Banks adopt­ing Tal­ent Man­age­ment Frame­work

Tal­ent Man­age­ment Frame­work

Banking Frontiers - - Highlights - Mo­han@bank­ingfron­

HR func­tions in banks are evolv­ing in line with the chal­lenges posed by nextgen bank­ing, fin­tech on­slaughts, dig­i­ti­za­tion etc. Three top HR pro­fes­sion­als share their ex­pe­ri­ences in this ex­er­cise

Bank­ing is one sec­tor that is ex­cep­tion­ally im­pacted by the emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies and swiftly chang­ing cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions. The sec­tor is also chal­lenged by dis­rup­tors like fin­techs and tel­cos, which strive to of­fer fi­nan­cial ser­vices with agility and speed. The tra­di­tional busi­ness mod­els are vir­tu­ally un­der at­tack and their vi­a­bil­ity de­pends on adapt­ing to the re­al­i­ties of the dig­i­tal evo­lu­tion and meet­ing the ever-chang­ing cus­tomer needs. Dig­i­tal is what the banks have to rely on. In this fu­tur­is­tic jour­ney, it is the HR in banks that has a piv­otal role - in de­cid­ing on pri­or­i­ties, in po­si­tion­ing the bank as a re­source for tal­ent and in de­vis­ing strate­gies and ex­e­cu­tion plans to ‘fu­ture-proof’ the or­ga­ni­za­tion. It is a chal­lenge to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that fa­cil­i­tates and man­ages change.

To what ex­tent the ef­forts of In­dian banks in gen­eral in ‘fu­ture proof­ing’ their per­son­nel have been suc­cess­ful?

“This ques­tion would have to be looked

HR func­tions in banks are evolv­ing in line with the chal­lenges posed by nextgen bank­ing, fin­tech on­slaughts, dig­i­ti­za­tion etc. Three top HR pro­fes­sion­als share their ex­pe­ri­ences in this ex­er­cise

at from two per­spec­tives,” says Makarand Khatavkar, group head – Hu­man Re­sources, Ko­tak Mahin­dra Bank. “One is our abil­ity to re­tain tal­ent and the sec­ond is from the out­look of de­vel­op­ing the can­di­date to take up fu­ture roles and not be­come re­dun­dant in this fast-paced world of dig­i­ti­za­tion, au­to­ma­tion, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, big data an­a­lyt­ics and the like,” says he.


Ac­cord­ing to him, re­ten­tion of tal­ent con­tin­ues to be an area of fo­cus across banks. “As one of the lead­ing pri­vate banks in the coun­try, with a strong group le­gacy, we have put in place sev­eral best prac­tices, which en­able us to stream­line our ef­forts and po­si­tion our­selves as an em­ployer of choice. On the em­ployee de­vel­op­ment side, we strongly be­lieve that an or­ga­ni­za­tion needs to con­stantly in­vest in skill upgra­da­tion of its em­ploy­ees. All our train­ing and ca­reer man­age­ment ini­tia­tives are built around our com­pe­tency frame­work, which is de­signed keep­ing in mind the knowl­edge, skills and at­tributes re­quired as one tran­si­tions from ‘manag­ing self’ to ‘manag­ing oth­ers’ to ‘manag­ing man­agers’ roles. Th­ese com­pe­ten­cies are aligned not only to the cur­rent role but also to ready tal­ent for the fu­ture,” he says.

Khatavkar points out that Ko­tak Mahin­dra Bank was amongst the first movers in of­fer­ing a range of dig­i­tal so­lu­tions to cus­tomers and one of the rea­sons that the bank has been able to do this was the top down ap­proach in bring­ing about a mind­set shift. “This re­sulted in the align­ment of all our HR pro­cesses as well, start­ing from re­cruit­ing to a tal­ent man­age­ment frame­work, which fo­cuses on de­vel­op­ing and re­tain­ing tal­ent keep­ing in mind the fu­ture tal­ent re­quire­ments of the com­pany. The fo­cus is not only on an em­ployee’s per­for­mance to­day but also on the po­ten­tial for to­mor­row,” he elab­o­rates.

C.P. Giri, gen­eral man­ager - HR at Ca­nara Bank, looks at it from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. He says In­dia is set to be among one of the top coun­tries for hu­man cap­i­tal in the next two decades as at present, half of its pop­u­la­tion is around 25-30 years of age. “In the de­mand­ing and com­pet­i­tive tal­ent mar­ket, ‘fu­ture proof­ing’ gains much im­por­tance. Banks should come out of ‘an­ti­quated’ hir­ing prac­tices and find out novel ideas for re­cruit­ment and re­tain­ing tal­ents. Banks should em­brace the dy­namic changes hap­pen­ing around the globe, es­pe­cially in hu­man re­sources man­age­ment and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy,” says he.

