ABC Bank is a good known bank that operates entirely within in the Republic of Ireland. They have a long tradition of being a community bank and pride themselves on being a “ friendly ” topographic point to make concern. Since their constitution in the 1930 ‘s their purpose has been to supply loans to clients looking to purchase a place.

With the recent economic downswing there has been a dramatic addition in the figure of mortgage clients of all Bankss who are falling behind on their mortgage refunds. Due to their heritage of being a “ friendly ” bank, ABC bank are acute to work with their clients to turn to the arrears and to hold an alternate refund method ( e.g. suspending refund for an in agreement period of clip, lengthening the loan term ) .

As a consequence of incompatibilities in how Bankss were reacting to this addition in arrears instances, the Central Bank of Ireland has introduced alterations in statute law and codifications of behavior that all fiscal service suppliers are expected to follow when covering with clients in mortgage arrears ( e.g. Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears and Consumer Protection Code Consultation Paper CP 47 ) .

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To guarantee they cover with clients in line with the statute law, ABC Bank has increased the figure of employees working in the Arrears Support Unit ( ASU ) and have brought in skilled external resources and redeployed bing employees from other concern units.


For many old ages ABC Bank operated in market where fiscal establishments were expected to self regulate with some inadvertence from the Financial Regulator. However, with such good documented issues at other Bankss such as Anglo Irish Bank, the regulator has now been forced to implement a more custodies on and intrusive manner of ordinance and statute law.

Due to the economic downswing, ABC Bank is now runing in an environment where the figure of clients using for new loans to buy a place has dropped significantly. With clients uncertain about occupation security and their hereafter chances, along with a position that belongings monetary values will go on to drop, many are choosing non to subscribe themselves into a mortgage contract.

ABC Bank has seen a decrease in competition from foreign owned Bankss who have withdrawn to their place states with no programs to Ireland and besides in competition from Irish owned Bankss.

ABC has been recognised as one of the few Bankss “ unfastened for concern ” and they continue to offer loans to new clients one time they meet the recognition policy demands of the bank.


The scheme of ABC Bank had been to impart to clients purchasing their place whilst still offering competitory nest eggs rates. With the so called “ Gaelic Tiger ” ensuing in an addition in demand for houses and flats, ABC Bank changed their scheme to offer competitively priced place loan merchandises and reduced their focal point on pulling nest eggs clients based entirely on monetary value.

In recent old ages, ABC Bank has returned to the nest eggs market and has tried to entice new clients from other Bankss by offering competitory rates. This alteration in focal point has in portion been caused by the decreased figure of clients using for mortgages, but besides by the fiscal crisis that has impacted the planetary flow of money. The cost of borrowing for ABC Bank has been steadily increasing ensuing in lower borders and decreased net incomes for the bank. It is believed that keeping a strong nest eggs degree within the bank will better their evaluations with international loaners and money markets and may assist to better their fiscal stableness.

In an effort to increase net incomes ABC Bank diversified to offer belongings developers loans to purchase and develop land for houses, flats and to purchase commercial edifices throughout Ireland and the UK. This proved to be a ill timed determination as they moved into this market near the tallness of belongings monetary values. Once it became evident to ABC Bank that farther loans to developers would probably be excessively hazardous, they made the determination to halt any farther loaning in this market.

The debut of the National Asset Management Agency ( NAMA ) has resulted in ABC Bank being required to sell any impaired loans to that bureau at a big price reduction. This has resulted in enormous force per unit area on other countries of the concern to drive net incomes, cut down costs and increase gross to replace the loss incurred on NAMA edge loans. It is believed that the remotion of toxic assets from ABC Bank will lend to the Restoration of international assurance in the fiscal system and enable the bank to do recognition available. ( ACOI, 2010 )

Organisational Level Diagnostic Model


Within ABC Bank

ABC Bank has extremely developed Human Resources patterns and policies that apply to every country of the company. It has a dedicated internal HR section responsible for the enlisting, direction and deployment of employees throughout the administration. The HR section has embraced modern HR patterns ensuing in the company systematically having first-class consequences in the “ Top 100 topographic points to work ” study which is completed by the employees. In 2010, ABC Bank were rated in the top 20 big companies to work for in Ireland (, 2010 ) .

ABC offers a broad scope of benefits to guarantee employees have an appropriate work life balance including flexi clip, term clip, place working, occupation sharing, employee aid plans, reduced cost one-year travel base on balls, motorcycle to work strategies and many others. In general, ABC has adopted a policy of flexibleness towards their staff so long as it does non conflict with the involvements of the company.

