Pros – Excellent work-life balance in my experience working in support departments. Yearly merit increases over the years not only grew my income at a reasonable rate, it fostered my loyalty to the company, and rewarded my natural desire to perform above expectation. Recipient of Star Performer award, which included 250 shares of stock.
Cons – Branch employees do not enjoy the same work-life balance as support departments. Not all support departments have good work-life balance. Communication to low level managers is on a "need to Know" basis. This leads to micromanaging, which stifles creative ideas to improve customer service. Our division hasn't received a merit increase in 3 years. I've heard its been 5 years for others. Over the years, the tools in place to reward high performing employees have been reduced or eliminated. For example, Star Performers used to be awarded 250 shares of stock, now receive 50 shares. Morale is very low.
Advice to Senior Management – While we appreciate the Company's conservative policies, which kept us safe and sound during the years when other banks went bust, and we understand the other challenges keeping net fee income down, remember your employees are your greatest asset. Invest in them. Find ways to encourage and value your employees, most of whom do want to do a good job.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend
Pros – Company is a community bank has some wiggle room for companies they like. My manager although he works only part time is very knowledgeable. He has made himself available to me anytime.
Cons – Very backwards. I am grateful for the job and the oppurtunity to learn. Goals, Vision and process is not aligned.
Advice to Senior Management – Sell the company
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
Pros – There is an emphasis on high touch customer service with a focus on face-to-face and phone contact rather than email. Some may find it difficult but others find it refreshing. Compensation rewards productivity and encourages employees to hang in for the long term.
Cons – Those who can't live without email won't like it but I haven't gotten one email where someone hit reply to all and said something really stupid or embarassing in their message.
Advice to Senior Management – There is a strong corporate culture and many fantastic managers-keep doing what you're doing.
Pros – -Reasonable sales goals
-Slow stream of customers, can vary from branch to branch however.
-Tellers do not have to many responsibilities and in general are treated much better (pay, benefits, etc) then any other major bank.
-If your goal is only to be a teller, temporarily or part-time, this is the perfect job for you
Cons – -Archaic technology
-Extremely high turnover rate
-Career advancement opportunities are very difficult, and low paying
-Customer satisfaction is encouraged at the expense of employee dignity
Advice to Senior Management – The most important advice would be to INVEST in new technology (expand/free online banking, improve internal software used to look up customer info, apps) and upgrade the current systems which seem to be from the late 90s.
I sincerely believe updating vital technology, software and hardware, has the potential to greatly improve employee performance(efficiency, precision, sales, etc.) and greatly expand the banks client base, beyond the retirement community.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
Pros – This is a decent (key word) bank to work for if you're looking to break into the industry. I can't think of much else to list as a benefit from working here.
Cons – This is the fun part! Before you continue to read, please be aware that this is NOT a biased review based on my poor experiences working here. I'm not a disgruntled employee trying to seek revenge, I'm simply trying to spread awareness to anyone who's looking into working for Westamerica.
I've worked for Westamerica for quite some time now, and at first I appreciated what it had to offer. But it didn't take long before I realized that this company tends to do everything backwards and has very odd, obsolete policies that it adheres to. These policies NEVER change in favor of the employees, and it doesn't matter if you work hard because it simply goes unnoticed. It seems we get acknowledged for every minor mistake more than anything else.
The company also runs on extremely outdated, faulty hardware and software. This heavily affects the tellers and other branch employees because everything takes incredibly long to do, and for whatever reason we have no future plans on upgrading the systems to help with this. There's a lot of shady things that happen with the computers that may leave a teller out of balance (Not just a few dollars either) and there's no known fix for this. Even though it's completely out of the hands of the teller, they will still get written up for the amount, and possibly set on Final Warning status for something they didn't do.
Each branch is different, some are more "profitable" than others, but all in all we are losing more customers than making new ones. I believe the reason for this is because this bank is so far behind in comparison to other banks of it's size. Who's going to open a new account at a bank that still operates on 1980's equipment, when they can go to a local credit union, or bank with better services and products.
