Purpose This paper aims to explore front line employee performance in retail banking and presents distinct components of employee performance, including extra-role and sabotage behaviours.Design/methodology/approach Data was collected from Irish bank employees. Usable responses were received from 404 respondents and subjected to exploratory factor analysis. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to undertake a confirmatory factor analysis of the emergent five-factor model.Findings Results indicate front line employee performance is multi-faceted and comprised of civility, assurance and reliability, customer orientation, as well as extra-role behaviour and anti-role behaviour, or sabotage.Research limitations/implications This exploratory study focuses on the Irish banking sector. To explore the generalisabilty of results, replication studies among other samples of branch banking employees in other countries are in order. Moreover, our survey is limited to the views of branch employees. We advocate research among bank managers and customers to triangulate potentially divergent views about performance.Practical implications Findings have implications for recruitment, training and rewards. To ensure new hires are service minded, managers must consider their potential for extra-role or sabotage behaviour. Employees who demonstrate extra-role behaviours must be rewarded to encourage the adoption of such behaviours. Managers must also seek to minimise job stress in order to curtail anti-role behaviours.Originality/value This paper offers insights into employees' views about their own performance at the front line. It extends the conceptualisation of service quality, by considering extra-role behaviour and sabotage as components of employee performance.