ABC Bank has a dedicated internal Learning and Development section responsible for the continued development of all employees of the administration. They run internal classs on the usage of ABC systems along with classs such as “ 7 wonts of extremely effectual people ” . In the past twelvemonth, ABC Bank has made a determination non to fund any external classs other than the Qualified Financial Advisor ( QFA ) makings but did offer fiscal support for employees who continued their instruction.

Over the past 10 old ages the employees have moved from being mostly unskilled but extremely trained subdivision Tellers to going extremely skilled and extremely qualified fiscal advisers who have completed industry certified scrutinies ( Qualified Financial Advisor QFA ) . This country of staff development was besides triggered by Central Bank of Ireland ordinances that all employees who offer advice to clients should be appropriately qualified to make so. The ABC Learning & A ; Development section are responsible for guaranting all staff are appropriately trained and qualified for their places.

Within the Arrears Support Unit of ABC Bank

Employees of the ASU squad are chiefly lasting staff members, but most do non hold a background in debt aggregation. Some employees in this unit have been redeployed from other countries of the concern as that country no longer necessitate their current staffing degrees. Many of the redeployed employees were presented with a either determination to either fall in the ASU or be made redundant. Although this is a hard place to set employees in, it has had one instead fortunate consequence. The new staff fall ining the ASU squad brought new and varied accomplishments to the country.

This country is now staffed with independent, extremely motivated professionals who are adept at descrying concern jobs and deciding them rapidly and expeditiously. The new accomplishments brought to the section are project direction, gross revenues, HR accomplishments and IT skills. The ASU squad can now utilize their ain staff to run and pull off undertakings and uninterrupted betterment strategies without trusting on other sections to supply skilled forces. Having these staff within the country besides means that the directors can concentrate on the cardinal issues impacting the country, go forthing the staff to command their day-to-day work themselves. One point that needed to be addressed was to name recognized squad leaders and implement squad constructions so new employees understood the hierarchy in the country.

The ASU is different to many other countries of the administration in that they besides have a figure of impermanent and contract employees. The impermanent employees in ASU have been hired with a position to doing them lasting every bit shortly as the economic clime stabilises. However, the contract forces have been hired for their specializer accomplishments ( e.g. canvassers and legal helpers ) and are merely required for a short period.

There are three squads in ASU, early arrears, mid arrears and the serious arrears squads, each with their ain squad leader. Members of each squad are assigned depending on work load and there is no demand for members of the squad to be balanced based on any standards such as age, gender, background. Permanent, impermanent and contract employees are assorted throughout all of the squads.

Career patterned advance within the squad is hard as there is small occupation assortment or occupation patterned advance. The base demand for each of the three squads is to name clients in arrears and seek to guarantee payments are made if the client can make so. The lone difference is that as a client moves from the early arrears squad to the mid or serious arrears squad, is the sum of force per unit area that is applied to clients additions.

Some employees of the ASU are happy to go on in the current squad constructions, but some have expressed an involvement in go toing tribunal proceedings. Employees who have expressed an involvement in this function have been facilitated and have been given appropriate on the preparation to carry through this function.

Intelligibly, working in an country such as the ASU can be rather nerve-racking as employees are covering with clients who are in arrears for a assortment of grounds, some due to redundancy, but besides due to bereavement, separation, divorce or even abandonment. The ASU do non offer any specific support for staff in covering with these issues, but do promote staff to take clip out after doing a hard phone call. They meet as a squad to reexamine hard instances to see if any other squad members can come up with advanced ways to cover with the instance.

The ASU has a brother system whereby one staff member can talk with a co-worker about instances that they are working on to see if their co-worker has come across something similar and to portion their experience.

Motivating the squad is hard given the item of the work involved nevertheless by guaranting directors have regular one to one feedback Sessionss with employees ensures that good work can be recognised and that the person ‘s part to the squad is identified.


Within ABC Bank

Employees of ABC Bank are on a assortment of different contracts which have evolved over clip. Traditionally employees were hired on a clerical graduated table whereby patterned advance ( i.e. wage additions ) were granted depending on the figure of old ages of service. Clerical employees besides benefit from national wage understandings and addition sharing nevertheless given the current economic clime this addition sharing has non been allocated in recent old ages.

The clerical wage graduated table was non deemed appropriate for directors and specializer employees ( e.g. HR forces, IT personnel or Legal forces ) . These employees were hired on wages agreed with the employee at the clip of engaging. There are no automatic wage rises other than the national wage understandings.

Specialist/manager classs were offered fillips based on public presentation from the old calendar twelvemonth but these have non been allocated in recent old ages.

Within the Arrears Support Unit of ABC Bank

The employees working in the ASU squad are a mixture of Managers, Specialist and Clerical staff with a assortment of different compensation understandings. As is common throughout ABC Bank, all of the clerical employees in the ASU Team have flexi-time nevertheless this does non widen to employees at Specialist or Manager classs.

