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The Overpaid Bank Teller

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Problem: State Bank has over time increased salaries to tellers that were so high that of the 23 tellers at State Bank they were being paid over what other local tellers were being paid; additionally no other employees outside of the tellers were receiving an exceedingly higher salary based on the other local banks averages. All of this information was compiled in a report based on survey results taken from State Bank and the other local surrounding banks. Analysis: Now that this information has been reviewed State Bank determined that salaries would need to be modified or moving forward the salary structure would need to be modified for the tellers, according to the competitive data and based on what the ladder in salary was for all other employees in the bank.

State Bank implemented a cost of living increase 6-years ago and it appears that this was the financial pull that made the salaries of the tellers exceed the market average as well as make them even with other bank employees in terms of “salary ceilings”. Russell Duncan the president of the bank must work with the HR committee to fix the $26,000 overage primarily spent on teller’s salaries, and level out the pay structure so that the tellers are earning what they are worth but not making similar salaries as bank management or higher level employees in other positions.

Synthesis: Duncan and the HR committee can implement a new program specifically for tellers that could eliminate the cost of living raise and refer to the increase program as something different so that it can be modified at various times based on company financial and employee performance. As it stands it is difficult to resend a “cost of living” raise when the cost of living continues to rise, this way the employees won’t feel that they “require” the costs of living increase because it will be based on other factors a new program with a new name and structure. Another area that can be modified is the raise percentage gap based on positions, for those employees that are executive level management based they can receive a (0-10%), those in mid-management positions can receive (0-8%), and for tellers and any other bank employees they can receive (0-6%) which is going to be potentially reduce spending in wages by about 2% overall.

While those amounts maybe still be rather high; cutting back that 2% in raises and those costs of living increases can close that $26,000 overage, and make room for other incentives that are granted on a smaller scale, perhaps a quarterly bonus for employees that don’t miss any unscheduled days off, or create teams within the bank that can challenge other teams in the bank for free items such as dinner & a movie, gift cards or other non-monetary incentives which could be sponsored by local businesses which could ultimately costs the bank nothing other than some publicity or employee awareness of those local businesses. Conclusion: Overall Duncan has done a fantastic job bringing the bank to place that other local banks model themselves after, however during the road to this great domain he failed to look at the potential costs associated with raises over time and merit increases staying reasonable.

While others were meeting some marks for their level of service the tellers were going to always have an advantage because they are the core of the bank because the customers interact with them more regularly, the customers get to know them, making it easier to be more productive and positive, hence giving them an incentive to do great work every day. While the teller should not be penalized for doing their job too well, they should be rewarded fairly based on the other employees because they work just as hard maybe just more behind the scenes. I believe that if Duncan and the HR committee want to be fair they will have to understand that the customers are the biggest stakeholders in the bank and making the bank successful, so while creativity will be needed to cut costs and stabilize any further increases, the tellers still need to be recognized for job well done.


Jackson, Schuler, R., & Werner, S. (2012). Managing Human Resources. (11 ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

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