By Akin Akinremi
Sterling Bank Plc has come up with a policy to promote work-life balance among its staff as it continues to strive to build a great place to work for its workforce through the introduction of Flexi-time and Flexi-place.
The initiative, which complies with global best HR practices, according to a statement from the bank, is currently being piloted in the Bank’s Corporate Head Office and is aimed at introducing flexibility in work arrangements for the Bank’s staff.
The Flexi-time arrangement allows members of staff the opportunity to determine their own working hours by choosing a convenient time to come to work within the options provided by the Bank. Similarly, the Flexi-place package gives staff the opportunity to choose a convenient location from which they can carry out their job functions. In this pilot phase, interested staff particularly in the Head Office are encouraged to select locations closer to their place of residence.
The Bank’s Executive Director, Strategy & Finance, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, who described the pilot stage as highly successful, expressed his optimism that the initiative will enhance productivity of staff, promote bonding among family members, reduce the stress of waking very early and spend long hours in traffic to get to the office early, improve the well-being of staff and ultimately promote work life balance among staff.
His words: “Employees in the cites are faced with the onerous yet elusive goal of maintaining work-life balance as they are confronted with the challenge of waking up very early to beat the traffic going to the office and also pass through same stress going home in the evening.”
“We recognize that the fast-paced nature of cities is likely to continue to deprive workers from spending quality time with their families as they spend a lot of time commuting to and from work. With the staggered resumption time offered by these initiatives, staff will be able to determine preferred and more convenient work hours. We believe with this initiative, they would be in a better position to spend quality time with their family, commute at more convenient traffic times and spend less on Medical care thus become more productive at work.”
To ensure the effectiveness of the workplace solutions, Mr. Abubakar noted that appropriate structures and resources have been put in place adding that each team during the pilot phase, had a succession plan with back-ups knowledgeable on other duties and available at crucial periods.
He assured that Sterling Bank will continue to come with initiatives to enrich the lives of all stakeholders as “we have demonstrated this across all in various areas such as education, sports, entrepreneurship, environment and the introduction of various products and services to meet the banking needs of our customers. This time, we want to focus on the people who work tirelessly to implement these initiatives- our staff.
Our desire is to continue to explore ways to improve the work environment, elevate the culture of the organization and enable self-actualization. The flexible work regime we have introduced is one step in the right direction to achieving this desire”, he stated.
Sterling Bank Plc, “the one-customer bank”, is a full-service national commercial bank with an asset base above N800 billion with over 190 business offices and more than 800 ATMs nationwide. In over 55 years of service, Sterling Bank (formerly NAL Bank) has evolved from the nation’s pre-eminent investment banking institution to a fully-fledged commercial bank.
Furthermore, with a strong national presence, Sterling Bank is one of the top 30 most capitalized institutions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The bank is also one of Nigeria’s fastest growing banks and is recognized as a dynamic financial services organization.