Ambic Bank, employees 14 members of staff, with 8 non-staff members who run errands such as cleaning, and security. It is the headquarters for the Ambic Bank Holdings, a financial security company. The Bank opens for 8 hours in a day with the clerical staff reporting for work at exactly 7:30 in the morning. There is a developed culture within the office that reporting to work after 7:30 is tantamount to a self-dismissal. The term and adoption of the timing were initiated by the Chairman of the Management Board who is more like a ceremonial president of the company. All the workers are expected to report to the office latest by 7:30 starting the day with a brief elaboration by the Chief Executive Office in charge of the day to day operations of the Bank. Over the years, the Chief Executive officer has maintained a tough stance on the need to have the morning meeting. The briefing meeting as it is commonly referred by the workers is intended to orient the staff and welcome everyone for the day. Since the time it was initiated, the meeting is held in the main boardroom and it often takes between 5 to ten minutes unless the Chief Officer has an urgent agenda or challenge to be discussed. One strange aspect of the meeting that has often baffled everyone is its policy of holding the meeting with everyone standing. There is no time for sitting during the morning briefing.
Amongst the 14 members of staff, 6 are female while 8 are male. The management board has always maintained this balance since the adoption of the Banks policies that required specific positions within its management to be reserved for women. This policy has often gone well with the women as they often marvel at easy promotional opportunities amongst themselves. It is a tradition that has been maintained for a period of 20 years. Due to the comfortable working environment, rarely do the staff members seek employment elsewhere. The management often encourages the members to take up self-empowerment short courses in order to improve themselves and their input to the Bank. All the members of staff have various accreditations in various fields of finance, insurance, economics, management, and Business Administration. It has always been an established tradition amongst the employees to seek for the best performance record within their areas of work, a phenomenon that has always been welcomed by the management.
Code of Regulations
The working ethics and code of regulations often promote a good relationship between the workers within greater emphasis placed on a cordial and peaceful coexistence. Despite work related conflicts arising once in a while, the management has always come in to quell any form of hostility between the warring parties. However, this has never risen to unprecedented levels that require much attention from the management. The warm, cordial, friendly, and professional relationship amongst the employees have enabled the Bank as a whole to get the best from its employees. Friendship and personal matters are kept to a minimum and the staff always promote professionalism in addition to assistance where need be according to the Board of management. A professional tone of communication has always been maintained despite a lot of pressures at times during busy hours. Members of staff have over the years learned to acknowledge each other’s personality difference that has often enabled them to craft unique bonds both the female and male members of staff. On very rare occasions do the relationships amongst the two sexes go beyond the expected levels of work ethics. The management has strived to help the employees balance between work and outdoor activities. The outdoor activities is a tradition within the organization and has always helped staff members to bond well. According to specialists, outdoor activities often help employees rejuvenate and encourage team building (Dyer et al, 20).
The staff members are drawn from different races, an attribute that has always helped the management tap into the diverse backgrounds of the members. Although it has never been a factor or a concern amongst the staff members, few cases of preference and favors has been noted by the top management more so in instances of promotions and rewards. The management has strived to practice equality and professionalism in its handling of staff concerns. Depending on each individual’s qualification, the remuneration is always good with attractive packages for the best performing in each department. The cordial relationship between the management and the staff has always helped the staff members to craft a cool and comfortable working relationship marked by courtesy, respect, concern, and professional work ethics. Amongst the employees, the most outstanding attribute and a trait that they have endeavored to build on is respect for each other. According to Barak (2), respect is an important component in establishing polite relations within the work place.
Despite the members’ diverse backgrounds, the working environment within the Bank has always been cordial, warm, and cheerful an aspect that has always received praise from the Banks’ president. In his address in most meetings, he often refers to the staff members as “brothers” and “sisters” terms that have often brought facial brightness from the staff members. It is a reference that has enabled the staff members to see themselves as equal irrespective of their differences in terms of pay scales, management position, or ethnicity. The Handshake is often the most preferred mode of greeting with few instances of hugs and pecks. The Chairman has often encouraged the close-knit relationship that promotes mutual coexistence. However, the Chief Officer often discourages intimate physical closeness as he sees them as avenues to encouraging affairs. His position has always been refuted by the Chairman who believes in the power of mutual binding relationship amongst the staff members. However, the chairman’s position on mutual closeness can be attributed to his advancing age with most of his ideas and ideologies always tend to be comical.
The dress code within the office environment is always suited for the males and skirt suits for the females. The preferred colors by the management include gray, and black. Although the management never pushes the staff members on the specific type of dress code, the workers often find themselves agreeing on the type of dress that is appropriate within the office. However, staff members always discourage one another from using conspicuous and bright colors in addition to maintaining a professional air of importance. The female staffs too are discouraged from using too much makeup and are urged to use flat comfortable shoes. However, not all the staff members adhere to these dress codes, at times, some members go against the rules and just let themselves in whatever they prefer. However, it has never been an issue amongst the staff members nor the management.