Ca­nara Bank, he says, has em­barked upon a novel method of re­cruit­ment of pro­ba­tion­ary of­fi­cers (JMG scale) by im­part­ing them with one-year com­pre­hen­sive train­ing on bank­ing, in­clud­ing CBS, at pre­mier in­sti­tu­tions lead­ing to a Post-grad­u­ate Di­ploma in Bank­ing & Fi­nance (PGDBF). The course com­prises nine months class room learn­ing and three months of in­tern­ship at the bank’s branches. “This ini­tia­tive is to at­tract bright grad­u­ate stu­dents to pur­sue a ca­reer in bank­ing and pro­vide them with the nec­es­sary train­ing, knowl­edge and skills through an al­ter­nate chan­nel to be­come a com­pe­tent banker from day one of their join­ing the bank,” he says.


In YES Bank, fu­ture proof­ing starts with ori­en­ta­tion of the or­ga­ni­za­tion from the top and in­volves un­der­stand­ing and ac­cept­ing ma­jor trends that are shap­ing not only the bank­ing in­dus­try but other ser­vice de­liv­ery mod­els as well, says Deo­dutta Ku­rane, group pres­i­dent, Hu­man Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment at the bank. “Based on un­der­stand­ing of the above fac­tors, em­ploy­ees (dif­fer­ent lev­els) need to be re-ori­ented in terms of knowl­edge, skills and at­ti­tude to ef­fec­tively con­trib­ute to the chang­ing sce­nario. We fo­cus on de­mand-led skilling; shift­ing fo­cus on D.I.C.E (De­sign Think­ing, In­no­va­tion and Cre­ativ­ity-led En­trepreneur­ship) and soft skills from tra­di­tional skill build­ing pro­grams and work on the A.R.T (Al­liances, Re­la­tion­ships, Tech­nol­ogy) phi­los­o­phy to cre­ate large scale, last­ing so­lu­tions to close em­ploy­ment gaps,” he ex­plains.

Ku­rane men­tions that the chal­lenge of find­ing suit­able can­di­dates for var­i­ous bank­ing roles arises from the fact that knowl­edge and skills re­quired for dig­i­tal and ‘new age bank­ing’ are sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent from the hith­erto tra­di­tional bank­ing roles. “This is ap­pli­ca­ble across man­age­ment lev­els, but more so at the top. Against this back­drop, we have adopted a multi-pronged strat­egy for tal­ent ac­qui­si­tion and de­vel­op­ment,” says he.

He adds fur­ther: “One of the key in­no­va­tions adopted by us to en­sure that top level can­di­dates are suit­ably skilled for th­ese chal­lenges is a con­stantly re­fined learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment pro­gram. We have con­stantly en­gaged with global man­age­ment gu­rus such as Ram­cha­ran, Porter Eris­man (au­thor of Alibaba’s World) as well as de­sign think­ing lead­ers to up­skill our top man­age­ment. Y-PEP (YES Pro­fes­sional En­trepreneur­ship Pro­gram) is our unique tal­ent ac­qui­si­tion ini­tia­tive aimed at tier-1 busi­ness schools. This year, we have on boarded 106 pro­fes­sional en­trepreneurs, tak­ing the tal­ent pool to over 1100, in­clud­ing pre­vi­ous batches. This forms the tal­ent pipe­line and the hand­picked young lead­ers are groomed in var­i­ous busi­ness func­tions. They then in­ter­nal­ize the YES Bank DNA, which in­cludes value based lead­er­ship and D.I.C.E. Sim­i­larly, the in­ter­nal tal­ent pool is the pre­ferred choice for emerg­ing lead­er­ship po­si­tions, es­pe­cially in branch and re­tail bank­ing. A ro­bust and well-de­fined process is in place for in­ter­nal tal­ent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.”

The sec­ond part of the strat­egy, says Ku­rane, re­volves around de­vel­op­ing and groom­ing in­ter­nal tal­ent across lev­els for the fu­ture re­quire­ments of the bank.


Khatavkar main­tains that at the top level in the bank, the av­er­age ten­ure served by an em­ployee with the or­ga­ni­za­tion is amongst the high­est in the In­dian pri­vate bank­ing space. One of the ways the bank has been able to re­tain key tal­ent and fill in top man­age­ment po­si­tions in­ter­nally is by hav­ing in place an in­te­grated tal­ent man­age­ment frame­work, which is ap­plied across mid and se­nior level man­age­ment cadre in the or­ga­ni­za­tion. The suc­ces­sion plan­ning ef­forts are di­rectly linked to this ro­bust frame­work.

“Tal­ent man­age­ment in our scheme of things is a four-fold process wherein the first step is to iden­tify crit­i­cal po­si­tions ba­sis im­pact of the role on the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Post this, all crit­i­cal roles are mapped to high-po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees, ba­sis their readi­ness, who are iden­ti­fied through a tal­ent re­view process. An in­ter­ven­tion and a suc­ces­sion plan is cre­ated for each crit­i­cal po­si­tion de­pend­ing upon the abil­ity of the or­ga­ni­za­tion to re­tain the ex­ist­ing role holder and the avail­abil­ity of the suc­ces­sor,” says Khatavkar.

