Dear Banks: Please Love Your Employees


I live in UAE. My Banking Relationship Manager (RM) has changed 3 times in the past 12 months. Each time, the RM left for a better opportunity at another bank.

My question is, why don’t Banks just love their employees and retain them? It takes 2 years for a new employee to fully get trained and acclimated to your environment, policies and procedures. However, by the time she is starting to deliver, and you can really see the ROI of hiring her, you let her go to a competitor for presumably a 20% – 40% pay rise. Significant pay rise. Agreed.

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What’s ironic is that each bank is hiring from the same pool of resources. So why pay 30% more for a new candidate when you could probably retain your current star for 15% salary increment or other benefits.

We know from various studies and reports that employees are not motivated by money alone. They care about being recognized and the quality of life.

Not convinced? Checkout the 100 Best Companies To Work For. You will find that the reason employees love these places are because they get meaningful quality of life perks such as:

·     Day-care facility at work

·     Maternity & Paternity paid leave (meaningful)

·     Proper healthcare

·     Paid hours to volunteer for social good

·     Paid hours to work on a project that excites the employee

·     Quick recognition and rewards

So, dear Banks, why not retain your assets that you have spent huge dollars to scout and acquire? Why let someone else steal the gems you have invested in polishing, training and introducing to your precious customers? lists 10 ways to retain your Star Employees. 5 of these resonated strongly with Bank Employees I spoke to. 

1.   Make your employees feel like business partners. 

2.   Be transparent.

3.   Get their feedback.

4.   Create a learning environment.

5.   Create a culture of recognition and praise.

Dear Banks, you could start simply by asking your employees what they value. Do an anonymous, safe survey. I’m sure the answers will both delight and surprise you. Because what your employees need maybe so easily achieved. It would certainly keep your customers happy if you retained your employees longer.

One of the banks I was with changed my RM, every 2 months. No exaggerations. I started to not trust the bank or the products it was hawking. A year later, I closed my account.

I wondered if the Bank:

1.    Is mistreating its employees

2.    Making them do “unethical” selling and people quit because they could not compromise their integrity

When customers see significant “employee churn” in your organization, the signal it sends are always negative.

Ironic thing is Banks seem to not understand the word “Relationship”. If the Bank cannot maintain a mutually beneficial long-term “Relationship” with its own employees, how can the Bank task the employee to be the best “Relationship” Manager for the customer?

Now if the reason is that you made a bad hire, then your problems are much bigger and fundamental.

Bottom Line: It makes economic sense to love your employees and treat them well.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Shaheeda Abdul Kader

After 25 years of working for corporations, being an entrepreneur and managing investments for my family, I now want to help others find their financial freedom