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Scotiabank - a fun family environment

Published:Sunday | July 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Time to get fit, the Scotia family drops pounds together as they participate in the Palisadoes Walk, part of the company's get-fit programme. - Contributed
Let the leopard family be heard as they roar at this year's conference. - Contributed
Members of staff took a trip on the wild side at this year's Scotiabank sales conference. - Contributed
Jamaica Day in the office, with jokes all around. - Contributed
Staff members having fun at their Superhero Day. - Contributed

Rochelle Keane, Lifestyle Writer

The scope of the corporate world dictates that we spend more time there on a daily basis than at home. This time away from home and family is made easier when your company operates as your 'family', providing a home away from home. From 'Be a Superhero Day' to wearing a funny hat, the Scotiabank family, although about banking, encourages cohesion and fun among its staff.

Operations officer personnel at Scotiacentre, Janice Mudy, tells Outllook, "The Scotia lifestyle is one of hard work and big fun. Each month, there is an activity for the staff - Topsy Turvy Tuesday or Hat Day, people coming to work in their pajamas or shirts and skirts inside out. Customers appreciate these days more than the staff." She recalls one morning when they were a bit tardy in opening the bank, and customers were so enamoured by their theme day, they weren't even upset. She continued, "Family and friends are never excluded from the fun once there is an event outside of work hours - in fact, they are invited."

Hopelin Hines, director of total rewards and evaluation, agreed with Mudy, sharing, "We work extremely hard, but we also play hard. We enjoy ourselves and that helps to relieve the stress so we can cope. We are committed to excellence at anything we do. If we are serving our customers, we are outstanding, if we are serving each other, we are also outstanding, and when we are having fun - we are outstanding. Scotia encourages professionalism, responsibility, accountability, and a harmonious working relationship."

Members of staff speak very highly of CEO of Scotia Group, Jacqueline Sharp. They describe her as very personable,
approachable, and she ensures that her staff is kept abreast with all
that is going on in the company. "She is very sharp, and takes great
pride in connecting with her team," reveals Hines.

concurs. "I have seen her move up to the position of CEO, and you would
think that having achieved her status that she would have changed. But
it has not changed her - she remains the same person she was before she
became CEO."

Rochelle Dixon, television producer for the
corporate social responsibility unit, says that the company's
extra-curricular activities, expose them to things they probably
wouldn't have in another company. "You will see a lot of Scotia bankers
in the field doing things they would never imagine doing. In 2007, my
first project was in St Thomas, where 50 or more members of staff
volunteered building a house for an old lady and her children. Doing
more than expected, I caught some individuals who have never used a saw
or hammer, or those on ladders trusting those holding them. This shows
the community work we do as Scotia workers, outside of sitting at our

New kid on the block Hope McMillian-Canaan,
the public and corporate affairs manager, is already fully integrated
into the Scotia culture. She told Outlook, "Respect
is a core principle of the company, you are aware of how you speak to
people. Management has to work at a particular level where the staff
will speak highly of them - forcing everyone to be respectful and it
engenders good relations between management, staff and


According to Tracey Ferrant, customer
experience officer, there are many rewards programmes in place that keep
both customers and staff happy.

She said, "From the customer experience
perspective, we manage the rewards affirmation programmes across the
group, which award staff both locally and internationally for the work
they accomplish. At the annual awards held last May, the service and
support of outstanding teams and individuals were recognised. However,
there is the Scotia Applause, which is a Web-based programme that
applauds persons on their outstanding work, based on the core values of
the company - integrity, respect, commitment, insight and spirit. This
programme has an online database where all staff members are on. There
are different levels for the programme. For example, there is the 'peer
to peer recognition,' where staff can award each other with certificates
because of the exhibition of hard work in particular areas, or the
'manager's picks poll', where managers have a pool of points that can be
awarded to their team members that can be redeemable for vouchers
online. The vouchers can be redeemed from a number of vendors with whom
Scotia has a relationship. These points are awarded to staff because of
exceptional work in their specific branches."

these activities in place make each day at work not just another day on