Our facilities are outright disgusting, most are really old buildings that aren't very well maintained, inside or outside. I understand maintenance fees are costly, but this bank seems to cut all the possible corners in order to stay afloat, and it's incredibly frustrating. I can't say I can expect to see this bank around for much longer, with the way it seems to be heading already.
Depending on which branch you work at, you'll be subject to a lot of gossip and at times, favoritism. There always seems to be drama between managers and regional representatives that you'll hear about within the company, and it seems as if regardless of your location, you'll be in the middle of a lot of "he said, she said" behavior. Be prepared to stand up for yourself, if you lack a spine, I would stay away from working at a branch. Period!
Overall this company has some serious issues that it needs to take care of, and while most of them lie within the fact it's incredibly far behind in services, software, products, etc... The main problems are the people that work for Westamerica. I've seen several new employees come and go because they couldn't handle working with certain individuals. There's little to no professionalism within the branches, and I would not recommend this bank to anyone, whether you're a potential employee or customer.
Did I mention working here has little to no room for progression in your "career"?
If you start as a teller, be prepared to stay at your level for quite some time as you gain more and more responsibilities while your pay grade stays the same.
Advice to Senior Management – Take a long hard look at your branches and the people who work within them. Acknowledge your honest, hard working employees.
Also look into upgrading / updating the computers and software that are used by all branch employees, so you can maybe have a respectable business that can offer better service that would actually interest potential clients.
Pros – None!!!! Their will never be any!
Cons – The most DISGUSTING place to ever work! They are degrading, unprofessional, rude, & everything is always about favorites! NEVER room to grow unless your one of the favorites and the manager in San Rafael should really consider a non-management job! She does NOT know how to treat her employees & the most unreasonable person ever.
Advice to Senior Management – You really need to look at your management in San Rafael! It is the WORST!!!!!!
Pros – Nothing pro about this company. If I could give a negative rating, I would.
Cons – Everything. They are slave drivers. They sure know how to abuse California Labor Law in so many ways and are able to get away with it. Their training sucks. Overall they set you up to fail. This place is not worth glancing over so click the 'X' on top of the browser after reading this review.
Pros – Very good people go work with
Cons – The training is very poor which leads to employees making many mistakes. Then management "writes up" the employee. In the branch I am in over half the employees are on final warning. They have a terrible incentive policy where an employee loses their incentive for incentive money for calling in sick one day.
Advice to Senior Management – Train your employees better and come out and be a teller for a day once in a while. You would learn an alot.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company
Pros – Honestly cannot think of any.
Cons – Bad management, dishonest, old and dated
Advice to Senior Management – We had customers coming in every single day complaining about how there was a new face in there every week. I trained for one month, took the test and got the highest out of my class (out of about 20 people), missing 1 question out of 100. The entire next month of working in the bank, I was told I was doing great and learning very quickly. The customers loved me and I thought everything was going well. After 3 months, I walk in one day and the CSM pulls me into her office and tells me they're letting me go. I was in shock. Even the day before they lost one of the branches best customers because of how annoyed he was with how many people they let go. No wonder. When I asked what I had done wrong she literally made something up about a withdrawl without a signature, which is my number one thing I would never, ever do wrong and she surprisingly "couldn't find it at the time" to show me. All in all, I wish luck to the next person who tried to make it past their training process. In addition to this, the business and customers will continue to decrease due to the alternative technological advances that other banks have. At least 3 customers a day at my window would mention how we needed to start getting an app, or more online banking sections.
Pros – Positive management staff
Potential opportunities for overtime
Standard benefits (depending on FT/PT): Medical, dental, 401k, paid vacation, sick leave
Cons – Not much room for opportunity or growth
Classic style banking; not really competitive in today's market
Upgrading certain systems may allow staff to be more efficient with time and service
Advice to Senior Management – One primary mission is to provide superior service for all customers; however, that same superior service and "can do" attitude needs to be practiced and promoted more internally among departments and branches