He adds that the abil­ity to mo­bi­lize re­sources has grown mul­ti­fold over the years in the bank since it has been able to cap­i­tal­ize on the syn­er­gies of be­ing a di­ver­si­fied fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­sti­tu­tion.


Ca­nara Bank has been able to evolve hir­ing pro­cesses which are proac­tive, up­front and speedy, which Giri says has greatly less­ened/ re­moved the pos­si­ble hard­ships in find­ing and ac­quir­ing qual­i­fied tal­ent, which are in de­mand and are quickly snatched up with lu­cra­tive of­fers by pri­vate or­ga­ni­za­tions. “Iden­ti­fy­ing crit­i­cal po­si­tions is the fo­cus

of our suc­ces­sion plan­ning ef­forts. Our man­power study fac­tors branches/ busi­ness growth plans, re­tire­ments, ex­its, de­mo­graphic anal­y­sis etc and ac­cord­ingly, a long-range re­cruit­ment plan has been put in place. Reg­u­lar, pe­ri­od­i­cal as­sess­ments are con­ducted and com­pared to the cur­rent and fu­ture va­can­cies and ac­cord­ingly, re­cruit­ment plan and suc­ces­sion plan are suit­ably re­vis­ited, when­ever re­quired,” says he.

He also speaks about ‘Ex­ec­u­tive Groom­ing’, a novel sys­tem evolved in the bank to help the ex­ec­u­tives get ac­cli­ma­tized with their new roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. The bank’s ex­ec­u­tive de­vel­op­ment pro­grams are or­dained to in­cul­cate th­ese com­pe­ten­cies in the can­di­dates and help them in the process to make in­formed de­ci­sions.


Is at­tri­tion a cause for worry for banks?

Ku­rane of YES Bank says a cer­tain level of at­tri­tion is in­evitable and de­sir­able for con­tin­u­ous in­duc­tion of new em­ploy­ees. “How­ever, at­tri­tion does have a price in terms of hir­ing, re­ten­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity. We be­lieve that one of the most sus­tain­able ways of en­hanc­ing re­ten­tion is en­gage­ment of em­ploy­ees, across lev­els,” says he.

He elab­o­rates: “We firmly be­lieve that it is es­sen­tial to have a strong en­gage­ment with our hu­man cap­i­tal to make our or­ga­ni­za­tion a ‘Great Place to Work’ with the high­est lev­els of ‘Hap­pi­ness and Trust’. To achieve this, we fol­low the 5 Cs Em­ployee En­gage­ment Model - Cul­ture, Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Ca­reer, Con­nect and Care. We en­gage and de­velop our hu­man cap­i­tal through var­i­ous ini­tia­tives, fo­cus­ing on dis­sem­i­nat­ing/re-con­nect­ing our peo­ple with the in­sti­tu­tion’s core val­ues, by cre­at­ing an in­ten­tional Cul­ture, en­cour­ag­ing open and hon­est Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, strength­en­ing Con­nect with em­ploy­ees and com­mu­nity, sup­port­ing ca­reer de­vel­op­ment and show­ing that we Care as an or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

The bank had launched L.E.A.P. pro­gram, par­tic­u­larly to ad­dress at­tri­tion, tar­get­ing se­nior and mid­dle man­age­ment for cre­at­ing Lead­er­ship Ex­cel­lence by Min­i­miz­ing At­tri­tion, Max­i­miz­ing Pro­duc­tiv­ity and elim­i­nat­ing gen­der bi­ases at work­place. “Through LEAP, we in­tend to cre­ate the fastest ‘time to im­ple­men­ta­tion’ of strate­gies and tac­tics by giv­ing our lead­er­ship team in­puts, aimed at max­i­miz­ing ‘pro­duc­tiv­ity’ and min­i­miz­ing ‘at­tri­tion’. It is a sys­tem ex­pected to pro­vide a can­di­date with his or her ca­reer graph clearly charted to pro­vide di­rec­tion in terms of ca­reer growth. How­ever, hav­ing such a de­fined ca­reer graph is nei­ther pos­si­ble nor de­sir­able since the VUCA, or volatil­ity, un­cer­tainty, com­plex­ity and am­bi­gu­ity, world to­day of­fers sev­eral mul­ti­di­men­sional ca­reer op­tions,” says Ku­rane.


