Thought Leadership

Invest in Employees, Reward High Performers

Karen Kirchner
Senior Vice President, Team Member Services Director

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In today’s business environment, regardless of industry, most business leaders and executives recognize a company’s Team Members as its’ most valuable asset. However, at the same time, many companies do not focus on employee development.

Today, most companies offer training programs or internally developed courses focused on refreshing critical skills needed to perform specific job tasks. These programs are important from a business perspective as they can help maintain a certain level of proficiency; however, they offer little benefit for Team Members seeking to gain new knowledge or advance their career.

Career stagnation tends to lead to job dissatisfaction, which in turn leads to an increase in job hopping, which has increased by 22% in 2018 compared to just four years earlier – according to findings from Robert Half. With recruiting costs skyrocketing to over $4,000 per position – according to Glassdoor.com – companies have to do a better job of investing in staff and rewarding high performers.

In designing an effective employee retention campaign, executives should look to programs that align with their business’ culture. The best programs also incorporate what psychologists believe are the three pillars of success – IQ, EQ and AQ. While Intelligence Quotient (IQ) addresses an individuals’ ability to learn and understand, psychologists believe that life success only depends 20% on IQ. This means that the most successful programs focus heavily on an employees’ Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Adaptability Quotient (AQ).

The EQ is an individual’s ability to perceive, assess and manage their own emotions and those of others, which is an important factor in building relationships with co-workers and customers. The AQ is the ability to face and overcome changes and adversities, while turning them into opportunities for greater achievement. In the business environment, a high EQ helps our Team Members relate to customers and have empathy for how they feel, while a high AQ helps workers find solutions to meet clients’ needs.

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Customers Bank incorporated these values in its CUBI University, an initiative tied to the CEO’s values and the Bank’s culture of teamwork and lifetime learning, to encourage Team Members to take ownership of their careers. To advance that culture, CUBI University provides our Team Members with the same high-tech, high-touch, concierge service we offer to business and individual customers.

The courses we promote are designed to be flexible and relevant to the individual. By utilizing the courses provided by massive open online courses (MOOC), we enabled Team Members to participate in classes on a schedule that fits their work/life balance while maintaining scalability. The classes can be started, paused and finished at a later date or time. And CUBI University recommends MOOC focused on career development and a wide variety of personal interests stretching from cooking classes to piano lessons—not just courses centered on the Team Member’s current job.

By providing Team Members with development opportunities that fit their lifestyle and career ambition, we’ve seen an increase in Team Member engagement. As Team Members advance their career, they are rewarded with opportunities to enhance current positions, transfer within business groups, or to take their career in an entirely new direction. That’s an investment any business should be happy to make.