Around March 2020, when the Pandemic hit the world, this was for the first time in my living memories that the boundaries between the countries and interstates were getting closed, the whole world almost came to a standstill, and it seemed like there was no tomorrow. However, the Banking Industry being tagged under the essential services category (amongst others like Health Care, Hospitals, etc.) had to continue to cater to the customer segments.
During those times, due to restrictions on movement of people, the banking operating model had to shift from offline to online in a short span of time at least for units other than branches and existing digital channels. Apart from running customer services at the branches and channels, all the other ways of ensuring delivery were not available in any process manual. With the pandemic in full force, there were very few people on the ground, which led to a decline in overall business activities. The focus was to look at newer and alternate ways of carrying out the business activities
Reflecting at the past two years, we understand that there are solutions even for unprecedented scenarios like Covid-19.
It is with this backdrop; many organisations had to reinvent themselves and put a plan for their employees to ensure that all were equipped with the right resources and support for a smooth transition to effectively Work From Home. Slowly people learned how to deliver performance while working from home.
The scenario also demanded newer skills and competencies from supervisors to manage their teams working remotely. One of the key areas that contributes towards employee productivity is how the supervisor is able to groom and assist the employees in learning the tricks of the trade. Often the supervisors who demand performance v/s showing how to deliver performance are left with more underperformers. Going on joint calls, giving tips to improve performance on a regular basis helps build enhanced performance. In my interactions with the top performers, they give higher weightage to how their supervisors show them the path rather than being pushed to deliver performance without any assistance.
Each organisation does its due diligence while hiring new employees and the recruitment aims at hiring better performers and yet not all new hires' performance is up to the mark. Why does it happen?
The investment in the right fit for the right role is critical to get it for the first time and It is the fitment into the role rather than the profile that makes the productivity lower or higher.
This is also because each organisation is different with a unique culture and its product mix; where everyone needs to be upskilled and reskilled towards achieving better productivity. Ineffective culture assimilation of new joiners leads to lower productivity and resulting in poor morale and motivation and ultimately leading to early employee attrition.
To mitigate this, organisations need to follow a best practice to build robust performance score cards given at the beginning of the performance cycle. The KRAs need to be linked to the corresponding skills and competencies that are acquired/enhanced through various certification programmes and training modules.
Generally, organisations encash on the first 0-3 months’ time period of all new joiners where the employees have to complete ‘mandatory new joiner training programmes’ which gives them an overview of the organisation via Induction modules, knowledge of relevant regulatory guidelines and policies, product knowledge followed by various assessments, business models, customer segmentation, etc. Such organisations correlate higher productivity of that individual with his/her higher assessment scores in the new joiner training modules.
A smooth onboarding, familiarisation, culture assimilation and upskilling create a strong foundation for setting the employee up for success.
Given the increased mobility of younger workforce, cross training and upskilling of the employees will lead to a better management of attrition and work as a hedge against productivity losses in the future.
The customised upskilling programmes results in systematically tracking underperformance and devising a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). During the PIP programme, the dedicated hand holding leads to overall improvement in productivity of the under performers.
Hyper personalisation of learning journeys alongside their planned career path will enable continuum upskilling, keeping them relevant and not lose out on higher operating performance levels during transition into lateral or vertical movement within the organisation
Top performers sharing their success stories as part of peer-to-peer learning contributes to upskilling, gaining ways to achieve higher performance. It depends on how the organisation is able to leverage on the repository of such tacit knowledge and best practices and share it with the relevant larger target audience.
Given change is constant, unlearning and adapting to upskilling to contemporary skills is a tool for better productivity and winning mantra for business excellence.