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A job as a bank manager, while potentially rewarding, also carries a great deal of stress. At that level, you’re not just a cog in the machine, you’re responsible for the bigger picture for both your branch and the institution as a whole. This responsibility brings challenges that can weigh on you to the point where it affects your health and your personal life.
Bank managers have goals that must be met, specifically to generate new accounts through deposits and loans. Goals are set by executive management and are measured on a schedule, typically monthly or quarterly. Knowing you have to meet a number can be stressful enough. Fail to meet that number during a review period and your stress will be compounded for the next. Careful analysis of what marketing and customer service strategies work and which ones don’t will go a long way toward helping you meet your goals and alleviate some of that worry.
Every bank, both community branches and national corporations, is subject to federal examinations. These exams review asset quality and adherence to federal regulations and procedures. A bank that fails an exam is subject to penalties and sanctions including fines, extra monitoring through written agreements with regulators and the inability to pursue mergers or acquisitions. Needless to say, a bank manager whose department fails a federal exam will add job security to his list of stresses. The best way to avoid this is to ensure your department strictly adheres to all federal guidelines and to perform regular internal audits to catch deficiencies before the regulators.
A bank teller only has to worry about himself. A bank manager is responsible for the performance of an entire department. Not every individual is cut out to manage employees. As a manager, you will deal with a myriad of personalities, demands, requests and conflicts. You must be able to interact with your employees fairly and decisively, which can be stressful especially to a neophyte manager. Not only that, but you are responsible for your staff’s performance. If your department consistently underperforms, executive management will consider your leadership the reason. You can only do so much on your own before you have to place your trust in others.
When a belligerent customer accosts a bank teller, she can elevate the situation. As a branch manager, it is your job to diffuse these situations, which can become very stressful. No matter how unreasonable the customer or how angry you become, you have to handle yourself calmly and professionally. This creates a discrepancy between your internal state and your external actions. Researchers refer to this as “emotional labor” which can be a huge cause of occupational stress for bank managers. The best course is to remain calm and do everything you can to calm the situation. Take a deep breath and realize that your job is not worth losing over an unreasonable customer.
Carl Carabelli has been writing in various capacities for more than 15 years. He has utilized his creative writing skills to enhance his other ventures such as financial analysis, copywriting and contributing various articles and opinion pieces. Carabelli earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Seton Hall and has worked in banking, notably commercial lending, since 2001.