In a time of immense uncertainty when the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged economies across the world, Standard Charted Bank Ghana Limited continues to stand by its staff, clients, stakeholders as well as social partners in their work.
The bank, in line with workers’ month, lauds the efforts, dedication and loyalty of its staff and commits to continue adequately resourcing and providing for their safety.
Indeed, with the onset of COVID-19 and measures announced by government to avert spread of the deadly scourge, staff of Standard Chartered have been provided with all the tools and equipment which enable them to effectively work from home.
Staff headcount remains intact
Conscious of the fact that all and sundry are in a crisis period, the focus of Standard Chartered has been on “how we can support our teams in these times”. The bank has therefore so far ensured that no staff has been laid off as a result of the pandemic.
Standard Chartered has focused on providing emotional, psychological and physical support for all our staff. We have asked the majority of staff to work from home, and for those who have to be in the office the bank has provided personal protective equipment and hand sanitisers; and also provided transportation for those who may have otherwise taken public transport, to ensure their safety. Daily updates on health and safety protocols are also made available to all staff.
The bank’s flexible work arrangement – which was introduced some years back and included working from home, working flexible hours and working part-time – has even made it easier for our staff to ease into this new way of work that the pandemic has thrown at us; and this has enabled the bank to operate effectively during this time.
Learning during these times
Head, Human Resources at Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, Mrs. Gifty Fordwuo said: “Our people are our greatest asset. Our focus is to develop and upskill them not only to meet the demands of today’s world of work as we know it to be, but more importantly to prepare them for the future of work”.
Mrs. Fordwuo added: “The Bank has invested in technology to support our employees drive their own development at their own pace. Our Percipio platform has made learning easier and can be accessed by staff on the go”. Even though our staff are working remotely, we continue to deliver training virtually via Webex and Blue Jeans, to enable them acquire new skills while working from home.
COVID-19 medical options for staff
The bank has a first of its kind onsite clinic that provides immediate clinical support to all staff; and with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has become even more useful than before. With the support of our medical service provider, Nationwide Mutual Health, we have introduced ‘TeleConsult’ that enables our staff to access healthcare from the comfort of their home.
We also have a medical advisory helpline, whereby staff can speak to a dedicated doctor once a week and get first-hand information/answers to their queries and advice on all COVID-19-related questions.
Relationship with stakeholders, social partners
The bank believes in ‘Continuous Engagement’ with stakeholders, and has reached out to its valued stakeholders and social partners both formally and informally.
The bank through its Employee Relations (ER) team has engaged staff at all levels to ensure there is good understanding of the abnormal times that we are going through, and also to give support to each other for the common good of our organisation. Not oblivious to the importance of good industrial harmony, SCB has maintained effective working relations with the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) – a national employers’ organisation whose membership includes enterprises operating in all sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
Standard Chartered currently serves on the Executive Council of the GEA,
and maintains that “all these are done regularly in line with our continuous engagement principle to promote harmonious working relationships with stakeholders within and outside the bank”.
Indeed, the motivation for the bank in respect to these efforts is that issues of common interest are mostly discussed for the common good of the partners.
Supporting our country through COVID-19 fight salutes frontline workers
To support on-going emergency relief efforts for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana, Standard Chartered is making donations valued at GH¢1million to various institutions.
The gesture is in line with the bank’s brand promise to be ‘Here for good’, particularly in times of adversity.
In line with government’s objective to conduct widespread testing for COVID-19, the bank has also donated portable Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing equipment to leading medical institutions mandated to carry out contact-tracing and testing.
Standard Chartered is also supporting frontline medical staff with N95 masks, gloves and overalls in various hospitals.
Having operated in Ghana for more than 120 years, the bank is committed to supporting communities and the country at large in this time of crisis; and this support is being channeled directly to the most impacted, including frontline workers and the vulnerable in society.
“We are very grateful and proud to be able to assist and support the communities we serve,” the bank said, encouraging Ghanaians and especially frontline medical workers to stay safe, and adding that “management appreciates the work and sacrifices frontline health workers are making in these challenging times”.
We salute all workers during these challenging times, especially our frontline medical workers for putting your lives at risk to save the rest of the nation.