For Giri, suc­cess not only de­pends on re­cruit­ing the best tal­ent but also mat­ters in re­tain­ing it. To­wards this, Ca­nara Bank has taken sev­eral mea­sures, in­clud­ing a men­tor­ing con­cept for fresh re­cruits with an ex­clu­sive de­part­ment to pro­vide im­pe­tus with des­ig­nated men­tors at each cir­cle to take for­ward the con­cept at mi­cro level, a tal­ent de­vel­op­ment pro­gram called ‘Tal­ent Bank Scheme’ to cre­ate a pool of tal­ent in the iden­ti­fied crit­i­cal func­tions thereby pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for gen­er­al­ist of­fi­cers to don the role of spe­cial­ists and oc­cupy key / crit­i­cal po­si­tions in fu­ture, a de­fined ca­reer path pro­vid­ing speed­ier ca­reer pro­gres­sion un­der fast track pro­mo­tion, fa­cil­i­tat­ing an of­fi­cer in Scale I to reach the top man­age­ment cadre within a span of 14-16 years, job ro­ta­tion/trans­fers, which pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to serve in var­i­ous de­part­ments so as to de­velop an over­all ex­per­tise to han­dle higher po­si­tion, train­ing as in­cen­tive to top per­form­ers from across the coun­try, and a com­pre­hen­sive in­cen­tive scheme for ca­pac­ity build­ing to en­cour­age em­ploy­ees to aug­ment their learn­ing curve by tak­ing up spe­cial­ized cour­ses of­fered by na­tional level in­sti­tutes.

“All th­ese mea­sures have helped us to de­fend against at­tri­tion,” says Giri.

At­tri­tion lev­els in Ko­tak Mahin­dra Bank are among the low­est in the in­dus­try., ac­cord­ing to Khatavkar. “Hav­ing said that, we are a young bank with a young work­force and keep­ing such a pool of tal­ented re­sources en­gaged is not easy and re­quires con­cen­trated ef­forts. We do have a range of re­ward and recog­ni­tion pro­grams which keep run­ning through­out the year. We are a per­for­mance-ori­ented or­ga­ni­za­tion and our re­ward mech­a­nism is built around the same phi­los­o­phy,” says he.

But, he has­tens to add: “Tal­ent re­ten­tion goes way be­yond re­wards and recog­ni­tion.”

He ex­plains that the bank has a four­di­men­sional ap­proach to em­ployee en­gage­ment and the model re­volves around open and trans­par­ent com­mu­ni­ca­tion, walk­ing the talk, pro­vid­ing learn­ing and growth op­por­tu­ni­ties and driv­ing a per­for­mance-ori­ented cul­ture.


Khatavkar adds: “In­di­vid­ual ca­reer plans is one of the prac­tices that we have in place as part of this model. Struc­tured dis­cus­sions are held by the HR re­la­tion­ship man­ager along with high per­form­ing em­ploy­ees at the mid to se­nior lev­els. Th­ese dis­cus­sions help us in gaug­ing the as­pi­ra­tions of the em­ploy­ees and pre­pare a doc­u­mented ca­reer graph spread over the next few years. We also en­cour­age a lot of cross do­main ex­pe­ri­ence across prod­ucts by en­sur­ing seam­less mo­bil­ity within all group com­pa­nies for the em­ployee, aligned to his/ her as­pi­ra­tions.

“In ad­di­tion, it is also very im­por­tant to pay at­ten­tion to the well­be­ing of the em­ployee to en­sure re­ten­tion. A low level of well­be­ing in an oth­er­wise highly

en­gaged and pro­duc­tive em­ployee might lead to burnout and sub­se­quent at­tri­tion. We are very par­tic­u­lar about pro­vid­ing a sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment to the em­ployee which is chal­leng­ing while at the same time is nur­tur­ing, both pro­fes­sion­ally and per­son­ally and helps in the over­all well­be­ing of the em­ployee.”

Khatavkar in­sists that the dig­i­ti­za­tion ef­forts in a bank should en­com­pass the HR too. He says like all other de­part­ments, HR is go­ing through a mas­sive dig­i­ti­za­tion and au­to­ma­tion phase. The end user ex­pe­ri­ence is go­ing through a mas­sive over­haul which makes it im­per­a­tive for HR to adapt and change its in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment and ser­vice de­liv­ery mech­a­nisms.


Ku­rane em­pha­sizes that dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy is trans­form­ing how peo­ple work. This calls for a fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent HR strat­egy, he says, adding: “We were the early adopters of tech­nol­ogy with full-fledged HRMS since 2007 and we are in the process of up­grad­ing to a world-class, cloud-based HRIT sys­tem. We will also de­ploy an HCM mo­bile app with best-in-class em­ployee in­ter­face and em­ployee ex­pe­ri­ences as part of the over­all dig­i­tal roadmap for the hu­man cap­i­tal func­tion, which will in­clude em­ployee life­cy­cle HR pro­cesses, dig­i­tal pro­cess­ing and data­base man­age­ment sys­tems, an­a­lyt­ics and seam­less shar­ing of key HCM met­rics within the func­tion.”

