By our Correspondent
State Bank of India (SBI), is the largest Indian public sector bank. SBI is the 43rd largest bank in the world and ranked in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s biggest corporations of 2020. It is also the fifth largest employer in India.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES OF THE CAREER DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM (CDS)
The bank, during 2008-09, had its own scheme on Performance Management System. Thereafter, they had switched over to the CDS and this was implemented during 2015-16 with the reason that this new scheme would be more objective than the previous one. Among other things, the bank had stated that under the previous scheme, many of the Officers were not given any budgetary target and performance evaluation was completely subjective, i.e. there is no differentiation between employees in terms of performance, Clerical cadre were out of the ambit of this scheme etc.. The broad objectives of CDS are: Increase in business orientation through business linked KRAs (Key responsibility Areas), Fairness and consistency in appraisal, Accurately measuring performance based on objective criteria, create differential amongst employees based on objective measurement of performance and increase transparency on promotions, postings, recognitions … The scheme also envisages grading of employees based on their performances. This is applicable to all clerical staff and officers upto the level of Chief General Managers. Subordinate Staff and Part time permanent medical officers are excluded from the purview of CDS.
No wonder that this scheme has many parameters on role classification, Key Responsibility Areas (KRAs), Weightages, Role & KRA Linkage, Targets & Hurdles, Self-Appraisal, Supervisor Discretionary Score (30 for CGMs and 20 for Officers upto GM & Clerical Staff), Evaluation, Cohort formation, Gradation, Monetary Incentives and CDS Calendar. A reading of the scheme makes us to wonder why so many parameters which could not be understood by the employees at large! Also, this scheme has clearly stated that the Reporting or Reviewing Authority or the Head of the Department has the flexibility of ranking the employees according to his choice in case two or more employees have same score.
GREY AREAS OF CDS
Before evaluating this scheme, it is needed to study the dark areas that this scheme has inherited.
- India is a huge country in geographical sense with varied economic, social and political considerations. Hence evaluating employees based on a pan India scheme is itself not proper.
- A section of the employees have returned the cash incentives given to them during CDS 2015-16, which goes to prove that the employees are not in favour of such a scheme, as this scheme is designed to differentiate the employees.
- It is a known fact that the workload at branches cannot be measured by such matrices, as many of the work cannot be quantified, for example, the cash loading at ATMs, the enquiry by the customers and the responses by the employees, the exchange of cash at counters are some of many such activities that may go unnoticed. Hence reviewing the performance of employees cannot match the reality, feels the staff at the bank.
- Banks are service industries. The success depends on team work. Differentiating employees based on CDS and extending Performance Linked Incentive is against the stand taken by UFBU at the industry level. Only during the 11th bipartite settlement, the PLI came into existence as a settlement, which was opposed by BEFI, one of the constituents of UFBU.
- The industry wide settlement on PLI is opposed as it will create heartburns between employees of one bank and the other and will bring down their morale. The opposition to PLI even amongst the signatories to the settlement on PLI ensured that this concept is curtailed at bank level and does not percolate down to the employee level.
- The schemes like CDS may become a great threat to the collective bargaining at the Industry level
The settlement on CDS in SBI is clearly a travesty of industry wide settlement on PLI. It differentiates among the employees of the same bank. The discretionary score, the flexibility of ranking the employees also depicts the shortcomings in the scheme. The preferences on transfers, promotions and postings will push the employees to a hapless situation. Certainly this scheme will neither be in the interest of the bank nor be in interest of the employees. It is imperative to put an end to such discriminatory scheme which will ultimately shatter the very basis of the Unions.