What is the Right Number of Tellers?

Oct 26, 2013

This is one of the most common questions asked about staffing and scheduling in banks and credit unions. There is no one right size of branch, no one market, no one employment environment, no one geographic region, so not surprisingly there is no one right number of tellers. There is, however, a right number of tellers for a specific branch given the financial institution's objectives and the branch's market. What is right for a branch by Penn Station in Manhattan is not right for a branch in El Paso Texas or Napa Valley California.

There are a number of tasks that must be accomplished in order to determine the right amount of staff for a branch.

  • Collect and analyze activity over time. A thorough understanding of what is really occurring in the branch, and when, is a prerequisite to improving productivity. The more information that can be gathered (teller, platform, loans, cash, etc.) the better any staffing level forecast will be.
  • Include branch characteristics and management objectives in the analysis and forecast for each branch. Branches may have different technology, exist in different markets and pull from different employment pools.
  • Provide immediate feedback to responsible personnel at both the branch and management level. Users and managers should be able to easily see and understand information about what has happened, is happening and what should happen.
  • Measure performance. It is important to identify employees who may need remediation, but even more important to identify and recognize high performers.

When all of these functions are being met it will become clear fairly quickly what the right number of teller or overall branch staff should be.