As the coronavirus pandemic forces firms to downsize and cut their wage cost to cope with the adverse economic realities, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is bucking the trend with a different approach that puts uits staff first, Daniel Smith writes.

IN A PANDEMIC YEAR WHERE EMPLOYEES ARE AGREEING TO PAY CUTS TO KEEP THEIR JOBS AND BUSINESSES ARE EITHER DOWNSIZING OR SIMPLY LIQUIDATING, FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA LIMITED IS AN OUTLIER, TAKING AN UNUSUAL APPROACH TO DEMONSTRATE HOW ORGANISATIONS CAN STILL ENSURE THE BEST OUTCOMES FOR BOTH EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEES.

The first-tier lender last Friday promoted a crop of its staff across all levels in a rare show of corporate resilience in the banking industry and beyond, both locally and across the borders.

According to FirstBank, keeping staff motivated during these unprecedented times is not only crucial for the soul of businesses, but it also demonstrates corporate responsibility.

In the wake of the new coronavirus pandemic, there have been unprecedented layoffs across the world as companies went bust, unable to generate cash to sustain their operations.

The United States, the world’s biggest economy has recorded a historic rise in unemployment with over 45 million initial unemployment claims in the last three months.

In Britain, HSBC, a giant global bank, is reviving plans for a 35,000 job cut due to pre-existing problems thought to have been worsened by the pandemic. Big banks like Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Barclays, Société Générale among others have announced about layoffs exceeding 60,000 jobs.

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