‘Banking sector needs skilled people, not credentials’

Dr. Ken Kwaku (2nd from right) with executives of Acreaty Ghana and HR managers of some of the 35 survey banks

Banking institutions and universities must strongly look at skills and knowledge-based training that will feed the banking industry with skilled labour to drive growth, a financial economist and board chairman of HR and business consultancy firm Acreaty Ghana, Dr. Ken Kwaku, has said.

Speaking to the B&FT at the launch of the maiden Ghana Banking Human Resource Survey in Accra, he indicated that improving the quality of human resource in the banking sector goes beyond mere certificates and/or credentials.

He said: “We want to talk about credit guarantees, consolidations and the need for the banks to reduce their non-performing loans, and all of these call for specialist skills.

We cannot meet such demands without the right expertise; therefore, any effort to get quality human resource in the banking industry can really help us.”

He added: “I don’t think we have a clear view on the quantity and quality of human capital in the banking sector; and it is not only the banking sector, as there is a general disconnect between academia and what the marketplace needs.”

According to Dr. Kwaku, much of the training for bankers tends to focus on certificates and credentials and not so much on the know-how, whilst the sector could only move forward if personnel have the right skills set.

The Ghana Banking Human Resource Survey is a sector-specific employee opinion poll that seeks to understand the needs and wants of staff of all 35 universal banks in the country, to come up with a benchmark database that will assist them to plan on human resource management.

It will identify the state of affairs in the banking landscape, focusing strongly on compensations/benefits, job satisfaction, employees’ relationship with management and other core areas as well as establish if those factors play any role in the recent instances of cross-carpeting in the industry.

The broader aim of the survey—whose report is expected to be launched in May this year—is to enable banks to attract, retain and motivate their employees to drive overall performance, and it will take the format of sampling and questionnaire.

The Ghana Banking Human Resource Survey will be an annual programme that will have an expanded scope and will be conducted on the principles of strict confidentiality, unbiased analysis and reporting, as well as non-disclosure of information to unauthorised parties etc.

Regional Managing Director of Acreaty Ghana, implementer of the survey, Elsie Appau, said: “We want to help the banks with a sector report that will inform their planning purposes; human beings are the most vital part of every organisation and if we don’t compensate them well enough, we might lose them.

We have realised that there is so much disparity and lack of information when it comes to the banks even benchmarking themselves and having relevant evidence-based information on remuneration and salaries to better incentivise their staff.”

She indicated that there is a general lack of relevant benchmark data to help measure employee behaviour/attitude and that is a problem facing the banking industry.

“Rigid benchmarking is important because banks need to know where they are to be able to make future growth and expansion projections,” she stressed.


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