Three years ago a small ANZ branch in Brisbane East ran a short trial that did away with the leaderboards that showed how far staff members – and the branch as a whole – were from meeting monthly sales targets.
The aim was to get a sense of what might happen to performance when staff members no longer had any visibility over sales metrics. Early data showed that sales suffered, although some customer metrics improved. The trial was discontinued.
But if Stephen Sedgwick has his way, sales leaderboards in bank branches will soon go the way of the Telex machine.
Sedgwick is the former public service commissioner appointed by the Australian Bankers Association to review remuneration structures for front-line banking staff – tellers, private bankers, call centre workers and mortgage brokers.
His year-long review found current structures used by the banks to reward staff carried an unacceptable risk of promoting bad behaviour.
While the move is a clear positive for customers, what’s less certain is whether the banks and their employees are ready for such a huge cultural adjustment.
The front line
When Sedgwick began consulting with the banking industry for his review into remuneration for bank staff, a number of worrying anecdotes from former employees emerged. But one in particular stuck with him.
A bank teller had convinced a customer to open some new accounts in order to meet a sales target. Nine new accounts were opened in the customer’s name. A second teller discovered what had occurred and helped the customer close the eight unnecessary accounts.
Only one of these tellers was reprimanded. Can you guess which one?
In his review, Sedgwick found the current payment incentive plans produced suboptimal outcomes, but he said he found no…