Leadership & Managerial Skills in Banking

Leadership & Managerial Skills in Banking !

Leadership & Managerial Skills in Banking:


Leadership and Managerial Skills The success of an organization depends on many factors, of which management styles come first. Leadership is an important aspect of managing the organization. Management styles (Leadership) have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the individual as well as the organization as a whole.


Leader: The word Leader came from “LEAD” means to guide, to conduct, to precede the followers for achieve determined goal.


Leadership: Leadership is the process of influencing and supporting others to work enthusiastically toward achieving objectives. It is the critical factor that helps an individual or a group identifies its goals and then motivates and assists in achieving the stated goals. The three important elements in the definition are:

i. Influence/support

ii. Voluntary effort

iii. Goal achievement Leadership and managerial skills are very significant in banking.


Therefore, bank should be very thoughtful in this issue. Banks need bank officials with sound leadership and managerial skills, to run their branches/departments efficiently and to achieve the ultimate objective of bank. Banks also need to give more emphasis on various soft skills for their senior bank employees such as leadership, team building, motivation etc. The following issues are very noteworthy to improve the leadership and managerial skills of senior bankers.


Leadership in Banks: In today’s world banks play a very important role in the economy. The banking industry falls under the service domain where efficient management cannot be possible without efficient and skilled manpower. To achieve the ultimate success in the banking industry, leadership plays a vital role. Leadership is the process of influencing and supporting others to work enthusiastically toward achieving objectives of the organization. It is the vital factor that helps an individual to identify the goal and then motivates and assists others in achieving the stated goals.


Manager Vs. Leader :

O The manager administers; the leader innovates.

o The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.

o The manager maintains; the leader develops.

o The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.

o The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.

o The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.

o The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

o The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.

o The manager imitates; the leader originates.

o The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

o The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.

o The managers have employees; the leaders win followers.

o The managers react to change; the leaders create change.

o The managers have good ideas; the Leaders implement them.

o The managers direct groups; the leader create teams.

o The managers try to be heroes; the leaders make heroes of everyone around them.

o The managers take credit; the leaders take responsibility.

o The managers exercise power over people; the leaders develop power with people.


Qualities of a Banking Leader :

Some essential qualities / traits of a Successful / Ideal / Good Leader are:-

Ability to inspire and motivate others: Leaders should have a vision of the future that should be vivid and convincing and that motivates bank employees. A good leader should be able to help the team members, inspire them, and guide them to achieve the ultimate objective of the bank.


High Integrity and Honesty: Great leaders are honest and transparent, and have high integrity-they do what they say they are going to do, and they walk their talk.


Problem Solving and Analyzing Skills: These are analytical and creative skills of a leader. Which particular skills are needed in a particular situation depending on the problem? Therefore, good leaders should have sound problem solving and analyzing skills.


Drives for Results: Great leaders have a higher level of determination and drive than most anyone else, and they can be counted on to get things done.


Communicates Powerfully and Effectively: Great leaders are able to communicate efficiently with the followers in a variety of ways. Such as one-on-one conversations, team meetings, email messages, phone or Skype calls or any other such medium.


Builds Relationships: A bank business is built on a solid foundation of relationships and trust. Therefore, good banking leader should possess strong relationship skills.


Displays Technical or Professional Expertise: Good leaders have to have some specific skill, such as selling, accounting, computing etc. The best leaders build on their technical and professional skills over time, becoming valuable experts in their field and skilled at leading their team.


Displays a Strategic Perspective: Great leaders have a long-term vision of the future. They can be tactical when necessary; they are able to maintain the strategic outlook necessary to guide their businesses to the best future possible.


Develops others: The best leaders set aside time to develop their work force. They look for the most promising employees, and provide them with the training they need to become their bank’s next generation of great leaders.

Three Most Important Skills for a Leader:

+Technical skill refers to a person’s knowledge in some technical areas. Examples are

  • the skills learned by accountants, engineers, doctors, chemists. Human skill is the ability to work effectively with people and to build teamwork.
  • Conceptual skill is the ability to think in terms of models, framework, and broad
  • relationship such as long-range plan.


Qualities of a Good Bank Branch Manager A branch manager is responsible for all of the functions of a branch office, like deposit collecting, approving loans, marketing the branch, building a rapport with the community in order to attract business and assisting customers with account problems.


A branch manager is also responsible for making sure that the branch’s goals and objectives are met in a timely manner. A branch manager should also possess strong sales, people-management and customer[1]service skills, because a branch manager’s responsibilities include developing and maintaining a good relationship with customers and employees. Essential qualities of a good bank manager are as follows:


Good Communication: This is the main and prerequisite skill of a good bank manager. In all kind of management tasks the first and most common thing we do is communicating our needs, expectations and opinions to other people.


