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Keeping High Producing Employees

ABA study identifies inspirational practices

Sept. 3, 2009

By staff

A new banking study laid out a number of factors that inspire productive employees to stay with their current employers. The report suggests more needs to be done by banks to retain the best quality employees.

The study was jointly announced today by the American Bankers Association and the Corporate Executive Board.

It found that high performers are being under-developed by banks, which risk losing them and sacrificing long-term productivity in the process. The groups surveyed chief executive officers and polled 11,000 employees.

One-quarter of higher-potential employees are considering leaving their jobs -- though their work efforts are still one-fifth more than "disengaged peers," the study said.

High-performing employees are inspired to stay with their institutions when they have talented managers who provide leadership, according to the report.

Also considered inspiring are productive working relationships with fellow employees, recognition for good work and intelligent support staff. Another factor is exposure to senior management.

Banks reportedly recruit 60 percent of employees from within.

Two out of five of the CEOs surveyed felt they were not doing enough to help employees grow. They indicated that they were most concerned with talent reporting and analysis, talent management programs in place and workforce planning.

While successful companies in other industries spend an average of $1,100 on training per employee, U.S. banks spend only $650,

ABA executive Doug Adamson said that the study raises the question, "What is being done to prepare the next generation of bank leaders?" He noted that dependence on internal talent makes ongoing development critical.

"High-performing employees have told us that in order for them to stay and be more productive, they need to be recognized as top performers and have well-defined development plans in place," Adamson said. "Most banks have talent management practices that are only partly in place."

read ABA's 29-page executive summary

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