Kenya’s largest bank by assets KCB last year suffered the highest staff attrition rate in five years having lost 861 employees or nearly four times the previous year’s exits, a newly released report says.
KCB says in its latest sustainability report, covering 12 months to December 2017, that staff attrition rate hit 10 per cent up from the previous year’s six percent despite employee satisfaction rate remaining flat at 85 percent for the second year in a row.
KCB hired 144 new employees, or less than a fifth of the number that left, reducing the bank’s total headcount to 6,483 — the lowest in four years.
Last year was one of the banking sector workers’ most tumultuous when the industry shed a total of 2,792 jobs, according to the Central Bank of Kenya.
KCB’s exits deepened with the Sh2 billion early retirement programme that sent home 316 employees.
This restructuring has, however, paid off in the first nine months of this year, having slashed the bank’s staff costs by Sh1.02 billion.
The 2017 staff exits were also expedited by dismissals related to fraud at KCB. The bank says it aims to retain employees who uphold themselves to the highest corporate governance standards, both internally and externally.
“Without abiding by such standards, companies are less likely to attract investors and are more susceptible to cases of theft, fraud and reputational risk,” the bank says.
The number of fraud cases reported in the bank increased from 22 to 27 despite taking some 5,928 employees through annual mandatory ethics and e-learning courses as well as anti-fraud training.
The group dismissed 34 employees in fraud-related cases, the highest since 2013.
KCB’s policy is that all confirmed cases of employees involved in fraud are sacked.
During the year, the bank says there were 401 successful internal fraud attempts, a decline from the previous year’s 447.
However, the appetite for fraud among staff was on the rise, with 173 incidents of unsuccessful internal fraud attempts reported compared to only 75 the previous year.
The bank targets 100 per cent detection of unsuccessful fraud attempts.
The number of staff trained on cyber security in 2017 stood at 1,545, even as the average training days per employee for all programmes dropped to 7.1 down from 8.3 in 2016.
KCB acknowledges that though technology has simplified processes, it has also brought with it security-related challenges that need to be addressed to boost investor and customer confidence.
“It is therefore imperative that KCB continue to meet these challenges head-on by installing, monitoring and constantly upgrading its state-of-the-art security systems to safeguard the integrity of its systems and customers’ personal data,” says the bank.
KCB’s 2016 staff engagement survey showed that 62 per cent of employees felt favourably toward their career development within the group, 21 per cent felt neutral, while 17 per cent were unfavourable.
“Since that time, the group has worked to address some of these concerns to provide development and career opportunities by helping develop career paths and development options for employees in various roles,” the bank says.
Meanwhile, the bank says it has made progress in women empowerment, having raised the women’s quota in senior management to 22 per cent and 20 per cent on the board.
During the year, 250 women were trained under the Women in Leadership Programme.
“KCB aims to continue to reduce inequalities and is targeting to have 50 per cent of women in managerial positions by 2020. It also aims to fill at least 15 per cent of new positions with the under 30 population,” the banks says.
KCB launched its first sustainability report in 2008, having adopted eight sustainable development goals (SDGs) in line with UN’s call for business to adopt the triple bottom line and sustainability that focuses on people, planet, and profit.
“The bottom line is that if we do not invest in our society today, our business will not be around tomorrow.
“Reducing inequalities and eliminating poverty are essential to the future success of our society whether we are in East Africa or anywhere else in the world,” says KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara.
Credit: The Daily Nation