Dejected staff members have written a letter petitioning the powers that be to intervene and sort out the mess plaguing one of the biggest banks in Kenya. In addition, more than 200 employees have left the company over the past six months, an alarming figure by any standards, according to the letter seen by Jackal News.
"Most people are going to competitors which, to an extent, is not a bad thing, but isn’t it a concern when a
blue chip organisation like Barclays is losing its best employees frequently," some employees said in the letter to the HR manager.
"Why is there so much fraud going on within the bank and most of these have staff involved in one way or the other?" Because of these, the jaw-dropping letter explained: "BBK staff (members) are the most de-motivated. They have ceased to be ambassadors for their employer."
Sources told the Jackal News that departmental managers have intentionally and willingly tailored appraisal to lock junior staff from bonus, in what sources concluded that was "pathetic".
"Most people are victims of bad appraisals. Where on earth do you seat with your boss to review your performance and (he/she) tells you that he/she can’t tell you what your rating is? What are they hiding? ... Woe onto you if you are not in terms with your boss, you become a C or a D material even if it is obvious that you have exceeded your expectations.
"For example, a manager gave 70 percent of the Retail Credit Team (RCT) C or D ratings yet they had been rated A or B in leadership. As a result, the employees, fumed. They (managers) end up ‘eating the whole bonus pot’ yet they are the laziest of the people and just lazy around the whole year in the name of incessant meetings."
"Colleagues at retail are rated just based on Company yet their Personal Development (DP) have the 4C - meaning Company, Customer, Colleagues and Community . Isn’t customer service, controls and even colleagues just as important? If not why are they forced to sign for targets in these areas in their PD (Personal Development) plans?"
In glaring example of fraud, the letter revealed that an unnamed staff member advised a customer to open an account in the Barclays premier for Ksh 24 million. "Immediately after the PD, the said account was closed and the money taken elsewhere. The said staff (who opened the account) was rated an A, her cunning behaviour notwithstanding. We think this is not how business should be conducted," the letter added.
"Look at the colleagues in the premier (accounts) who keep stealing accounts from their fellow colleagues and from branches in the name of wanting to boost their balance sheets."
"These are the people who are well-rated yet they have no integrity. The business is well aware of this but every time this comes up, they turn their heads to the other side and dismiss it as porojo, (rumours)," the letter added.
In startling revelation, the employees said top managers usually warn staff from checking their bank accounts to see much bonus each manager has received. "They fear that their big undeserved bonuses will be scrutinized. What is there to hide if everything is done as it is supposed to be," it read.
The letter complained that the RCT has been "Central –Kenyanised" implying that top managers are Kikuyus from the central Kenya region. "If you have to get anything done well, you have to "massage the leadership egos", it said, wondering, "has BBK become government agency. Why is it that not everyone is treated with respect that they deserve regardless of their grade/tribe. What happened to us?
''Even applications from various business functions are looked at discriminately, even when the proposal is good, it is declined depending how hard you massage the leadership ego."
"PDs for colleagues in the head office are also really subjective. It depends on how the bosses feel about you, if they do not like you, no matter how hard you work, you will never get good ratings. If you are a boot-licker you are guaranteed of bonus."
Because of this, and the HR has seen no problem with that, "BBK has lost over 200 people to competitors… and the HR is ready to let them be. Look at the cashier, who employs their cashiers on contract? Who? This is total de-motivation."
The letter said an unnamed official, who runs the Retail Credit Team - probably the worst rated department – runs the department "like a spare part shop in Embu ... talking rudely to everyone he deems lower in rank in the bank." The employees instead suggested: "Can we have three or even four people having a say when it comes to credit issues as opposed to just one person who is very arrogant and who is drunk with power."
Finally, the letter complained of lack of confidentiality with employee staff, with many complaining that HR staff leak their personal information. "Clement Mwago shares out a lot of confidential staff issues with irrelevant people. Is this what HR is supposed to be?"
BBK, hitherto a bank for the rich, has been operating in Kenya for 95 years. Presently, it has a network of 117 branches and over 230 ATM's countrywide. Efforts to get Barclays Bank of Kenya management for comment failed.
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