More pay for busier employees?

We are a banking system. We have 14 branch locations in a variety of smaller towns.

One of our branches has tellers that believe they are being mistreated in the way of pay.

Their complaints to date:
Employees in other towns are hired at higher rates. (shot down)
Employees who have the same length of service elsewhere are paid more. (shot down)
- Now -
No one else does as many transactions as they do and they should be paid more.

It's true they run about twice as many transactions as any other branch. However, they also have twice as many people and work 5.5 hour shifts per day instead of 8 hour shifts.

So....any one have experience with paying for "busy-ness"? They don't want to do piece rate (Oh, no - that would be too unreliable) but they want a continuous bonus or higher pay $$$ for working harder than any one else.

Your thoughts, oh, wise HR people?


  • 13 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 05-09-03 AT 03:32PM (CST)[/font][p]So am I understanding it correctly that the tellers at the other branches are working less transactions (not as busy), working more hours (still not busy hours), and getting paid a higher rate?

    Also, what are other banks in your area paying their tellers? Is yours up to par?
  • No, the other branches are getting paid the same - but more hours at a slower pace.

    We're in the ballpark with area banks regarding wages - and Wayyyyyy out of the ball park with our great benefits.
  • I'm having problems with the math. Twice as many transactions? Twice as many co-workers? 35% shorter work day? Something doesn't register with me about this comparison. It would seem to me that the staffing pattern in banks is determined by the workload, thus need for workers; and, that the total transactions divided by the workforce on a given day should pretty well balance out. Now if the teller over in shady, bedroom City only has a few customers per day and the teller in Busy-City has 20 per hour, you may need to consider a pay differential or you won't get people to transfer.
  • Sounds to me like their shorter work day is causing them to have a compression of transactions, thus their "busyiness". They may need to lengthen their work day to 8 hours like the other branches. When I worked in banking, there were naturally branches that had a higher concentration of customers in certain areas and were busier at certain times. If this occurred habitually, additional personnel were hired to take care of the workload, even if they were just part timers to work the few hours when the branch was busiest.

    Giving these people more money will not alleviate this problem as they will continue to complain about being too busy. Also, if you pay these folks more for the same "job" as the other tellers, then you will have the others starting to complain about the "busy branch" making more money AND working a shorter work day.
  • Actually Rockie - the bank is open 8 am to 5 pm - like many of our other branches. The employee's work day is shorter. That really shouldn't compress the number of transactions by branch. It's the branch that has twice as many transactions - not employee.
  • It seems that the "same pay for the same expectations" should be the general guideline. All employees are hired to do a certain job, and to be at the bank during certain hours to handle whatever transactions come in. Instead of paying 'busy' employees more, the number of employees and the schedule of hours worked at each branch should be determined by the amount of business and the workload.
  • Should I also mention that the lead tellers don't like change and they have had two openings in the last year. One went elsewhere and the other transferred to bookkeeping.

    The lead tellers liked it back when the former branch manager (Note I said FORMER) didn't tell his employees about openings - thus keeping people from knowing about job opportunities and a way to advance themselves. Now that we publicize all job openings - they want a way to ensure that they keep their employees - so - throw more money at them.

    This branch also has the highest G.R. (Gripe Rate) of employees due to the lead tellers switching hours around at the last minute, training people to only know "what they should" and not letting them think on their own.

    So.........Does this enlightenment change any of your thoughts?

    (Yes - it was a trick question - but also a serious one as I try to put a permanent and FAIR resolution on it.)

  • It still seems to me that just because one branch is 'busier' than another does not mean they deserve more pay. Many people would prefer to work in a busier location because it helps the time go faster. Standing around with nothing to do makes time drag by.

    It sounds like the lead tellers need some training in supervisory skills. They need to realize that employees who feel valued are more likely to feel some loyalty and stay in their present jobs.
  • I too am in banking and we have four pay scales, 1.Teller rainee, 2.Teller, 3. Sr. Teller, and 4. Lead Teller. We also have branches in very small rural communities and in a larger city (75,000)and the pay scale is the same for all. I agree with the above in that it sounds like you might could use an additioal P-T Teller or two at the busier location or maybe... there are too many tellers at the other locations. We once had a Teller Supervisor who believed, "You don't have to be busy, but you have to be available." She keep a teller in every window every hour the bank was open. We are now doing a much better job of scheduling our teller staff based on the work load. We have almost eliminated the Full-Time Teller position, now have only two at each facility and all of the others are part-timers. This gives us much more flexibility in setting our schedules to match our work load. This also enables us to give our Full-Time Tellers off most every Saturday as the P-T Tellers want the extra hours for working Saturday.
    Good luck,
  • I sure am glad that I'm not the only one thinking along these lines.

    Thanks for your input on this fun situation.

  • I still am thinking about your saying 'tellers like' and 'tellers don't like' and 'tellers liked it when'. Sounds like an awfully democratic management process there. Which may be part of the problem.
  • Another thought to consider is tracking the retention rate and conduct transfer interviews when tellers go to another part of the company. On the performance reviews, include a list of expectations for the supervisors that include developing their associates and retaining them as well.
  • Don, you are correct. We are a bunch of small banks that merged together to form a banking system. We still have many people who think that "their" branch is independent and exempt from "system rules". Not all branches act like this and we are working toward change. (very hard - and need admin support before engaging)

    I hope you'll be out there to advise me on this great opportunity for change.

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