He re­veals that HR in­for­ma­tion is made avail­able to re­spec­tive stake­hold­ers in a seam­less man­ner from the core HR sys­tem. This in­cludes de­ci­sion-sup­port MIS/an­a­lyt­ics, no­ti­fi­ca­tion trig­gers and gov­er­nance dash­boards. The HR de­part­ment also has a live dig­i­tal dis­play - Di-Wall, or Dig­i­tal Wall, which dis­plays up­dated HCM met­rics per­tain­ing to hir­ing, peo­ple de­mo­graph­ics and key or­ga­ni­za­tional mes­sages on a real-time ba­sis.

In Ca­nara Bank, the func­tion of hu­man re­sources man­age­ment is gen­er­ally ad­min­is­tra­tive in na­ture but to re­duce the man­ual work­load, it has started elec­tron­i­cally au­tomat­ing many of the pro­cesses by de­vel­op­ing and in­tro­duc­ing IT ori­ented soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tions, lead­ing to the de­vel­op­ment of spe­cial­ized Hu­man Re­sources Man­age­ment Sys­tem. “Dur­ing 2008, we in­tro­duced a new pack­age for HRMS, de­vel­oped by PEOPLESOFT. Var­i­ous IT ini­tia­tives in HR ac­tiv­i­ties have re­sulted in re­duc­tion in ad­min­is­tra­tive work, speed and ef­fi­ciency of HR ac­tiv­i­ties, ac­cu­racy, trans­parency and con­sis­tency of in­for­ma­tion, time­li­ness of in­for­ma­tion process etc apart from re­duced staff re­quire­ments. IT ini­tia­tives in HR cover re­cruit­ment, leave ad­min­is­tra­tion, pay­roll, re­im­burse­ments and ben­e­fits, train­ing, staff prov­i­dent fund / staff wel­fare fund & pen­sion fund, an­nual per­for­mance ap­praisal, em­ployee self-ser­vices etc. To­tal au­to­ma­tion of HR is our crit­i­cal suc­cess fac­tor on the HR front,” says Giri.


Banks have to heav­ily de­pend on train­ing of its staff. At YES Bank, there is a YES School of Bank­ing, which is the bank’s learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment func­tion and is the first and only one in the In­dian bank­ing in­dus­try and which is dual ISO Cer­ti­fied in Qual­ity Man­age­ment. Ku­rane says most of the bank’s train­ing hap­pens in-house via class­room, e-learn­ing and on mo­bile. The YES School of Bank­ing also part­ners with ex­ter­nal agen­cies to im­part spe­cific prod­uct and be­hav­ioral skills.

“We have a strong fo­cus on learn­ing & de­vel­op­ment in­ter­ven­tions to equip our ex­ec­u­tives with skills and knowl­edge that are cor­re­lated to strate­gic busi­ness goals as well as spe­cific job re­quire­ments. Fo­cused skill builder pro­grams are con­ducted, sup­ported by cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams and e-learn­ing mod­ules across func­tional, be­hav­ioral and lead­er­ship cat­e­gories. Skillsets de­rived out of busi­ness pri­or­i­ties like de­sign think­ing, in­no­va­tion, cre­ativ­ity-led en­trepreneur­ship, or (DICE), pro­duc­tiv­ity, cross sell, ser­vice cul­ture and com­pli­ance cul­ture are care­fully em­bed­ded into train­ing in­ter­ven­tions. We have de­vised var­i­ous train­ing pro­grams such as YES L.E.A.P, Where Ea­gles Dare, YES I Can Do It etc,” says Ku­rane.

In Ko­tak Mahin­dra Bank, all the train­ing pro­grams are cho­sen ba­sis align­ment to the re­quire­ment of the busi­ness rather than ba­sis pop­u­lar­ity or trend. Th­ese pro­grams can be de­vel­oped and de­liv­ered both in-house as well as with the help of an ex­ter­nal agency de­pend­ing upon the tar­get au­di­ence, spread, time­line and com­plex­ity of the pro­gram.


Says Khatavkar: “We have a full-fledged in-house be­hav­ioral train­ing team as part of HR which is re­spon­si­ble for all train­ing and de­vel­op­ment needs of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Apart from this, we have func­tional train­ing teams aligned to each busi­ness within the bank. We have a wide va­ri­ety of pro­grams on of­fer de­pend­ing upon the level and role of the em­ployee. Some of th­ese are manda­tory and the oth­ers are need based. Apart from the bou­quet of­fer­ings, we also cus­tomize pro­grams de­pend­ing on the need of the busi­ness.”

Giri says Ca­nara Bank has de­signed a train­ing sys­tem, which is cus­tom­ized to aug­ment the learn­ing curve of the in­di­vid­ual and make him/her more com­pe­tent to face the chal­lenges posed by the chang­ing bank­ing sce­nario. There is an apex Staff Train­ing Col­lege at Bengaluru, which is a nodal of­fice over­see­ing and mon­i­tor­ing the train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties within the or­ga­ni­za­tion. The Staff Train­ing Col­lege has been re-or­ga­nized as a sep­a­rate ver­ti­cal. An of­fi­cer in the rank of gen­eral man­ager,

heads the col­lege. He is also des­ig­nated as Chief Learn­ing Of­fi­cer of the bank.

