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A Prescription for Teller Success


April 2014 – Vol: 37 No. 4

From our Sponsor: FirstLight FCU creates successful mentorship program with Teller Vision Simulation

ETC logoApril 1, 2014

When Grace Munoz of $808 million FirstLight Federal Credit Union, El Paso, Texas, first saw Employment Technologies' Teller Vision Simulation, she thought, "Wow!  This is something we can really use."

She had recently taken over as VP/human resources and was learning about the CU's screening process.  "Teller Vision was already in place when I started," recalls Munoz, "but it was only being used for hiring."

After reviewing the simulation, she quickly discovered its multiple benefits for teller onboarding and development. "The simulation is based on teller competencies and identifies the gaps in applicants' ability to perform the job successfully. Teller Vision's Career Prescription report outlines specific developmental opportunities based on those gaps."

Bridging the Performance Gap

With the support of FirstLight FCU leadership, Munoz and her team developed an innovative mentorship program.  

Unlike traditional programs, FirstLight FCU based its mentorship program on the development opportunities identified in Teller Vision's Career Prescription. Career Prescription gave mentors a strategic performance plan for each new hire, based on each person's specific performance needs.

Measuring Success

Teller Vision was already recognized for reducing teller turnover and improving performance. By also incorporating the simulation results into their mentorship program, they were able to achieve additional gains.

Once the teller mentorship program was in place, the CU conducted a comparison study. "We actually compared the success on the job of new employees that were hired but did not go through the mentorship program with those that did. The results were outstanding," states Munoz. "Not only were the mentored employees excelling on the job, but they were staying! Our retention improved drastically."

Before Teller Vision Simulation, the credit union was experiencing 60 percent turnover in the teller position. By including Teller Vision in both the hiring and the onboarding process, FirstLight FCU's teller turnover dropped to 15 percent -a 75 percent reduction!

Performance Gains

FirstLight FCU also saw a significant improvement in teller performance. A total of 20 tellers were hired from January to July. Six participated in the teller mentorship program, and 14 did not. "Those that went through the new training definitely had better cash handling skills," recalls Munoz. Following are comparisons of key performance metrics.

63% Fewer Teller Outages
63% Fewer Teller Outages graph

64% Fewer Proofing & Deposit Errors

64% Fewer Proofing & Deposit Errors graph
Additional Benefits

Munoz notes that the mentorship program also has delivered intrinsic benefits beyond performance metrics. With the new program:

Benefits for new tellers and mentors table

"Mentors, tellers, and leadership are all very excited about the mentorship program," explains Munoz, "and they're very happy with the results.

"With the new program, tellers don't have to sink or swim," explains Munoz. "We're really investing in these people-investing in their success. Their success is our success."

FirstLight Federal Credit Union is a community financial cooperative dedicated to helping members and their families achieve financial security by providing accessible products, services, tools, and education. With a strong commitment to military personnel, the credit union also continues to expand its outreach to the broader community. FirstLight FCU has been serving the greater El Paso, Texas, and Dona Ana, N.M., counties for more than 50 years.

Employment Technologies Corporation (ETC)  has been helping credit unions hire, develop, and retain the best employees for more than 20 years. As the pioneer and world's leading developer of employment simulations, ETC continues to lead the industry in innovation, quality, and value. ETC offers a suite of EASy Simulation solutions specifically for credit union hiring and development.

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