This study tends to unravel the effects of economic meltdown on employee productivity in the Nigerian banking system using the August 14, 2009 CBN intervention into commercial banks (as a result of the meltdown originating from unsecured credits and poor bank management in the Nigerian commercial banking system) as a benchmark to analyze the effects. Data was collected from journals, interviews and direct data from specific units of the bank. The appraisal of the staff of Intercontinental Bank was used to assess performance under the first hypothesis. The second hypothesis tends to seek the staff opinion on effects of policy changes in the system and their performance. The study suggests that the economy meltdown has ensured that staff got serious and committed to their job for fear of job loss among other negative effects like lack of incentives, salary slashes, delayed promotion, fear of uncertainty, high labour turnover, dissatisfaction and grumbling, poor supervision, unwillingness to go the extra mile to get jobs done among others, which impair employee productivity capacity. The study concludes that the economic meltdown has greater retrogressive effects on the level of employee productivity in the banking system. However, an excellent implementation of the proffered recommendations in a peculiar economic situation like this will to a significant level, ameliorate the negative effects.
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The term employee management can be described as the process involved in managing people in organizations with the ultimate aim of enhancing an optimum level of productivity in comparison to the art of engaging the employees in the organization. The aim of every organization is to obtain the best and highest level of output from its employees. Thus, an organization does not engage the service of persons just for the fun of it, but for excellent levels of productivity. The higher the production levels of an organization, the higher the organizational performance, ratings and propensity of continuity, all things being equal. However, it is worthy of note that human performance is closely tied to the industrial environment. Human beings tend to produce or perform better in a conducive environment as against an unconducive environment. A conducive organizational or industrial environment here implies an environment with reasonable levels of job security, performance recognition, rewards (promotion, enhanced packages, etc), focused emphatic top level management, etc. It is no doubt therefore to say that an organization void of a conducive organizational environment increases the vulnerability of its employees to diminish their level of productivity and commitment to the attainment of the organizational goals and objectives. The banking reforms as orchestrated by the global economic meltdown which has witnessed high level of job loss/retrenchment, both in Nigeria and the world at large has given rise to the need to evaluate the impact of the cloud of these uncertainties as conspicuous on the Nigerian banking system on the employee productivity level of the banking industry with a case study of Intercontinental Bank Plc. Intercontinental Bank Plc has been chosen considering its size, various sectors and staff strength. This is a banking institution that has been known to achieve its overall objective of customer service excellence, customer retention, employee loyalty, etc through marrying the distinct activities of its customers and employees in a common direction. This was all achieved through the commitment of its staff to the attainment of the organizational goals and objectives through high level employee productiveness. This is in addition to the fact that it is one of the banks recently rescued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the August 14, 2009 CBN banking intervention. In addition, a number of employees were laid...