ABA Banking Journal - July 2013 - (Page 19)

PASS THE ASPIRIN THE BANKER-TO-BANKER EXCHANGE The Headache: Mobiles in meetings: Yea, nay, or, “What did you say?” Does your bank permit employees to bring—and consult—smartphones, tablets, “phablets,” and other devices into staff meetings? We asked prescribers their policies and found quite a range of views. Add yours at www.ababj.com/blog/6060.html Remedy 1: Ban them Susan Still, president and CEO, HomeTown Bank, $376.8 million-assets, Roanoke, Va. Currently we permit them, but I anticipate discontinuing smartphone use during staff and committee meetings. In addition to being disruptive and disrespectful to the meeting’s other members and the leader, I think their presence slows down the meeting and distracts attendees. Unless there is a planned presentation or specific need, I also think iPads and laptops should not be brought. The benefits: We can shorten meetings and have a more meaningful dialog. Remedy 2: Reachable, responsive Mike Murphy, EVP and CFO, First American Bank, $323 millionassets, Norman, Okla. We allow smartphones and tablets in meetings. The reasons are simple. Our customers and staff expect to be able to reach us throughout the day. Our standards of service dictate that we are responsive. Depending on the need, it may mean sending an email back that you’re “tied up at the moment” or addressing something immediately. The devices are a distraction at times. We hope everyone is selfdisciplined enough to pay attention. Remedy 3: Teachable moments Dorothy Savarese, president and CEO, The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, $2.3 billion-assets, Orleans, Mass. I wish I could tell you that I have never looked at a smartphone during a meeting and that I have an official policy that bans them. But that wouldn’t be true. Sometimes the press of events is such that things cannot wait until a meeting is over. With texting, people are able to let meeting participants know about emergent issues without having to ask them to leave a meeting. I have faith that sound hiring and promotion practices have resulted in executives and employees who exercise good judgment. I know studies have shown that multi-tasking is not efficient, and I have shared articles about it with my senior team. Of course, no one is perfect, and once in a while, someone at a meeting is caught focused on a smartphone or other device rather than the topic at hand. When that happens, the embarrassment of it becomes a learning moment for that person and everyone else. Result: Everyone multi-tasks more prudently. Remedy 4: “Disrespecting” speakers Charles Funk, president and CEO, MidWestOne Bank, $1.8 billion-assets, Iowa City, Iowa. We discourage using smartphones in meetings. My thought is if one is looking at a cell phone while someone else is speaking, that person is intentionally not paying attention to the speaker. I have to confess that at a recent meeting with about 50 of our officers present, I noticed about 20% of them consulting their devices while I was at the podium. Clearly, it’s a work in progress. We have moved to reinforce the notion that when attending a meeting, the speaker deserves the audience’s attention! Remedy 5: Only for research Robert Upchurch, chairman, president, and CEO, First State Bank, $147.6 million-assets, Bedias, Tex. Absolutely not. This would be rude to others, unless the devices are being used to retrieve information relevant to our discussion. Remedy 6: Never too busy for clients Sue Soileau Brignac, president and CEO, Washington State Bank, $137.9 million-assets, Washington, La. Because we pride ourselves on superior customer service, I do allow senior management members to consult smartphones during formal staff or committee meetings. I recognize that the end result of our day-to-day efforts should be focused on satisfied customers. Our lenders are constantly contacted via smartphone, either by text, email, or call. This information is on their business cards and is the modern approach to communication. If we are in a meeting, the customer should continue to benefit from their business relationship and have their needs met. We should never appear too busy for our customers. Remedy 7: Where to draw a line? Susan Eno, president and CEO, Citizens National Bank, $256.7 millionassets, Cheboygan, Mich. My bank is in transi- tion with trying to determine what is acceptable, since so many of our customers expect a quick reply and we spend so much time in meetings. It is very hard to expect everyone to turn off their devices, yet give great customer service. We allow our senior managers and branch managers to bring their smartphones or iPads into meetings. Our board members stay connected during board meetings as well—again because they need to respond to their business matters quickly. JULY 2013 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | 19 http://www.ababj.com/blog/6060.html

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - July 2013

ABA Banking Journal - July 2013
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
Community Banking
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Cover Story: Pay Choices
State Association Roundtable
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - July 2013

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