Human resource management and the banking sector
By Imran Samad
Human resource management (HRM) has long been overlooked in the corporate sector in the country where a small section, comprising mostly the multi-national companies was practising the same.
With the growing realization of proper HRM in the corporate sector, it has grown into an important activity. Now the head of HRM is an important member of the senior teams of any thriving business.
Although the idea is new for many local businesses where entrepreneurs are at the beginning of the learning curve yet in reality the theme is getting support from the organized entrepreneurs.
The banking sector has grown from a few institutions primarily involved in deposit acceptance and trade finance into a complex multi player markets where large number of commercial banks, financial institutions and specialized banks are operating with various products and activities.
The banking has become a complex activity within the financial market linked directly and indirectly with an over-all national growth and its impact as an integral part of regional segment of a global banking environment.
Almost every bank and financial institution is involved in various functions in a day's job and thus requires a highly effective team and appropriate manpower to run the show. Corporate goals are translated into viable realities and profits only with human element who play their due role in achieving the desired results.
Thus even the high automation would require proper man behind the machine to make things happen. This idea has been realized by top managements in progressive banks.
Like many other organized sectors, banking requires a multi layer manpower for its various requirements of professionals and support staff. The range may require reasonably educated security guards on the one end and a highly educated and trained professional as head of corporate finance at the other.
With liberalization of activities within the banking sector, for example, more emphasis on consumer and house finance and personal loans, etc. banking has turned itself into a more market-based business where banks have expanded their reach more to customers' door steps in a big way making banking more practical. This has further highlighted the need for proper deployment of man-power to run banks efficiently.
For many years, HRM banks like other institutions have been handling this sensitive activity through respective personnel departments. This means human resources were managed like other physical assets e.g. pieces of furniture, calculators, equipment and appliances.
Personnel departments were primarily engaged in approval of leaves, handling of staff loans, issuance of show cause, conducting disciplinary enquiries and termination from service.
Recruitment was a routine function and was done in a mechanical way to hire people with specific educational background irrespective of their real value to the institution.
Success stories of large banking companies have been evident of the fact that HRM is quite different from management of physical assets. Human brain has its own peculiar chemistry.
Its strong sensory and decision-making capacity has to be greatly emphasized by the employers. The work force constituting all levels of employees are constantly thinking in many dimensions.
On the one hand it is the assigned duty and task they are to perform and for which they are paid by their employer, on the other they think of their long run goals and objectives.
By no means, their brains can be controlled to think beyond the current situation of employment. Managing this educated, skillful and trustworthy work force is not an easy job. A few of the current challenges faced by the banking industry in terms of human resource management may be the following:
Effective work force: A time-consuming and hectic job is to hunt the right talent. Its just...
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