“Idle time”the periods during which branch staff is not performing member-facing transactions or other meaningful tasks—presents a major challenge for credit unions (CUs). An FMSI study has determined it is common for idle time to account for up to 30% of the time a credit union employee spends during paid working hours at the branch.

Idle time does not have to be non-productive time. Effective management, paired with employee training, accountability and scheduling of tasks within defined idle time, can help credit union staff put idle time to better use. In this article, we’ll explore specific strategies to help structure idle time and then enact targeted plans to use it productively.

Idle Time: Bad Business for Good Employees

Idle time has become such a negative bottom line impact that, in many of the staff exit interviews from financial institutions used in FMSI’s studies, departing employees cite boredom from idle time as one of their reasons for dissatisfaction. Credit unions try to fill idle time, but often do so ineffectively because it has previously been unpredictable and can be short-lived.

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