Saturday, July 13, 2019

Maligning the culture !!

Of late, it has become a practice to attribute things and activities to  'Corporate culture'- mostly when they go bad or wrong. And this has become the whipping boy for everyone, even from those who would find it difficult to spell the word ‘corporate’. While every culture has its points for review leading to growth, the tendency to sweep this off with a single stroke is disappointing.  But then, amongst other things, there are also many practices in corporate that are worthy to emulate. Some such are 'Innovative thinking' and 'Art of Appreciation'. Unfortunately, the lack of these practices in some are hurting the current banking scenario and this is an attempt to highlight their need for the serving and retired bank men, whose comments could impact the bank staff morale.

Taking cues from the corporate or other culture, some bank men from a popular nationalized bank in Chennai have thought innovatively and decided to hit the road, catch the customer or prospects on their early morning walk to get first hand feedback and to propagate some of the bank's offerings as well . And so they were spotted at the Chennai Marina beach near Gandhi statue early in the morning by around 6 AM, with a proudly perched uniform cap that glowed with the bank’s logo prominently - seen distributing pamphlets of the products and encouraging the walkers to visit  the branch for further inputs.

At the outset, the staff involved in such innovative thoughts have to be encouraged as they have gone some extra miles to take the bank to the place where the common man throng. One is not sure whether it is done at the suggestion or prompting or behest of the senior management or on their own. Either way, it requires a friendly pat!

But, the amount of cynicism, snide remarks, pessimistic thoughts aired by the fellow bank men (in service or retired), towards such a step, shows the extent of frustration and negativism that has been allowed into their system.

Here comes the second of the Corporate Culture - Appreciation. The said bank staff have chosen to hit the road early in the morning towards improving bank's image, offering and also customer contact, instead of availing the hard earned second saturday which the Government has given to them for an extended sleep to compensate for the extra hours put in through the week. This gesture of foregoing an opportunity of family time itself calls for appreciation as a first step and a pat for that would help the otherwise beleaguered staff to keep their morale high.

Instead, sarcastic remarks of this being a 'circus', ' a publicity stunt' etc., from the arm chair critics, will really hurt the hard-working staff.

A valid point has been raised that the customer service at the branch needs to be improved and there can never be a second opinion on this. But then, such innovations need not be halted for an existing malady! I am not critical of those expressions and do not mean to say that they are wrong. But, their frustrated or high-handed expressions could dampen the spirits of the few who still believe that they could put in their bit towards the upliftment of the bank, otherwise battered from all quarters. 
Let us first learn to appreciate others’ gesture and their efforts in going that extra mile, instead of putting dampeners and road blocks. If we can, let us join and contribute or simply turn the other way instead of hampering positive progressions.