“We have cre­ated a for­mal cir­cle level fo­rum called Train­ing Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil to carry out the spe­cific train­ing need anal­y­sis of clus­ter of branches/ busi­ness units in a re­gion so that train­ing in­ter­ven­tion is fo­cused on the spe­cific busi­ness pro­file of the branches in that re­gion. The newly re­cruited of­fi­cers/clerks are given in­duc­tion train­ing to ac­cli­ma­tize them with in­tri­ca­cies of bank­ing op­er­a­tions. The di­rect re­cruit of­fi­cers are posted to branches han­dling dif­fer­ent func­tional ar­eas to en­able them to get a feel of the en­tire bank­ing struc­ture. Most of train­ing needs on bank­ing do­main is met by our in-house train­ing ver­ti­cal. Apart from our in-house pro­grams, we are nom­i­nat­ing our re­sources to var­i­ous other ex­ter­nal pro­grams, in­clud­ing pro­grams abroad. Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of em­ploy­ees for train­ing is be­ing done at grass­root level, ie branch / of­fice by the branch head / sec­tion head in the very com­mence­ment of the year tak­ing into ac­count the em­ploy­ees’ present level of skill, knowl­edge, place­ment, area of his/her op­er­a­tion, ar­eas of strength/ weak­nesses. Spe­cial­ized train­ings for do­mains like IT, risk man­age­ment, trea­sury, HR, forex, etc., are ar­ranged at var­i­ous in­sti­tutes of re­pute,” says Giri.

The bank’s Staff Train­ing Col­lege has con­cep­tu­al­ized a novel ‘high-sen­si­ti­za­tion’ train­ing pro­gram - “Ut­than’, which is rolled out to all the staff mem­bers, in com­pos­ite groups of cler­i­cal cadre to Scale-V. Giri says the pro­gram is in­tended to pro­pi­ti­ate pos­i­tive vibes in staff mem­bers in terms of qual­ity cus­tomer ser­vice, sense of be­long­ing­ness and per­sonal ef­fec­tive­ness which will ul­ti­mately aug­ment the busi­ness curve and act as a fil­lip to our banks jour­ney to­wards oc­cu­py­ing the nu­mero uno po­si­tion in the days to come.


Do banks have to have men­tor­ing pro­grams for the top man­age­ment?

Giri says Ca­nara Bank has its Man­than Strat­egy Meet, Top Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee and Busi­ness Plan Con­fer­ences, which are the fo­rums where top level ex­ec­u­tives meet pe­ri­od­i­cally to re­view the strate­gies, trans­for­ma­tional agenda and fu­ture/chang­ing dy­nam­ics in in­dus­try. The chair­man, MD & CEO, EDs and other di­rec­tors of­ten in­volve them­selves in the fo­rums and reg­u­larly in­ter­act with the top ex­ec­u­tives, men­tor­ing and guid­ing them con­tin­u­ously, he adds.

Ku­rane says it is a prac­tice in the bank to un­der­take con­stant re­views of the suc­ces­sion plan with the list of crit­i­cal po­si­tions and their pro­posed suc­ces­sors (im­me­di­ate as well as long-term) based on pa­ram­e­ters such as in­di­vid­ual crit­i­cal­ity, busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity, tech­ni­cal un­der­stand­ing, pro­fes­sional ma­tu­rity, per­son­al­ity traits, fit­ment and po­ten­tial to take on higher re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. “Our lead­er­ship team also un­der­goes an ex­ten­sive lead­er­ship ca­pa­bil­ity pro­gram. Our DICE (De­sign, In­no­va­tion, Cre­ativ­ity, En­trepreneur­ship)-led lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment pro­grams en­sure fu­ture-ready train­ing ini­tia­tives. In­ter­na­tional fac­ulty and lead­ing con­sul­tants like Ram­cha­ran and Porter Eris­man are brought in to in­ter­act and groom the se­nior lead­er­ship,” says he.


Khatavkar says bank­ing is get­ting highly tech­nol­ogy driven, but he is sure the re­quire­ment for tra­di­tional roles will also con­tinue for the next few years. “Even though there are mul­ti­ple touch­points, branches are still go­ing to re­main the pri­mary touch point for cus­tomers given the high emo­tional in­volve­ment and dy­nam­ics of the In­dian bank­ing in­dus­try. Sim­i­larly, max­i­mum new busi­ness ac­qui­si­tion would con­tinue to hap­pen by di­rectly reach­ing out to the prospect. The client would still in­sist on meet­ing the re­la­tion­ship man­ager for ad­vice on fund man­age­ment. It will take some time for the cus­tomer to adapt to new age dig­i­tal bank­ing,” says he.

