SBI circular on ‘work-life balance’ strikes a chord with unions
Says working longer hours or on holidays is not the mode of achieving productivity
In what State Bank of India (SBI) unions have described as a welcome gesture, a management circular to all branches and offices have stressed the need to ensure a good worklife balance for the staff.
“A good and healthy work environment, mutual respect and empathy in workplace, (and) a good work-life balance are essential to achieve a healthy and happy workforce,” the circular said.
It noted that a number of initiatives already taken up in human resources development are critical to ensure that the bank remains ahead of peers and employees are equipped to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
It talked of several other initiatives being taken up to ‘ensure and improve the welfare of our employees.’ But it also reminded them that they should be punctual and adhere to workplace discipline.
Productivity and agility in the market place are critical to meet the requirements of customers. But working longer hours or working on holidays should not be the mode of achieving productivity.
Employees should also have adequate time to devote to their personal and family needs to remain healthy, the circular said. This issue has often been flagged by the unions in the past.
Duty on holidays, Sundays
“While there could be occasions when some of us are required to work beyond normal duty hours or on Sundays/holidays, such occasions should be rare,” the circular said.
Calling officers for doing routine work on Sundays or holidays should be avoided by better planning of work during the work week. This too goes to meet a long-felt demand that the unions have aired quite often.
“If some offices are required to be kept open for the convenience of customers on Sundays/holidays, shift system should be followed to ensure that no official or employee is required to work on all days of the week.”
At the same time, non-completion of assigned tasks or lack of decorum in office are totally unacceptable and would be dealt with accordingly. “All of us have a responsibility to keep this organisation healthy and successful,” the circular added.