State Bank of India’s move to conduct an employee-engagement survey is a welcome initiative as it will elicit employees’ views on the work situation and work culture, thereby enabling the redrafting of HR policies, transfer processes, and grievance redressal machinery, according to KS Krishna, General Secretary, All India SBI Employees’ Association.

Instead of engaging a foreign management consultancy firm, as was the practice hitherto, the move to conduct the ‘Abhivyakti’ survey is a positive one, as it will help the management collect and collate feedback from the workforce for re-orienting and transforming the bank, said the association’s office-bearer.

Krishna alleged that the morale and work-satisfaction levels of workforce left much to be desired, with the reasons ranging from frequent changes in customer-related policies and procedures (often in contradiction with customer expectations); fresh conditions, fees, fines on customers leading to adverse reactions from them; and work-load, unscientific manpower deployment, round-the-year transfer of employees, which result in loss of continuity of staff in the frontline at branches and loss of familiarity for customers.

The association is of the view that a fair, unbiased, and transparent system of employee-transfer and posting policy, processes and procedures are needed to keep high the morale and motivational levels of employees.

Krishna said that the present money-oriented, incentive-driven rewards and recognition system was doing more harm, adversely impacting team spirit and team work.

“A higher degree of sense of belongingness to the organisation on the part of employees could be created. The management could…enable free lines of communication among the workforce, irrespective of cadre, and ensure a ‘listening and understanding’ culture at all levels.

“That culture can lead to greater involvement of employees in the bank’s developmental roles and redressal of customer grievances,” said Krishna.

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