A bank which values its customers and employees – that is what DCB Bank’s core vision is.
People Matters in an interaction with Hamsaz Vasunia – Head HR at DCB Bank, she shares how the bank has designed a program called LEAP aimed at developing the mid-level management. This program has also received a thumbs-up as the Unique initiative from the ‘Great Place to Work Institute’. For a steadily growing bank like DCB Bank Hamsaz has built a learning culture in the organization by launching ‘Grow with Us’ series that aims at specific role based training and promotions thereby catalyzing the internal talent pool. Her latest endeavor is one of the Bank’s key initiatives of creating a customer service culture that demonstrates Empathy, Speed and Quality.
What are the talent challenges HR face while hiring new talent and retaining existing employees? And how do you mitigate such challenges?
Many sectors especially the BFSI sector today faces an acute shortage of skilled resources. Most freshers and B School pass-outs today are not inclined to be in a frontline sales role which is where the bulk of the hiring requirements exists. Apart from this, excessive competition and aspiration amongst the Millennials has resulted in Salary taking precedence over all other factors in considering to join or leave an organization. Most organizations are also facing a high number of offer drop-outs which has resulted in increased hiring pressure and uncertainty to meet the hiring timelines. Several fast-growing organizations also face the challenge of early mortality in their frontline-sales roles on account of poor performance.
In order to manage some of these issues, the HR team in DCB Bank along with the Analytics team has created a Recruitment Scorecard which through the several data points of last few years is able to give an indication of which employee should be hired and which should be rejected. This tool is currently in the stage of testing. Once deployed, it will improve our hiring quality and performance of new recruits.
We have also created a DCB Bank Induction App called DCB Connect which is given to employees post their offer. This App ensures digital engagement with the candidates till they join us.
A lot of new talent comes from Tier 3 to Tier 6 towns in India. This is one area where not many organizations focus. Since you have experience working around the challenges in this aspect, what in your opinion has been the challenges you faced while hiring talent from these places.
We have seen that talent from Tier 3 to Tier 6 towns show higher levels of resilience and stability than their more urban counterparts. However hiring from these towns is difficult as the availability of talent in these locations is scarce. Hiring of senior officials in these towns is even tougher as most people choose to move to cities for promotions and growth in their careers.
Technology is now the buzzword in all the HR initiatives. In what ways can tech help in employee engagement initiatives?
Currently in DCB Bank, we have built a tool along with the Analytics team that can predict who is going to resign from the organization by using Logistic Regression. The tool gives out a Flight Risk Score which is then used by the HR Relationship Managers to identify interventions with these select employees. This helps us in resolving specific issues before it triggers a resignation. We have seen that the attrition of those employees where the HR had done an intervention is half of the regular attrition percentage.
Apart from this, my Bank also uses Text Mining from Exit Interviews to identify several aspects of the Bank that need improvement. This text mining tool is found to be more powerful than any of the traditional exit interview parameters.
Technology has also aided HR teams in developing quick in-house Surveys. These surveys help in understanding the mood of the organization and in identifying specific segments which need more focus or improvement.
Tell us more about the DCB bank’s learning culture initiative that you spearheaded - launching ‘Grow with Us’ series that aims at specific role-based training and promotions thereby catalyzing the internal talent pool?
What we realized a few years back while providing internal job opportunities to employees was that employees were very reluctant to move into different roles or departments for the fear that they may not be able to do well in the new role. Thus we started a new set of learning programs called the ‘Grow with us’ series.
Within this umbrella, we designed several role-based training programs. For Eg. Budding Branch Manager program, Budding Credit Manager program etc. So any employee who wants to move into these roles can nominate themselves for these programs. These programs are for 6 months – 2 days every month. They cover classroom as well as experiential real-time tasks. There are specific tests and marks assigned to participants after every module.
And accordingly, all those who clear the program are then moved into the role. This ensures that not only are the participants more confident and comfortable to take on the new role but also that their performance in the role is much higher than those who moved without any prior training.
Since you are emphasizing a new customer service culture that is about ‘Empathy, Speed, and Quality’, what according to you are the soft skills required for a successful career in banking in this age of tech?
For a successful career in Banking, one of the most important skills is your Service orientation. At DCB Bank we believe that our service philosophy of ‘Empathy Speed and Quality’ is what differentiates us from our competition. And we do not restrict this to only our external customers. All departments in the Bank have to live this out even for its internal customers and stakeholders. So I believe that the ability to engage with one’s customers, understand his/her needs and meet them is a life-long skill that any Banker should possess. Apart from this, understanding the possibilities that technology and digital platforms provide to make banking more easy and convenient for the customer is important. Knowledge of markets and economy at large will also be useful in providing solutions to your customer and ensuring risks are managed well.