Training Top 125 Best Practice: Exchange Bank’s Teller Essentials

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The Teller Essentials workshop aims to help new employees establish a service routine that ensures compliance with bank and regulatory requirements.

Exchange Bank’s Teller Essentials workshop is designed to instruct retail branch employees on the skills and knowledge needed to become proficient in following bank policies and procedures, complying with regulatory requirements, and utilizing bank systems and technology while providing an exceptional customer experience. The module is part of Exchange Bank’s onboarding process for all new branch personnel.

Program Details

The Teller Essentials Workshop teaches new retail branch employees policies, procedures, regulatory requirements, and service standards. The overall goal of the workshop is to help new employees establish a service routine that ensures compliance with bank and regulatory requirements. This routine includes properly identifying customers, understanding documentation and banking requirements, and recognizing risky customer behavior in order to prevent banking losses due to customer and non-customer fraud.

The monthly workshop consists of a combination of required pre-work, classroom, and in-branch practice. Pre- and post-workshop coaching by a branch team member is also part of the program. In addition, there are post-workshop requirements, including completion of a post-workshop workbook, submission of a post-workshop activity checklist, and online learning requirements.

  • Pre-work includes observation of daily teller activities, as well as a workbook. The workbook and additional resources are electronically delivered to the new employee.
  • The workshop consists of 2.5 days of classroom training covering consumer regulations; consumer deposit products; customer engagement techniques; paperwork; and extensive systems training and practice with Signature CBS, Nautilus, and Desktop Teller software applications.
  • The participants and facilitator then transition to a branch for 1.5 days of on-the-job hands-on experience using and reinforcing their new skills. The facilitator provides feedback and support.
  • After the four-day workshop, the teller returns to his or her assigned branch to work under the supervision of a coach. A completed coaching checklist must be returned to confirm all topics have been practiced and observed on the job. Post-workshop online training also is required.

In the event that a new branch employee is unable to attend a workshop, a self-study version of the workshop ensures the new employee receives the same quality of training. The course is assigned to the new employee the first week of hire. The employee works with his or her manager and an in-branch coach to complete the course materials with support from Learning and Development (L&D) as needed.

Management is provided a New Hire Training Plan Overview outlining a three-month learning plan for the new employee. Ann Hudson, SVP of Retail Banking, is the executive responsible for oversight of Teller Essentials. The L&D business partner meets weekly with Hudson and the entire Retail Management team to discuss any issues or concerns and problem solve. Retail Leadership reviews and approves all updates and changes.


Coaches evaluate teller trainees on a checklist of skills and behaviors. Employees get one point for understanding the skill and behavior and two points for demonstrating the skill or behavior. In 2018, Exchange Bank achieved an overall score of 1.71 out of a maximum of 2 on coach observation results. A score of 1.5 or better is considered an “exceeds expectations” score. Exchange Bank received a 4.7 out of 5 on the overall program evaluation survey from managers of participants. This measures both participant skills and program effectiveness. A score of 4.5 or better is considered exceeding expectations.

Operating losses are tracked branch-wide as one way to verify proper procedures are being followed. In 2018, the operating losses for the branches vs. the goal decreased significantly, leading to a direct-to-bottom-line savings of 32 percent. The high-quality adherence to process by participants who attended Teller Essentials impacts this success.

The Teller Essentials Workshops also provide a resource efficiency for Exchange Bank. In 2018, 34 employees were trained using 320 L&D resource hours. If those employees were trained one-on-one in the branch, 1,904 resource hours would have been required. The resulting efficiency based on the average salaries of the branch managers on duty equates to significant savings.