Barclays is the third largest bank in the United Kingdom. The bank can trace its roots back to 1690 in London. The name “Barclay” first arose in 1736. Today the bank is a global financial service provider operating in the UK, Europe, United States, and Africa. The bank’s headquarters are at One Churchill Place in Canary Wharf, in London’s Docklands, having moved there in May 2005 from Lombard Street in the City of London. Barclay’s US headquarters are in Wilmington, Delaware where it acquired the former Juniper Bank (Answers Barclays Bank 2006).
Barclays is a UK-based financial services group, with a very large international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia. It is engaged primarily in banking, investment banking and investment management. In terms of market capitalisation, Barclays is one of the largest financial services companies in the world (Barclays Newsroom 2006). Barclays has been involved in banking for over 300 years and operates in over 60 countries with more than 113,000 permanent employees (including 33,500 at Absa). For the year ended 31st December 2005, the group achieved a pre-tax profit of ?
5,280 million, up fifteen per cent on 2004. In 2005 Barclays paid approximately ? 3 billion in taxes (Barclays Newsroom 2006). Customers are served through a variety of channels comprising: the branch network, cash machines, telephone banking, online banking and relationship managers. It is managed through two business areas, UK Retail Banking and UK Business Banking. In UK Retail Banking there are 14 million retail customers, including current accounts, savings, mortgages, and general insurance (Barclays Newsroom 2006).
Local Business provides banking services to 592,000 customers; UK Premier provides banking, investment products and advice to 286,000 affluent customers (Barclays Newsroom 2006). UK Business Banking provides relationship banking to larger and medium-sized businesses. 183, 000 customers are served by a network of relationship and industry sector specialist managers (Barclays Newsroom 2006). Barclay’s strategic objective is to “To deliver top quartile total shareholder return relative to our peers, consistently over time” (Barclays p 2 2004). The company focuses directly on increasing shareholder value rather than employee retention and morale.
Barclay’s does not have a directly available mission and values statement that is visible to the external environment. The internal environment at Barclay’s is one of traditional top-down management. The corporate culture at Barclay’s maintains a hierarchy of experience and education, where the management team places a large amount of focus on meeting the shareholder strategy. According to Barclay’s “In recent months, we have taken a number of steps to enhance further our corporate governance practices. We have expanded the remit of the Remuneration Committee to cover strategic human resource issues” (Barclay’s 2004 p 3).
These strategic changes included: “continued and upgraded our investment in established; programs for the community, equality and diversity, and the environment; built on our reputation as a pioneer and leader in the field of financial inclusion; excellent terms and conditions for colleagues impacted by offshore outsourcing; developed a clear statement on human rights, and continued our participation in the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights; and made good progress in adapting our branches and offices to be fully accessible to customers with disabilities (Barclays p 12 2004).
Barclay’s did not, however, remunerate a corporate strategy or mission to address its near 20% turnover rate which has been continuous and barely changing for the past three years, an indication that Barclay’s focus is on stakeholder value and not developing or addressing employee morale. However, Barclays does have a large focus on community service, receiving the “2004 National Business Award for Corporate Social Responsibility” (Barclays p 12 2004). Roadmap-Thesis The thesis statement is that the lack of direct employee relationships may have a strong impact on the seemingly high turnover rate.
Personal interviews were conducted over the telephone with two Barclay’s employees, neither of which are relatives. Saunders et al (2003) define an interview as “a purposeful discussion between two or more people,” and can collect data which is both reliable and valid. Saunders et al (2003) describe a structured interview as using questionnaires based on predetermined and standard or identical sets of questions; a semi-structured interview as having a list of themes and questions to be covered; and an unstructured interview as informal but used to explore in depth a general area of interest.
The interviews conducted were unstructured, which is decidedly the best format for discussing the interesting concepts of Barclays organizational strategy and how it relates to the employees . Interview Results The organizational strategy at Barclay’s seems almost non-existent to the participants, who each note that while dedication to customer satisfaction is important, manager and leadership concerns are impacting the employee morale. One interviewee even equated working at Barclay’s to a prison system, which is a reflection of the top-down managerial strategy.
