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Business – SBI banks on McKinsey to stem attrition

Atmadip Ray

KOLKATA: The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), may be learning the hard way that it will have to keep its home warm and inviting
if it wants to keep its flock together.

Faced with employees quitting at almost every level, with salaries nowhere near what private and foreign banks give out, the public sector bank is learnt to have asked global consultant McKinsey & Co to examine where its human resource (HR) policies may have gone awry. SBI has close to 2.10 lakh people on its payroll. SBI staffers are poorly paid compared to their peers in other central government organisations too, said SK Haldar, general secretary of the State Bank of India Officers Association.

In addition to asking McKinsey to look into the reasons for employees leaving — over the past two years, for instance, 180 out of the 2,000 recruited have quit — it has asked the consultant to examine HR issues relating to senior executives above Scale 5 (assistant general managers and above).

US-based values survey company, Barrett Values Centre, is assisting McKinsey in this effort.

The bank has directed all its 14 circles to ferret out details on people leaving the organisation and the possible reasons for this. The management is in the process of collating data for the past five years, a senior SBI official, who did not wish to be named, said, adding the information will be passed on to McKinsey. SBI managing director SK Bhattacharyya did not comment on the issue.

The bank is known to be a training ground for bankers-to-be, who soon fly the coop for private and foreign banks. SBI officers working at the treasury desk, risk management and credit are the one of the most talented people in the banking industry, a senior bank executive said on condition of anonymity.

The attrition rate typically tends to be higher in the metros and urban centres.

Asked about the work being done by Barrett Values Centre, a senior SBI executive in Mumbai, said: “It’s a survey aimed at personality development and part of the bank’s HR exercise. SBI launched a massive human resource development programme a couple of months ago for helping behavioural transformation of its employees and looking to create a more active role for them vis-a-vis consumer services. The country’s largest bank believes this project will help improve its market share.”

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December 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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