But he is quick to add that the mind­set shift of the cus­tomer has started, and a lot of dig­i­ti­za­tion and process au­to­ma­tion has taken place to bring up the ser­vice ef­fi­ciency lev­els of the bank. “As much as 8% of our ac­qui­si­tion is through dig­i­tal chan­nels and be­ing a new age bank much of our pro­cesses run on tech­nol­ogy-en­abled plat­forms. As a part of this tran­si­tion, much of our HR de­liv­ery has also been au­to­mated and dig­i­tized, thus en­cour­ag­ing self-ser­vice within var­i­ous stake­hold­ers of the de­part­ment. Much of our on­board­ing is through a tool wherein a can­di­date is ex­pected to com­plete all tasks on­line, in­clud­ing doc­u­ment sub­mis­sions. Many of our train­ing mod­ules are de­liv­ered on­line through our Learn­ing Man­age­ment Sys­tem, and all HR queries are routed through our query man­age­ment tool. In fact, we have re­cently gone live with our dig­i­tal HR plat­form, wherein all HR re­lated in­for­ma­tion is avail­able to em­ploy­ees at the click of a but­ton and this can be ac­cessed by the em­ployee while on the move as well as through a smart phone. Th­ese cou­pled with our train­ing in­ter­ven­tions have helped us to bring about a mind­set tran­si­tion and gear up for the fu­ture,” says he.

He also says when it comes to align­ment of all the teams to this new mind­set, the bank has been able to do a fairly good job. “It is ev­i­dent in the fact that we were one of the first movers in the in­dus­try to of­fer a range of dig­i­tal so­lu­tions to our cus­tomers. Much of this came through a top down ap­proach which has helped to a huge ex­tent. Given the de­mo­graphic of our work­force which com­prises a large pop­u­la­tion of mil­len­ni­als, com­fort and fa­mil­iar­ity with tech­nol­ogy comes nat­u­rally to us,” he says.


Giri too says in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy has be­come an in­dis­pens­able part of con­tem­po­rary world es­pe­cially bank­ing and its adop­tion and ap­pli­ca­tion has equally af­fected hu­man re­sources man­age­ment. “Ca­nara Bank is one of the front run­ners in im­ple­ment­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy

in var­i­ous seg­ments of bank­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tives were in­tro­duced in HR ac­tiv­i­ties also. All em­ploy­ees are trained in up­dated mod­ules, tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts reg­u­larly on an on­go­ing ba­sis. Fur­ther, the new gen­er­a­tion em­ploy­ees be­ing tech-savvy, adap­ta­tion to tech­nol­ogy has been easy, quick and smooth,” says he.


Ku­rane main­tains that with ris­ing use of tech­nol­ogy in bank­ing ser­vices, re­cruiters are look­ing at dif­fer­ent skillsets that would help them scale their busi­ness, keep­ing the cost low. Bank­ing pro­fes­sion­als are ex­pected to pos­sess th­ese skills apart from spe­cific func­tional com­pe­ten­cies. “Given this, we are bound to wit­ness huge re-skilling ef­forts among banks, es­pe­cially in the pub­lic sec­tor banks. Banks to­day need a ‘dig­i­tal work­force’ to con­verge di­verse plat­forms like mo­bile so­lu­tions, so­cial me­dia, bio­met­rics, etc, to ren­der seam­less and highly cus­tom­ized bank­ing ser­vices. At YES Bank, in line with our Vi­sion 2020 of be­ing the finest qual­ity big bank in In­dia by 2020, dig­i­ti­za­tion is core to most of our pro­cesses - in­ter­nal as well as ex­ter­nal. The bank is also one of the first or­ga­ni­za­tions to launch ‘Face­book at Work’, achiev­ing 100% ac­ti­va­tion within 45 days. This has sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved col­lab­o­ra­tion and cross-func­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion across the bank. What is unique about our ap­proach is that our HR’s dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion has be­gun with a change of mind­set within the or­ga­ni­za­tion, pri­or­i­tiz­ing con­nec­tiv­ity, re­al­time op­er­a­tions, plat­forms, au­to­ma­tion, and mo­bile-first HCM so­lu­tions,” says he.


Is HR func­tions in banks dif­fer­ent from that in other en­ter­prises, say re­tail or in­fra­struc­ture?