Good Organization: This is the second most important skill, Good communication skills indicate able to make schedule, organize and follow future plan. It also involves understanding the rules and processes in the bank and among customers, and predicting what will happen and when.


Team building: A good bank manager should keep his team sealed. As banking is teamwork, so bank manager should have strong team management skills. A healthy and successful team relies on trust to large extent. If a manager systematically builds trust, the team will feel more appreciated and committed.


Leadership: A good bank manager has to solve them and prove his commitment to the team goals. It’s also his responsibility to define goals together with his team and assign the responsibility to team members in a clear manner.


Dealing with changes: Banking sector has changed a lot in recent times. So, ability to adjust with the change is a crucial quality of a bank manager. The true manager should be flexible and adaptable and able to react quickly when facing any obstacles.


Domain knowledge: A good manager has to understand what kind of process he is managing. How his team members are working. What kind of tasks they perform. This skill is not as important as the others but without it, in some cases, the team and the manager will never work at full capacity, using the whole potential due to lack of mutual understanding.


Employee Motivation :

Motivation is a core element of management in human resources. Motivation is a behavior, willingness and contribution of employees to perform a particular task. It is a process, which arise, direct and maintain human behavior to attain some goal. There is no similarity in qualities, feelings and behaviors of employees so it is some difficult to take care of human being with varying characteristics and qualities. Without motivation, organization could not run long time. It is more important for human resources to activate, train and develop all motivated in order that make individual and organization goals. Every single employee has skills, abilities and knowledge, if there is no added motivation, would not open a way of success, if there is added motivation, would open a way of success for an organization. There are various sources of motivation by which bank officials can be motivated, such as good pay structure, provision of decent accommodation, good condition of service and opportunity for staff training. Motivated employees can increase the capacity of their productivity.


Motivating Bank Employees:

Instilling motivation isn’t easy, but it’s necessary if we want our employees to grow and stay satisfied with their jobs. That being said, there isn’t any single strategy that can magically motivate all employees at once and keep them motivated throughout their employment. Everyone is unique, with unique values and ideas, and if we want to be successful in instilling company-wide motivation, so multiple motivational strategies may be needed to motivate different bank employees. Some motivational techniques are as follows:


Individual Attention Matters: Teamwork is an important element of a bank. Team work not only makes the employee feel recognized and appreciated, it also reinforces the positive behavior for the entire workforce. If someone is underperforming, take him/her aside for some personal coaching or one-on-one talks that can help that employee work through his/her problems.


Advancement Opportunities: People tend to feel stifled when their job becomes repetitive or stagnant. Going too long in the same position, with no changes or hope for change, will eventually demotivate even the most ambitious employees.


Leaders Set the Example: As followers follow the leader so leader should set good example for the organization. As a leader within the organization, people are going to look to set an example for the rest of the group.


Environmental Motivators: Work environment significantly affect employee performance. So, a good leader should ensure good working environment in his organization. Thus, a bank branch manger needs to ensure a better working environment in his bank branch.


Socialization: Socialization makes people motivated in the workplace. So, banks should consider socialization significantly to improve employee motivation in the workplace. Thus, banks can arrange spouse gathering, cultural programs, sports etc. for better employee socialization.


Transparency: Creating an environment of transparency is very important for employee motivation. That’s because transparency builds trust among the employees. Therefore, bank should create a transparent environment, within the organization to enhance employee motivation level.


Work Stress:

Stress is a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in our life, work, etc.: something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety: physical force or pressure. Stress is the body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. The signs of stress can include sleeplessness and pains and sometimes physical symptoms of anxiety about going to work. What is more, people who are chronically stressed are no fun to work with. They may be irritable, miserable, lacking in energy and commitment, self-absorbed. They may find it hard to concentrate on any one task and cannot be relied on to do their share.


Work Stress in the Banking Sector:

Workplace stress is becoming more and more concerning, specially certain sectors as the banking industry where the levels of stress are now a major issue for the employees and the organizations. Bank employees cannot afford the time to relax and “wind down” when they are faced with work variety, discrimination, favoritism, delegation and conflicting tasks.


Some Strategies to Overcome Job Stress in the Banking:  

+These following strategies are aimed to banks in order to manage stress in the banking sector.

  • Organize a Stress Management Program that focuses on different categories of employees at all hierarchical levels.

+Introduce more job oriented training programs, which improve employee’s skill and their confidence to work effectively.

+Encourage open channel of communication to deal work related stress.

+Provide counseling on work related and personnel problems and support from a team of welfare health and counseling staff.

+ Design an attractive system of reward and recognition of good work.

+ Justified workload is a vital factor to reduce job stress, excessive work or work outside one’s capability certainly increases job stress.

+Responsibility for people: liable for well-being of employees, their training and development.

+Proper feedback is very important in every organization. Lack of feedback about performance of employee, lack of rewards and performance appraisal by managers may increase job stress.