This managerial strategy has not been forthcoming to create or enhance employee morale, in fact it almost seems as though the employees are afraid of, or diminished by, the current leadership strategy. Customer service metrics are well known, however it is the organization strategy to continue team training that focuses on the same customer service strategy and not on new information, such as training opportunities or important technological concerns of the employees.
This creates an atmosphere where the employees may feel constricted, rather than encouraged, by internal training and education. The organizational strategy may be clear to stakeholders, investors, and corporate government, but there seems to be a distinct lack of information dissemination to the ground floor employees, which makes it hard for employees to follow a strategic vision and understand their basic role in the organization.
The organizational culture at Barclay’s seems another sore point with the participants, who explained that there is a concern with office politics. Both employees examined that within the organizational culture, there is a strong adherence to management rule where favoritism is accepted. The other disheartening view of the organizational culture is that one participant was made to feel frequently inadequate for asking questions.
Another concern about the organizational culture is the manner in which management responds to employee’s needs, which seems seriously lacking in its execution. Both employees made statements regarding lack of quality leadership motivation and that management’s engagement with employees and their customer service does not fit into the employee’s need for motivation. Both interviewees understood the importance of customer service and were able to relate customer service quality to their functional roles.
They did not state that leadership has offered a beneficial measurement of customer service or employee motivation, because neither participant made any positive statements regarding motivation as an organizational strategy. Based on these interviews, the concern with organizational strategy is not simply turnover rate as noted before, but that employees are not offered constant educational information about the organization, its values, mission, goals and opportunities. Academic Research Recommendations for Improvement
In human capital management, organizational changes should be administered by a general framework according to Dreher and Doherty (p 16-17 2001): motivating change requires that the people within the organization understand and commit to the change; creating vision in employees is a continuation of commitment where employees know where they fit into that change; developing political support means that stakeholders-from employees to HR professionals-have been assessed according to their place and function in the change; managing the transition must be set by parameters and adequate available technology as well as an understanding employee wide of how the parameters and technology work towards the goals; the momentum is sustained by “(1) providing resources for change, (2) building a support system for the agents of change (3) developing related competencies and skills among those charged with administering and using the modified process and (4) reinforcing new behaviors called for by the changed environment.
” To this effect, Barclays must alter their strategy towards change and not the change itself by adequate communication and technology as well as transition training and reinforcement of change strategies amongst employees to foster a positive environment and develop open lines of input and communication. Incentive programs involve a system of rewards and recognition. There is a distinction between recognition programs and reward programs. Recognition is acknowledgment, appreciation and approval, and targets the psychological need of the individual. Reward, by definition, is usually something given in return for good or evil done or received, especially that is offered or given for a service. Rewards focus on the physical benefit, usually financial, however “self-esteem, respect, intrinsic motivation and dignity are not guaranteed by a competitive salary” (Glasscock and Gram 1995).
Both recognition and rewards are important in reinforcing intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, and provide positive reinforcement for desired behavior performance. Employees will differ on which has the greater personal impact, but ultimately both reward and recognition programs affect an individual’s self esteem. The value an employee has on an incentive program is therefore highly correlated to the employee’s engagement in customer service. According to Dr. Mohammed S. Chowdhury of Monroe College, Bronx, New York and Mohammed Nurul Amin of the West Virginia University of Technology: Employee values, attitudes, and leadership behavior play a very important role in enhancing employee work motivation and performance.
Employee work values, attitudes and leadership behavior can carefully be adjusted to produce a strong impact on employee work motivation (www. sba. muohio. edu). A customer-focused culture is enhanced when employees understand that the organization will reward them for exceptional performance and customer service. Research shows that employee motivation and engagement is greatly enhanced when employees clearly understand the link between organizationally desired behaviors and rewards. It is important to recognize that an employee focus and a customer focus are complementary. It is noted that the importance of employee engagement in a sales environment to diminish the amount of money spent on employees.
