t working! Make copies of her mistakes and create mock exercises for her to complete. Ask her to draft a flowchart on how to complete the form and, then you help her finalize it. Not everyone learns the same way. Help her learn by giving her drills and have her create her own visual aids.

2. Hygiene

One of my new hires is really dropping the ball on grooming, especially hygiene. It’s not a daily thing but once is too often. I want this guy to succeed but how do I approach something like this that is so personal? One of my colleagues told me to just let him go using the new hire 90-day probation excuse.

This is tough stuff for sure. Explain to the employee that personal grooming is a must on the job and that includes fresh clothes and excellent hygiene. Tell him you have noticed on more than one occasion that he had body odor and that his clothes are not always pressed and clean. Just be factual, brief and give him an assignment – ask him to Google both topics and find tips and blogs about the subject and bring it to you for review in two days. Easy to do? No. But do it.

3. Gossip

I see others gossip about and treat another teller very unkindly. The teller they mistreat isn’t complaining or saying anything. I asked her about it, she claims it doesn’t bother her.

When you see it, say it. Tell the others to stop gossiping. If you see or hear them being unkind, talk to them in private, stick to the facts and tell them it is unacceptable. Document the visit.

4. Powerful Cologne

A teller that has been here the longest wears too much cologne. I am brand new at supervising.

In situations like this, it is helpful to discuss this from a general point of view, almost like an outsider offering feedback to your employee. Say this: “I wanted to find the best way to approach you with this and here is what I found about people who wear too much cologne to work so here are so helpful suggestions.”

5. The Silent Treatment

I was promoted two months ago and one of the tellers on my team had her heart set on the position I was awarded. She won’t speak to me and stirs up the pot with the other tellers all the time.

Ask the employee if she would be willing to talk about her cold shoulder treatment with you. You may have to ask more than once. Try hard to ONLY talk to her about this, not to others. If it doesn’t change ask her how long she thinks it will last. Ask her what she thinks will happen if she can’t be kind and friendly with you.

6. Hierarchy Issue

When I am not readily available my tellers go to the branch manager for assistance. She tells them anytime they need anything to come to her, even if I am here. This makes me look bad and I wish she wouldn’t do that, but she is my boss.

Ask her to please tell your team to always come to you if you are available. Ask her more than once if you need to. Be respectful but go to her as soon as you are aware of it happening. Consider asking her to join you for a teller huddle so that together you can reinforce the chain of command.

These suggestions might make your situation better. If they don’t, remember that it’s your job to address tough and sticky situations. Even if you can’t fix them, these issues can erode respect and trust when you don’t address them one way or another.

Want more help and positive reinforcement on facing the tough stuff? take a look at These People Drive me Crazy. Interested in making your head tellers shine at their job? Our Head Teller Best Practices webinar is the right fit!

Still learning,