+Technological change: keeping the pace of technological change in information processing field.

+Proper organization structure and environment are also significant to reduce job stress. Poor working conditions, undefined structure of workplace and line of authority may enhance job stress.


Changing the Attitude of Bank Employees:

Nowadays, service quality has received vital attention because of its obvious relationship with costs, financial performance, customer satisfaction, and customer retention. To ensure better customer service in banks at first banks should try to change the attitude of the bank employees. Bank employees should always show positive attitude in their job. In changing the attitude of the employees the following strategies may be followed:

+Acknowledge concerns. Organization should not gloss over complaints. If appropriate,· acknowledge the other person’s point of view and provide clarification on any misunderstandings.

+Be part of the solution. Instead of allowing employees to present only problems, encourage them to propose solutions. Ask them to offer at least one resolution to any complaint.

+Encourage humor. Humor can diffuse tension and ease stress. But humor should be positive and lighthearted, and should never occur at the expense of others.

+Make time for others. Have an open-door policy and be approachable. This encourages employees to be open and upfront about problems and concerns.

+Watch body language. Smile, establish eye contact, listen attentively, and nod in encouragement are essential in the organization. Employees should avoid body language that’s perceived as negative.

+Suggest privacy, if appropriate. If a major setback or crisis occurs at work for an employee, encourage the person to take a few minutes to be alone. That way, the individual can work through strong emotions and avoid scenes or actions that he or she may later regret.

+ Praise, praise, praise. When successes occur, share them with others and praise those· who made them happen. Recognizing achievements makes everyone feel good.

+Develop team work: Teamwork has become an integral part of the modern workplace. No longer are companies sticking to the old-fashioned hierarchical structure. They realize that their staff can be more productive when they work together.


Employee Grievance:

Grievance may be any genuine or imaginary feeling of dissatisfaction or injustice which an employee experiences about his job and its nature, about the management policies and procedures. It must be expressed by the employee and brought to the notice of the management and the organization. The following may be the reasons of employee grievances:

  1. Improper working conditions such as strict production standards, unsafe workplace, bad relation with managers, etc.
  2. Irrational management policies such as overtime, transfers, demotions, inappropriate salary structure, etc.
  3. Violation of organizational rules and practices


Handling Employee Grievance: The manager should immediately identify all grievances and must take appropriate steps to eliminate the causes of such grievances so that the employees remain loyal and committed to their work. Effective grievance management is an essential part of personnel management. The managers should adopt the following approach to manage grievance effectively.

+Quick action– As soon as the grievance arises, it should be identified and resolved. Training must be given to the managers to effectively and timely manage a grievance. This will lower the detrimental effects of grievance on the employees and their performance.


Acknowledging grievance– The manager must acknowledge the grievance put forward by the employee as manifestation of true and real feelings of the employees. Acknowledgement by the manager implies that the manager is eager to look into the complaint impartially and without any bias. This will create a conducive work environment with instances of grievance reduced.


Gathering facts– The managers should gather appropriate and sufficient facts explaining the grievance’s nature. A record of such facts must be maintained so that these can be used in later stage of grievance redressal.


Examining the causes of grievance– The actual cause of grievance should be identified. Accordingly remedial actions should be taken to prevent repetition of the grievance.


Decisioning – After identifying the causes of grievance, alternative course of actions should be thought of to manage the grievance. The effect of each course of action on the existing and future management policies and procedure should be analyzed and accordingly the manager should take decision.


Execution and review– The manager should execute the decision quickly, ignoring the fact, that it may or may not hurt the employees concerned. After implementing the decision, a follow-up must be there to ensure that the grievance has been resolved completely and adequately.


Handling Employee Grievances:

One-on-one meeting: Sometimes, an open forum may be ideal for some employees, others shrink back at the idea of talking out loud in front of others, especially when it’s a grievance. For employees who aren’t so open, an opportunity to talk one-on-one with a manager or HR manager can be the perfect opportunity.


Formal Employee Survey: Sometimes typing is better than speaking. It makes sense that employees may be more comfortable submitting responses electronically than in person since we live in a very digital age. They tweet instead of calling, post statuses instead of chatting at the water cooler and now, they can take an electronic survey instead of opening up in person.


Exit interview: When employees leave on good terms or because they feel their grievances are irreconcilable. It’s very likely that they have plenty to say and will be more open than those still employed. As a result, organization may conduct exit interview to know the actual reason of employee exit.


Decision Communication: Once a decision is made, there should be no time wasted in communicating the resolution. The action taken might not be agreeable to all employees, but they have to understand the stand of the management. The course of action to be taken must be clear in the minds of all those concerned.


Maintain a good grievance policy: Grievance policies determine the actions to be taken. It is important in coming up with solutions, which should be fair to all those involved. Having well documented policies makes it easier to handle grievances, as the policies provide a framework, which will be followed in settling disputes.

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