ABA Banking Journal - October 2009 - (Page 14)
Community Banking Pass the Aspirin Headache 1 “Aspirin” from Employees Has your bank tried a formal employee suggestion program? How well does it work? What’s the best idea to have come from it? ees with a systematic process for channeling their great ideas, and, 2. Ensures that all ideas are being heard and acted upon. Ideas submitted must be intended to improve the company within at least one of four categories: revenue, operational efficiency, customer service, or employee workplace. In the past four years, over 200 great ideas have qualified for the program. While it’s not feasible to implement every idea, employees are always recognized for their contribution. It’s difficult to cite just one “best idea.” Some ideas save the company money, while others improve the quality of our systems and/or workplace. For example, an operational idea that pertained to account titling helped save the company over $35,000. Another idea implemented was a Sick Day Donation Program that greatly contributes towards a positive morale and work environment. Remedy 1 James Tibbetts, president and CEO, First Colebrook Bank, $199 million-assets, Colebrook, N.J. Earlier this year, we established a Profitability Task Force for the purpose of improving earnings and efficiencies. The task force is comprised of five individuals from various departments and branches. They utilize video conferencing to reduce travel time and expense. All employees are encouraged to participate, and the task force is responsible for seeking involvement from employees. All suggestions are reviewed, and either accepted or turned down with an explanation as to why it wasn’t implemented. Samples of suggestions we’ve heard include: shutting off computers, monitors, and calculators at night; using coupon books; putting exterior lights on timers, rather than light sensors; reviewing the number of emergency first aid kits as items need to be replaced periodically; and e-mailing our internal compliance newsletter, rather than distributing paper copies. This is a sample of things that may seem insignificant, but which improve efficiency, which results in cost savings. All suggestions receive an appropriate gas or gift card based on estimated savings. These suggestions are shared with all employees and have inspired other suggestions. Remedy 3 Kerry C. Lancy, administrative officer, Summit Bank, $107.3 million-assets, Eugene, Ore. We introduced an employee suggestion program to reduce the sting of reduced incentive pay this year. The program includes a cash award component, representing a portion of cost savings or additional revenue resulting from the suggestion. We are about to make our first award for a suggestion that resulted in reduced costs and increased customer satisfaction, and we hope this will spark additional participation in this “win/win” program. Headache 2: D&O Expenses What changes has your bank made (or plan to make) in D&O protection for the year ahead? Remedy 2 Mary Kay Bates, chief administrative officer, Bank Midwest, $519.6 million-assets, Spirit Lake, Iowa Bank Midwest has a program called “Good to Great” that: 1. Provides employ- Remedy 1 Vernon Hirata, vice-chairman, co-chief operating officer, and ASPIRIN continued on page 18 14 OCTOBER 2009/ABA BANKING JOURNAL Subscribe at www.ababj.com
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