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

The Hindu Business Line - - BANKING - VINSON KURIAN

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.

Sev­eral ini­tia­tives

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.

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