By Pichaya Changsorn
Published on November 27, 2009
Speaking at the "Re-engagement Day" event held by Dale Carnegie Thailand, TMB Bank chief executive Boontuck Wungcharoen said employee engagement was an essential condThe scheme, which began 18 months ago, is scheduled to take six years to fully implement.
Boontuck said three essential ingredients would enable the bank to achieve its goal of becoming a customer-centric organisation. Firstly, every employee has to see how his or her work is aligning with "the outside world"; with customers, shareholders and society. Secondly, the organisation is structured to enable each employee to accomplish their tasks, and thirdly, an organisational culture has been created to unite the collective forces of all employees.
To enable staff to see the linkage between their work and the company's goals, it is the responsibility of management to create a clear vision and mission for the organisation, as well as fixing explicit targets, he said. In the case of TMB, the bank spells out clearly that it wants to achieve a 14-per-cent market share, and it wants the proportion of revenue contributed by retail banking to achieve a specific percentage of its overall-income target.
Boontuck said he updated his executives every month on how stock analysts were viewing the banking industry and TMB, so that staff could see the alignment between their work and benefits to shareholders.
However, the most important thing was enabling employees to see a link between their work and customer satisfaction and benefits. He said TMB went as far as interviewing customers and presenting videos to the staff so they could learn the "pain points" for each group of customers, and how they could improve their daily work.
TMB staff have been encouraged to rethink and challenge "the old ways" of doing things, or their "status quo", and ask themselves questions, such as "Is it necessary to always manage customers in the same way?" and "Is it possible to offer new things and alternatives to customers?"
This has resulted into many new initiatives, such as a no-fee campaign for electronic-banking customers, a no-limit programme that waives fees for holders of the bank's ATM cards, even through they may use ATM machines provided by other banks, an Up and Up term-deposit account scheme, and the TMB SME Three Times Express Credit campaign.
By committing the bank to approving loans for qualified customers within 15 days, the new SME credit scheme also helps to force the bank to redesign its work processes, Boontuck said.
Meanwhile, the organisational structure must enable the staff to work to their full potential. This requires a clear structure of who is in charge of each customer group, and staff must be able to see the "end-to-end" process cutting across the various departments.
"To solve the problems of a river, you must be able to see the whole stream," he said.
As well, every member of TMB's staff has the right to choose to work on jobs for which they have competency, and about which they have a passion. "Most bosses don't like their subordinates to go, but I told them: 'we abolished slavery a long time ago'. If I find a case where a boss is preventing an employee from moving, I go down to see it myself and order the move within 45 days," he said.
The bank is also providing training to fill competence gaps that may be preventing staff members from moving to new posts, where they want to work.
On the issue of creating an organisational culture, Boontuck said the bank had announced the "TMB Way", which comprises five elements: customer centricity, open communications, high performance , risk management and integrity.
Boontuck said he spent four months meeting all of TMB's 10,000 employees and explaining why the bank had to change. The staff meetings were in groups no larger than 200 people because this was the maximum size for two-way communication, he said.
While celebrating its anniversary this month, TMB held a contest and found that nearly 700 staff were performing the "TMB Way" and were very proud that finally they were being recognised, he said.
"Transformation is a thing that every organisation has to do, and to make it possible requires employee engagement," Boontuck said.