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Drones in Community Banking – They’re Here!

Drones in Community Banking - They're Here!

The Rise of the Drones!

Drones, as most of us think of them these days, can be either good or bad. Amazon delivering packages via drones seems pretty cool and innovative… Good. Creepy neighbor flying his drone above your home… Not so good. Regardless of opinions on the matter, drones are here to stay and will likely play an even bigger part of our future.

What you don’t hear much about are the drones in the banking world. We love financial technology, aka FinTech, and know that community banks and bankers who don’t embrace technology are destined to be replaced by it. However, smart community banks also understand that their only competitive advantage against the big banks is its people, customer relationships, and the remarkable service experience that they can provide. Unfortunately, this competitive edge can be wiped out by a few drones and many community banks have already been invaded. Even before #FinTech became a trending hashtag in social media, the drones were here and in some community banks, they were already taking over. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines drones in three ways and each of these are flying around in your bank. Identification is the first step in removing drones or at the very least, controlling them.

Definition 1) A Stingless Bee

Some may think if it can’t sting you it can’t hurt you. That’s not necessarily true. One stingless bee in your bank will be a nuisance. Release a swarm of stingless bees in your bank and see what happens. Sting or not, chaos will ensue. And yes, we did notice the exact definition states that the stingless bee is the “male” bee. However, for this discussion we are remaining politically correct by maintaining gender neutrality. Now back on point. This particular drone disrupts the culture you’re trying to implement or maintain. He can operate alone but he often thrives in swarms that are undermining engaged employees and any initiative that management is trying to implement. Do you seem to be chasing new programs or ideas every 90 days or so and nothing quite sticks or works nearly as well as you thought it should have? Does gossip reign supreme in your bank? Do you hear the phrases… “This will never work here” or “This is how we did it at my previous bank”? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a bee problem. On the bright side, they are stingless and they can be taken out. If you start with a few of the biggest and loudest bees, the rest of the swarm will usually break up. If you choose to do nothing, they will run off many of your best customers and employees into the safe haven of FinTech at your friendly big bank competitor. At worst, they might attract a few bees that do sting. At some point that will lead to some lasting scars.

Definition 2) A Parasite

This person lives off the labor of others. She’s all talk, limited activity, and no production. This drone is doing her best to fly under the radar and has pretty much figured out the minimum that needs to be done, so as not to be fired or noticed. She doesn’t pull her share of the work and thrives under a disengaged manager and a scoreless culture. This parasite may seem harmless but don’t be fooled. This drone will protect the status quo at all costs. When you start scoring activity, tracking results, and holding employees accountable, she’ll be the first to denigrate the score, the tracking method, and even the scorer. If the parasite is allowed to latch on to the production of others without contributing the success of the team and the bottom-line, she’ll quickly attract other, like minded parasites, to your bank. Once they account for 30% of your team, the end is near. Many community banks are at that 30% point and beyond.

Definition 3) An Unmanned Aircraft or Remotely Guided Ship

This person is controlled by other people, events or things. This drone is mostly neutral and often negative. He’s easily guided by the parasites and bees and at best he’ll do only what he is required to do but not a single bit more. He’s a paycheck collector and clock watcher. Innovation and personal responsibility are concepts he cannot comprehend. Outside events such as a change in the weather or a holiday coming next month will completely distract him from the work at hand. He’s often at the center of drama and loves to bring it into the doors of your bank. And don’t even get us started on mobile phones in the bank. This is the ultimate remote control that is draining productivity out of the bank and sending it to the virtual reality of social media, texting with friends and spouses, or just good old fashioned web surfing. Does your bank have a policy on mobile phones and is it being followed? If not, take notice and initiate one immediately.

Eliminating drone traffic

Drones are here to stay, so we must control the traffic. There is limited airspace in your community bank and it’s up to leadership and management to control the space. Non-negtotiables, that are really non-negotiable, must be implemented and centered around attitude, communication, compliance, and standards of excellence. Core scores should be established, managed, and tracked for each employee and team. Those two things alone will eliminate the vast majority of your bad drone traffic and put your community bank in a position to capitalize on its main advantage, remarkable people, customer relationships, and a great service experience.

SCMG, Inc.
9 Laurelwood Dr
Covington, LA, 70435
(800) 560-1127

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