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United Bank Limited has assets worth over Rs.620 billion with a solid track record of 51 years. Their achievement in the banking field, success and recognition among customers can be largely attributed to the face of their organization, i.e. their branches, and the efforts of their managers in retaining customers and maintaining the organization's well-known image.
Our group decided to carry out a study on the different roles of managers and the various aspects of branch management. For this purpose, we chose to study United bank limited (UBL) the second largest private commercial bank, and with our contacts in two of its main branches. i.e. the Avari Tower Branch and the Khe-Ittehad Branch, we were able to obtain valuable insights into branch operations and managerial roles.
Rohail Hashmi, Customer Services Manager, Avari Tower Branch
Mukhtar Ahmad, Branch Manager, Avari Tower Branch
Sabahat Batool, Branch Manager, Khe-Ittehad Branch
For the purpose of this report the group used various data collection techniques such as internet research and interviews. So far, the group conducted one meeting with the Customer Services Manager, who are expected to understand and satisfy their customers' requirements and exceed their expectations if possible, and collected information via internet on the managerial roles of branch managers and customer services managers. The questions asked to the CSM were:
What is the importance of employee satisfaction for banking?
What are the major services that UBL offers that has established its clientele?
How does the CSM deliver customer satisfaction and the importance of it for UBL?
How are the goals assigned and evaluated?
How does a CSM ensure compliance with the code of conduct?
The answers to these questions are clubbed together in the following discussion.
In modern time commercial banks play a very important role and their functions are manifold. Primary functions of the banks are to take deposit and lend. They take deposits from different persons and lend to others. But UBL's objective is much more than this. However two of its basic objectives include:
1) The customer's satisfaction
2) Employees satisfaction
The United bank Limited which was established on the November 7, 1959 put forward a vision which was to be recognized as the 'world class bank' dedicated to excellence, and to surpass the highest expectations of its customers and stakeholders.
The preservation and strengthening of the managerial structure by the united bank limited of its branches is a means of achieving maximum service in the public interest. However, UBL (Avari tower branch) has taken progressive steps and has introduced innovative products and services to provide its customers a variety of banking and financing services. UBL being the second largest privatized company has the ability to provide well-bred customer service and fast delivery of online and offline services.
The branches' principal activities are to provide commercial banking and other financial services to its customers. It also offers personal banking, cash management, retail loans and other financial services. These services include deposits, savings/current bank account, vehicle loans, personal loans, retail trade finance, global banking, lending to priority sector and small scale sector, foreign exchange and export finance, corporate loans and equipment loans.
Also just for the convenience of its customers UBL's branch introduced the e-banking. Now the question is what services does it provide? There are numerous services provided by UBL such as:
- DEPOSITS & COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS,
- CARDS & LOANS,
- NRP SERVICES
- Home remittance.2
An example of home remittance is (UBL click and remit) which provides the customers' access to a Reliable, Fast, Secure, Convenient and in-expensive way of remitting money to anyone in Pakistan. The entire transaction is completed online and with just a few clicks of a mouse, the money is on its way to the recipient of the customer's choice. There is no need to visit a bank to use this service. Remitting money is just a click away through UBL Click N Remit.
Employees are a vital resource of any organization. They help the organization in achieving its goals and objectives. Numerous studies support the idea that there exists a link between employee satisfaction, performance, customer satisfaction, and financial results. When internal employees feel good about their work, they will treat external customers well and so customers would want to deal with this organization and be loyal to it. It is also known that a well motivated employee will be more productive, more committed and responsible towards its organization, and will care about the quality of their work.
United bank limited has a lot of employee motivational practices in place to develop a friendly workplace atmosphere which helps the employees perform well. Main employee satisfaction motivators include:
A fair pay system that includes wages/salaries, bonuses, benefits etc, based on the designation, qualification, experience, achievements, education, and appraisals of employees.
Ongoing Training programs to develop the employee's potential and provide opportunities for promotion
A well organized corporate culture with a well communicated organizational mission and values.
Assignment of tasks based on employee competencies so that they are not too stretched or pushed to achieve objectives without considering the negative effect on the quality of service.
In UBL employees are informed about the importance of their performance and rewarded frequently through Certificates of Appreciation/Performance, Appraisals, and feedback. Employees need to report to the Customer Services Manager in UBL. The Customer services manager carries out their evaluation and appraisal, and to do so they assign targets and goals to their staff on a quarterly basis and evaluate their effectiveness. The assignment of goals is based on the ability of the employees and it is also based on their past performance. Failure to meet the goals results in the assignment of new goals. Higher authority assigns goals to the Customer Services Manager on a quarterly basis and then he/she further breaks down these goals into objectives and assigns to his subordinates.
Frequently the manager is faced with the troubles related to appraisals. In UBL while appraising the manager has to follow strict evaluation standards while judging the performance of an employee which may be difficult for the manager due to their involvement with the employees. The managers have to evaluate on the basis of a bell curve. An example given to us by the CSM was that if for example there are ten employees working under your authority you can give 2 As, 3 Bs, and 5 Cs but not cross this quota. So at times it does become an ethical dilemma.
A manager in their own capacity, can motivate the employees through helping them in their workload, providing them guidance, giving feedback, voicing employee's concerns in the quarterly meetings, and delegating authority so that employees feel more empowered and satisfied. Moreover, an employee is given several warnings before a decisive action is taken against them by the manager, so the employees have a lot of opportunity to improve their work.
Compliance with the code of conduct
In UBL manager need to monitor an employee's behavior, their punctuality, task accomplishment, attitudes at and towards work, and compliance with the dress code. If any of this is breached by an employee a cycle of actions start. Firstly an "explanation call" is given which basically requires an explanation of why the employee chose to act in a certain way. With the explanation call a 'first warning' is issued. This warning is then reviewed on a monthly basis to check if the employee is behaving in favourable ways and abiding by the rules and codes of the workplace. If no improvement is detected then a second warning is issued which is again reviewed monthly. In total three warnings are given and if the employee still fails to meet the required standards they are dismissed. Therefore the employee is given a considerable amount of opportunity to save them from dismissal and it is not seen as unfair.
Moreover a manager is seen as a role model by the staff. The codes that employees need to follow need to be followed first by the manager themselves. This is known as symbolic leadership. The shared vision that a manager creates needs to be in line with the code of conduct of the organization. Thus if a CSM is monitoring an employee's punctuality, he needs to make sure that he himself is punctual too because even he can be subject to the same supervision by his seniors. (elaborate a bit)
UBL is one of Pakistan's three leading commercial banks, having a countrywide and international network of over 1100 branches. All the branches do have a custom-built fashion of operation.
However, there are a number of limitations with regard to a wide range of branches, starting from the customized procedures in each branch making some of the branches fairly more captivating than the other branches. For example, security systems in most of the branches are not up to the mark making the workings in such branches unprofitable. Moreover, the branches differ on the basis of the region in which they operate, depending on the type of customers to be served. For example, in order to maintain the code of conduct the branch operating in Peshawar has its employees dressed in shalwar kameez with a koti unlike karachi, a metropolitan city, where such sense of dressing will not be appreciated for business class.
Coming down to the employee disparity, some of the branch managers do have a democratic style of management unlike others who might exercise more of a veracious management control making the employees less diverse in their fields.
Work in progress
The group is seeking to interview the two Branch managers in the coming week and compare and contrast the various roles they adopt in order to achieve their targets. The questions we are going to ask and include in the next report will be:
What are the main responsibilities of a branch manager?
How does the branch manager deliver operational results?
The various roles that a branch manager adopts to accomplish targets and meet deadlines?
(include ur questionsâ€¦can be asked from CSM too