Core Beliefs and Values
Some of the core beliefs of the staff member as concerns work ethics if giving one’s best and sticking by the rules. Due to the sensitivity of working in a Bank, the staff members have held the common belief that in order to succeed and give one’s best in a challenging environment; it’s always prudent to stick by the rules, uphold moral values, and be true to self. These are anecdotes’ that every staff member, including the non-clerical officers, uphold and live by as long as they wear the badge of Ambic Bank. It is unwritten and a majority of the staff members has the policies at heart. It always comes as a surprise to many of the new staff members who may be at the Bank on the internship to hear members recite out the policies after every staff meeting. The policies remain the most priced nontangible products that the employee’s pride in. They are the moral guidelines that the Bank has always relied on to instill proper work ethics amongst the employees. In addition to other general rules of work related to human interactions, members of staff have over the years maintained a disciplined approach to duties and responsibilities. In terms of relating to the top management, members have developed an amicable and easy professional work relationship. It has always been easy, particularly the human resource department, sorting out any thorny issue with a member of staff. Although conflicts within the office environment cannot be avoided, the management has over the years carried out conflict management training to enable each employee to acquire skills of solving disagreements. Watson ( 23) agree that conflict management is an important skill amongst the employees.
According to human resource specialists, human relations remain one of the most important components of crafting a comfortable working relationship with members of staff or junior staff members (Alfes 331). Specialists argue that in order to maintain a professional work relation, work ethics or a code of regulations needs to be put in place to define the dose and don’ts within the work environment. Additionally, the discipline remains one of the key components of maintaining a professional work relation. In order to achieve this, the human resource department ought to craft a comfortable relationship with the employees, defining the working guidelines within the organization to ease relationship and work related issues (Oke, 376). Despite tensions rising at times, because of internal conflicts, the human resource department needs to have policies and guidelines on how to handle these disagreements to promote cordial relationship and to uphold the policies of an organization (Kehoe et al, 370). The bank has endeavored to maintain the moral values as outlined in the Banks’ code of regulations. Amongst the member of staff, the code of regulations has been often a document of deemed as the core foundation of contractual agreement with the bank.
Board Room Meetings
The Board Room often defines the Banks policies and most meetings held in the Board Room always endeavor to inject more ideas in its operations, change policies, design, operations, set targets, and sign contractual agreements with key customers of the Bank. Although the Bank holds its staff meeting twice in a month, urgent and impromptu meetings are always called without notice. The sitting arrangement is such that the Chief Officer and the Chairman share two seats at the apex of the table while staff members sit on the adjourning seats facing each other. Irrespective of the position held, only the chairman and Chief Officer have their seats allocated. The rest of the staff often sit anywhere within the Boardroom.
The Boardroom has a total of 20 seats in which case, all staff members do get a place to sit during meetings. The Chief Officer chairs all meetings and due to his strict approach to work-related issues, very little is ever said in the meeting outside work related matters. Despite his strict attitude, members often find comfort in the Chairman’s comical nature and ease of approach to issues. However, meeting in the Boardroom often remains very official and time set. As chair in all meetings, the Chief Officer often strives to maintain a professional attitude to work issues in addition to time. Most of the meetings take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and if a stormy issue is on the agenda, almost 3hours. Apart of the set agenda, little is ever said in meetings. During “Any Other Business”, members often take a silent vow not to stir unnecessary issue. Such a situation never gives the Chairman comfort as he always believes in communication even on trivial matters.
As the most outspoken member of the top management, the chairman at one time held a three question interview with three subordinate staff in which they put across questions related to his prized values as a successful investor, his philosophy on religious issues and on human relations. Below is an extract of the interview.
1st Staff member: Kindly share with us your investment philosophy or ideology
Chairman: I borrow Warren Buffet’s advice on investment that states “Rule No 1: Never lose money. Rule No 2: Never forget Rule No. 1” (Buffett 1). This is my working guideline to invest and recouping my diversified investment which includes my investment in real estate, bonds, and shares. Over the years I have learned to diversify my investments to various potential fields that include agriculture, housing, stock markets, property, mining, oil, and in the banking sector. In order to grow financially and maintain a healthy portfolio, investors need to identify strategic opportunities for investment. Additionally, as a young person, it’s prudent to start investing as early as possible in life; this will give you much time to lay a strong financial foundation for your later years.
2nd Staff Member: Kindly share with us your religious beliefs
I am a devoted person on matters to do with religion, but I do not subscribe to any given religious outfit. I do not have a specific reason as to why, but the key important virtue to me is the belief in a higher being. Additionally, I uphold morality and subscribe to the philosophy of equality amongst all races, ethnic groupings, and people.
3rd Staff Member: What is your number one decree on healthy human relations?
Chairman: “Do unto others as you expect others to do unto you”. Nothing more Nothing Less. For a healthy, peaceful, and mutually satisfying the human relationship, all humans need to be mindful of each other. That is the key to upholding humanity, peace, love, and unity amongst all people.
The majority of the present staff members and previous workers who are no longer with the organization always held the chairman in high esteem. In addition to his comical attitude, he never lacks words of wisdom for the staff members. In his presence, the atmosphere within the office is always lively and jovial. However, on work matters, he always maintains a professional approach to issues, unlike his comical attitude. The chairmans’ guiding principle has always been guided by team work, dedication, hardwork, and giving one’s best. According Lăzăroiu (99), employee motivation often arises from the managements’ leadership approach in addition to a favorable working environment, a concept that Ambic bank has layed emphasis on over the many decades it has served its customers.
There is no better place to work in like Ambic Bank. Despite the strict rules and regulations that have defined its culture over the years; it offers employees to inculcate a strict and disciplined approach to life, unlike most organizations that never invest in employees. Most of the short courses undertaken by the employee are always funded by the Bank.
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Lăzăroiu, George. “Employee Motivation and Job Performance.” Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 14 (2015): 97-102.
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