Ku­rane de­fines bank­ing as a highly dy­namic sec­tor, which makes it im­per­a­tive for HR pro­fes­sion­als in the sec­tor to be aware of the chang­ing rules to be on the top of the game. “Be­ing a highly reg­u­lated sec­tor, hu­man cap­i­tal man­age­ment is by far the most crit­i­cal func­tion in banks. Ev­ery cor­po­rate is in­volved in var­i­ous func­tions and thus re­quires a highly ef­fec­tive team and ap­pro­pri­ate man­power to run the show. Cor­po­rate and strate­gic goals are translated into vi­able re­al­i­ties and prof­its only with the help of em­ploy­ees (right tal­ent) that play their due role in achiev­ing the set tar­gets. This idea has been re­al­ized by top man­age­ments in pro­gres­sive banks. Pri­vate Banks, un­like their pub­lic sec­tor coun­ter­parts, have re­al­ized that tal­ent alone can­not win the race, but, has to be cou­pled with the right strat­egy,” says he.

Giri points out that bank­ing sec­tor has grown from a few in­sti­tu­tions pri­mar­ily in­volved in de­posit ac­cep­tance and trade fi­nance into a com­plex multi-player mar­ket where large num­ber of com­mer­cial banks, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and spe­cial­ized banks are op­er­at­ing with var­i­ous prod­ucts and ac­tiv­i­ties. “It has be­come a com­plex ac­tiv­ity within the fi­nan­cial mar­ket linked di­rectly and in­di­rectly with an over­all na­tional growth and its im­pact as an in­te­gral part of re­gional seg­ment of a global bank­ing en­vi­ron­ment,” says he, adding the sec­tor is giv­ing more em­pha­sis on cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. “Bank­ing has turned it­self into a more mar­ket-based busi­ness where banks have ex­panded their reach more to cus­tomers’ door steps in a big way, thus mak­ing bank­ing more prac­ti­cal. Hu­man re­source man­age­ment is quite dif­fer­ent from man­age­ment of phys­i­cal as­sets. Hu­man brain has its own pe­cu­liar chem­istry. The work force con­sti­tut­ing all lev­els of em­ploy­ees is con­stantly think­ing in many di­men­sions. Its strong sensory and de­ci­sion-mak­ing ca­pac­ity has to be greatly em­pha­sized by the em­ploy­ers. This has fur­ther high­lighted the need for proper de­ploy­ment of man­power with ap­pro­pri­ate skill sets to run banks ef­fi­ciently,’ says he.

He also be­lieves that HR func­tion in banks has fared well, es­pe­cially in pub­lic sec­tor banks, in view of the HR ini­tia­tives like de­fined ca­reer path, learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, train­ing, job ro­ta­tion, men­tor­ing etc., be­sides sev­eral em­ployee ben­e­fits / perks /in­cen­tives. Th­ese also have con­trib­uted and helped the banks to main­tain low at­tri­tion.


Khatavkar too strongly be­lieves that bank­ing as an in­dus­try is dif­fer­ent from other en­ter­prises, pri­mar­ily be­cause of the high emo­tional in­volve­ment of the end cus­tomer. This in­dus­try thrives on trust and its rep­u­ta­tion, he says, adding: “A strong bank­ing sys­tem is the base re­quired for any econ­omy to pros­per and hence, banks are re­quired to work un­der strong reg­u­la­tions closely mon­i­tored by var­i­ous reg­u­la­tory bod­ies. Reg­u­la­tions are driven heav­ily by po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic change and is sub­ject to con­stant change. Along­side, there is a huge trans­for­ma­tion un­der­way with tra­di­tional bank­ing be­ing re­placed with new age dig­i­tal bank­ing and or­ga­ni­za­tions are striv­ing hard to keep pace.”

He main­tains that while there would not be a huge vari­ance in the list of de­liv­er­ables for HR across in­dus­tries, what varies is the or­der of pri­or­ity of the de­liv­er­ables. The HR pri­or­i­ties in the In­dian bank­ing sce­nario, ac­cord­ing to him, are:

• Play the role of the con­science gate­keeper for the or­ga­ni­za­tion by en­sur­ing the align­ment of em­ploy­ees’ val­ues to those of the or­ga­ni­za­tion

• En­sure staffing needs of the or­ga­ni­za­tion are met on time with­out com­pro­mis­ing on qual­ity

• Re­ten­tion of top tal­ent

• Iden­tify crit­i­cal roles and keep a tal­ent

pipe­line ready for the same

• Build com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage by en­sur­ing work­force pre­pared­ness to take up roles of the fu­ture

• Bring in agility of the work­force to re­spond to the ever-chang­ing dy­nam­ics of the in­dus­try by cre­at­ing tal­ent mo­bil­ity, both hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal

Makarand Khatavkar points out that the HR fo­cus is not only on an em­ployee’s per­for­mance to­day but also on the po­ten­tial for to­mor­row

CP GIRI high­lights the men­tor­ing con­cept the bank has adopted, which has helped it to re­tain tal­ent

Deo­dutta Ku­rane re­veals that the bank has en­gaged with global man­age­ment gu­rus to up­skill top man­age­ment

Stu­dents at Ca­nara Bank’s School of Man­age­ment

YES AS­PIRE schol­ars from 20 top B-schools across In­dia

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