Accordingly, research has shown that improving the employee engagement will increase employee retention. Kenexa. com states that: Research has shown that fully engaged employees tend to be more productive, conscientious and have higher levels of organizational commitment. In addition, research has shown that an engaged work force tends to stay employed longer, miss work less often, have higher levels of customer satisfaction and service quality, attain and surpass organizational goals more regularly, are more productive and have comparatively lower worker’s compensation and accident claims (2005). To measure constructs of employee engagement, benchmarks would be an above average response of high values.
A successful research would develop an increase in value rating per employee per category. In essence, the purpose is to develop employee engagement in conjunction with the benchmarks and defined constructs according to the majority values of tenured employees. Benchmarks for evaluation of success can be defined by an organizational increase in retention of employees compared to past trends in the facility, with increase in employee engagement of facility compared to past trends. The recommendation is to focus on team and individual development to ensure that employees become fully engaged within their function and as team members. According to David Beswick of the University of Melbourne:
Mangers generally, and anyone formally or informally responsible for oversight of others who are engaged in work or learning tasks, will be aware that some people are participating more out of interest in the task than others are. Others gain their satisfaction principally out the way in which their performance on the task leads to rewards like pay or status or good grades in a course. But typically there is a mixture of motives for which a range of different incentives is relevant. (www. beswick. info 2004) Any recognition program will reflect an organization’s culture and values. Increasingly, recognition programs are part of company’s total quality program.
Recognition programs may take several forms, from highly formalized programs induced and implemented by management to informal, spontaneous “ceremonies” arising from fellow co-workers. Recognition and celebrations are a ways of reaffirming to people that they are an important part of something that matters. Conclusion Engaged employees receive training for necessary skills and are “on board” with the organization’s goals. Employees will be unable to perform if they lack the skills needed for their roles, so organizations need to identify employees with gaps in their training. Formal performance appraisal presents a good opportunity to do so.
Research shows that organizations with good performance appraisal systems have significantly higher levels of employee engagement that those with a poor performance appraisal system. However, for performance appraisal to identify employees with specific needs, managers first need to have a good understanding of the performance appraisal system. Therefore, the training needs of managers should not be overlooked. Managers should be trained to identify performance weaknesses as well as how to effectively tie performance to recognition and rewards. Engaged employees receive training for necessary skills and are “on board” with the organization’s goals.
Employees will be unable to perform if they lack the skills needed for their roles, so organizations need to identify employees with gaps in their training. Formal performance appraisal presents a good opportunity to do so. Research shows that organizations with good performance appraisal systems have significantly higher levels of employee engagement that those with a poor performance appraisal system. However, for performance appraisal to identify employees with specific needs, managers first need to have a good understanding of the performance appraisal system. Therefore, the training needs of managers should not be overlooked. Managers should be trained to identify performance weaknesses as well as how to effectively tie performance to recognition and rewards. References
Answers Barclays Bank 2006 Barclays Bank Barclays plc Type Public Founded 1896 Location London , United Kingdom Key 2006 Answers Corporation . Retrieved September 15, 2007 from www. answers. com Barclays Bank PLC (2006) Barclays Newsroom. Registered in England. Registered No: 1026167. Registered Office: 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP. . Retrieved September 15, 2007 from www. barclays. com Barclays (2004) Annual Report 2004. Registered Office: 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP. Retrieved September 15, 2007 from www. investor. barclays. co. uk Beswick, David (2004) of the University of Melbourne. Copyright: © David Beswick 1997-2004. Retrieved September 15, 2007 www. beswick. info Chowdhury, Mohammed S. (n. d.
) Relative Importance of Employee Values, Attitudes and Leadership Behaviors in Employee Motivation. Monroe College, Bronx, New York Retrieved September 15, 2007 from www. sba. muohio. edu Dreher & Dougherty. (2001). Human resource strategy: A behavioral perspective for the general manager. New York: McGraw-Hill Glasscock and Gram (1995) Secrets of a Successful Employee Recognition System. BT Bastford. LTD. 2000 Kenexa. com (2005) 650 East Swedesford Road 2nd Floor Wayne, PA 19087 Retrieved September 15, 2007 from www. kenexa. com Saunders, M. , Lewis, P. and Thornhill, D. (2003), Research Methods for Business Students, 3rd Edition, London: FT Prentice Hall.
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