The Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) has confirmed that some of its employees will lose jobs following the government owned bank’s conversion from a statutory body into a commercial bank.
The bank has since started a retrenchment exercise of members of staff which is expected to be completed by the end of this month. At the same time, the bank’s implementation of its new structure is expected to commence at the beginning of November this year.
BSB Managing Director Leatile Maine says that out of a staff compliment of 186, some 45 staff, reflecting into 24 percent of total staff will be affected. Sunday Standard has been informed that already the BSB staff has been served with notification letters of a possible separation with the bank.
Maine says the bank conducted a comprehensive review of employee competencies, qualifications, experience, historical performance record and disciplinary record. He stated that review included development potential of all employees and the resultant competency profile was matched against all positions in the organizational structure to determine possible fit elsewhere in the organization. He said only employees who did not fit in any role in the new organizational structure have been retrenched as option of last resort.
“The retrenchment exercise is a bank-wide exercise that affected all departments in the bank, including Executive Management. However, the operations department, as the largest department in the bank, is the most affected in terms of headcount,” said Maine.
BSB MD stated that in line with its corporate strategic objectives, BSB is undergoing transformation as it converts from a statutory body into a commercial bank. He added that this transition, motivated by the impending merger with Botswana Postal Services, necessitates radical shifts in many facets of the business. Maine believes that whenever a new business model is implemented, particularly where there is a radical change in the adoption and utilization of new technologies, process re-engineering is always inevitable. He added that this resulted in a radical shift in the way things are done.
“At the heart of change in any service organization is People. Human capital is the number one strategic priority in successful change delivery as they are the drivers of processes. However, this change must be properly managed as it impacts on people’s livelihoods,” he stated.
Maine further explained that consequently, and as part of leadership and workforce transformation exercise, the bank engaged an independent consultant to assess the appropriateness of the current organisation structure relative to BSB’s vision, mission, values and future strategic direction. He stated the same consultant recommended a new organisational structure that is aligned to the bank’s strategic objectives given the impending merger with Botswana Post. He added that part of the job is to profile and grade jobs in the agreed structure, using a tested, robust job evaluation technique; as well as developing a competency framework; conduct a skills and employee competency assessment and make recommendations on placement of employees in the new organisation structure based on competency assessments.
“At this stage, the bank is implementing a retrenchment exercise arising out of comprehensive review of its business model, strategic future direction, organizational structure, and employee competency assessments,” said Maine.
It has further emerged that some positions at the bank were declared outright redundant, therefore exposing job incumbents to imminent retrenchment. However, Maine said individual employee competency profiles are matched against all positions in the organizational structure to ascertain possible fit elsewhere in the organization adding that this was done to enable placement of employees outside their current single prospective job role.
“In essence, the primary cause of the retrenchment exercise is as a result of changing operational requirements and not as a cost saving measure,” said Maine.