Bank Sales Corner

Employee Engagement (And Why It Matters to Sales Managers)

Posted by Ned Miller on Fri, Aug 06, 2010 @ 02:27 PM

So are there any bank CEOs out there who don’t say people are their most important asset? Probably not, but most bankers wouldn’t dis motherhood and apple pie either.

But how those assets are doing is rarely discussed publicly, unless you’re Dick Kovacevich, the retired CEO of Wells Fargo.  For a number of years their annual report included a brief discussion of their ongoing effort to gauge the level of satisfaction and engagement of their employees. They use the brief survey instrument developed by The Gallup Organization-- the Gallup Q12– which emerged from Gallup's pioneering research over the last two decades with thousands of organizations. According to one Wells annual report, the bank’s employees are “satisfied and happy in their work by a ratio of seven to one, in the top quartile, about four times the national average for all workers.”

If you’re not familiar with the twelve measures of employee satisfaction, you can skip to the end of this piece now. What has always been scary to me about Gallup’s statistics is the percentage of the American workforce that is “disengaged” --the number I’ve seen is about 26%. These folks are not just bored or underemployed; their negativity makes me wonder whether they’re going to go postal some afternoon. (OK, I’m exaggerating here, but stay with me.)

What struck me was how many of the twelve indicators can be influenced by good managers. If you are guiding a sales team, your efforts on all save #10 (see below) would be crucial.  Giving people clear direction; providing the tools and training needed; coaching week in and week out; making sure people are in the right positions—it’s all there and, if you believe The Gallup Organization, it all matters.

I don’t know how the Wells’ numbers compare to other banks’. What I do know is that if sales managers work hard at supporting the individuals on their teams, good things will happen, including:

  • Lower staff turnover
  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • More consistent sales results over time

So how engaged are your sales team members today? And more importantly, what are you doing about it?

Here are the Gallup Q12:

  1. I know what is expected of me at work.
  2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
  8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  10. I have a best friend at work.
  11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

Copyright © 1992-1999 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.

For information on how MZ Bierly Consulting can help your sales teams reach higher levels of engagement and results, email Ned Miller at or call 610-296-4772. Go to our website for information on programs and services.


Tags: bank sales, Sales Manager