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Building a strong workforce

Published:Tuesday | March 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM
NCB's incoming head of retail banking Audrey Tugwell-Henry and Rickert Allen, group human resources general manager, are in a jolly mood at Tuesday's long-service awards luncheon at the Hilton Kingston hotel. - Colin Hamilton/Freelance Photographer

National Commercial Bank's (NCB) senior general manager for human resources, Rickert Allen, says showing employees that they are the company's most important asset is one of the secrets to its success and longevity.

Noting that NCB spends over three per cent of its wage bill on employee development initiatives, Allen pointed to the many policies and educational opportunities that now exist for the bank's over 2,500 employees.

Some of these policies cover diversity, sexual harassment, health and safety and education.

"These policies determine the type of work environment that exists. The type of work environment will determine how engaged our employees are. That redounds to greater productivity, which leads to greater profitability, which leads to greater sustainability," he explained.

Employer of Choice

Just last December, NCB was awarded Jamaica's overall Employer of Choice by the Jamaica Employers' Federation (JEF). NCB was also voted the company with the highest employee satisfaction.

Allen, the driving force behind the bank's educational initiatives, said, "We are not going to deny an employee exposure to training because we are fearful of losing them."

"We will lose some and we don't have a difficulty with that because our motto is building a better Jamaica and building a better Jamaica is not just contributing through our corporate responsibilities," he said.

Consequently, he said in addition to these initiatives and policies, NCB has developed a compensation strategy designed to attract, retain and motivate its employees.

NCB's Corporate Learning Campus, which is registered as a tertiary institution by the University Council of Jamaica, and the bank's e-Campus are two of the education initiatives singled out by the JEF in selecting NCB as the employer of choice.