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Connexus : Issue 43
fexibility that appeals to all people of all ages. Needs change as people go through the stages of life. A strategic approach to staffng and work hours can help with succession planning. "Older workers with a lot of experience and knowledge who want to transition to retirement can job share with younger workers who will take their place. This ensures transfer of skills and knowledge," Brown says. Job rotation is another tool that can help build employee engagement. Encouraging staff to try other roles builds skills and a broader knowledge of the business. It can help identify leadership potential and create a group of people who can step into other roles if a colleague is absent. "This sector has a lot of very skilled older workers who are valued by their managers and who have very good relationships with customers," Brown notes. Community First Credit Union prides itself on using innovation and technology to build its customer base. Its low interest Visa and McGrath Pink Visa credit cards won the best low rate credit card category in the 2012 Financial Review Smart Investor awards. The introduction of concierge ser vice, jukeboxes and coffee machines in some stores is designed both to give customers a positive experience and grow the business. Even online customers are treated to a high tech for m of face-to-face interaction through Lisa, the sector’s frst online concierge. "Recruit on attitude" CEO John Tancevski does not underestimate the value of his older staff members: "Age is not a bar rier to success. Our people range from 18 to 72. We recruit on attitude. We can teach people banking but we can't teach them to smile. Banks are built on transactions but mutuals are built on relationships. We need people to trust us more than they trust the other guy and that's all about rapport." Tancevski says part of the challenge of growing market share in a very competitive environment requires upskilling workers of all ages to do a range of work. "The skill set needs to be more than just doing loans, taking deposits or selling insurance. We need people of all ages who can build relationships and become trusted advisers." At Heritage Bank retaining older workers is regarded as an important part of providing continuity of service. This year the bank introduced grandparent leave allowing two days per year on the birth or adoption of a grandchild. Leave for a career break benefts staff of all ages. Younger employees often use the entitlement to a six month unpaid break to complete study, travel or care for someone who is sick. Older employees can use it to trial retirement. "We are always striving to introduce benefts that ft the changing needs of a modern workforce," says Heritage CEO John Minz. Carolyn Rance is a freelance writer. Our people range from 18 to 72. We recruit on attitude. We can teach people banking but we can't teach them to smile. People 46 Connexus