Presently none of the employees in the ASU squad have term clip working or occupation sharing. However, it is expected that this will alter as farther staff are recruited into the squad from elsewhere in the administration and besides as the current employees personal lives develop.

In recent old ages, ABC has non granted any wage rises to employees, irrespective of their class, so the ASU direction do non give much attending to compensation. In future old ages, where wage rises are to be granted either by continuance of employment or by public presentation, the direction squad of the ASU unit will necessitate to understand how each signifier of compensation plants e.g. when budgeting.

The ASU unit conforms to all other standard compensation understandings common throughout the remainder of ABC Bank ( e.g. national wage understandings, employee aid plans, motorcycle to work schemes etc. ) .

Compensation in Arrears Support Unit



Base Pay

Over clip Wage

Incentive Pay ( non presently offered due to economic clime )



Net income Sharing

Legal Requirements:

Pay Related Social Insurance ( PRSI )

Family + Medical Leave



Health Insurance

Employer Pension Contribution

Tuition fees

Dependent attention

Work Agreements ( e.g. flexi clip, occupation sharing )

Employee Assistance Program

Annual Flu inoculation

Motorcycle to work strategy

Tax free one-year coach & A ; rail tickets

Optional ( non presently offered due to economic clime )

Tuition fees

Performance Management

Within ABC Bank

ABC Bank has a formal public presentation direction system for all employees of the company regardless of class. A new computerised system was introduced to enter the public presentation assessments of employees, nevertheless after a figure of old ages in usage it was considered excessively complex and lacked the flexibleness required so it was abandoned. The current computing machine system is light-weight and easy for both appraise and judge to understand and finish.

Directors are encouraged to run into their staff monthly to discourse advancement and to guarantee aims are still valid and accomplishable, nevertheless they are merely officially required to run into their staff twice per twelvemonth. The meeting at six months and one twelvemonth are a formal assessment of employee public presentation with computerised signifiers completed and attached to employee records.

At the start of a calendar twelvemonth each employee and their director meet to hold aims for the following reappraisal period. Performance direction is merely completed for new employees after their probation period has expired. Employees and their director are both actively involved in the procedure.

Aims set for employees must be Specific, Measurable, Accomplishable, Realistic and Time edge ( SMART ) . Many of the aims are single, nevertheless others are squad based. The senior direction squad of ABC Bank besides cascade corporate aims to all squads which must be tailored to go portion of each employee ‘s aims.

Each aim is weighted harmonizing to its importance, the higher the burdening the more of import it is deemed to be. This is used to guarantee employees concentrate on what the director believes to be of import. Team based aims are used to guarantee members of the squad are cognizant of the marks set for the squad and understand the importance of their engagement in accomplishing those marks.

As each six month period expires, employees and their director finish a joint assessment papers and submit it through a computerised system for reappraisal and bite by the HR section. Manager and Employee review the aims and agree if they are still relevant or necessitate accommodation or remotion. It is common that the public presentation against each aim is non scored.

At the one twelvemonth period, employees and their director meet once more to reexamine advancement against the in agreement aims. Each aim is scored out of five, with a 3.5 being mean public presentation ( i.e. meeting mark, and somewhat transcending ) . If an employee tonss below 3.0 in any of their aims the director is required to explicate why this is the instance to the employee and besides to subject farther item to the HR section. The HR section reappraisal each mark below 3.0 and find if farther action against the employee is required.

Directors of a squad are themselves capable to the same public presentation direction system nevertheless the judge is the director to whom they report. This reappraisal procedure is carried out to the highest degrees of the company where the CEO reviews the public presentation of his/her direction squad. ABC Bank does non run a 360 ‘ degree theoretical account of public presentation direction, where the employees grade their director.

Within the Arrears Support Unit of ABC Bank

The ASU squad follows the public presentation direction system as used in the remainder of ABC Bank. New lasting employees fall ining from outside the company finish their probation period of six months before take parting in public presentation direction. If there is greater than 3 months staying to the following reappraisal period when the probation period expired, so the director meets with the employee to hold interim aims.

For employees that join the squad from other countries of ABC Bank, their aims are amended to the ASU theoretical account at the beginning of the following calendar twelvemonth. Employees continue to be assessed based on the aims from their old function. This attack was agreed by the HR section and Trade Union so every bit non to negatively impact any employees redeploying from other countries of the company and besides to guarantee a smooth passage into the new function.

Contract and Temporary employees are non required to take part in public presentation direction as it is considered inappropriate for these employees to pass clip off from the function to which they have been assigned.

Recommendations for the Arrears Support Unit

Having interviewed the director of the Arrears Support Unit and from my ain probes, my recommendations for what could be implemented to assist with the direction of the country are as follow ;

Implement a Stress Management strategy or offer guidance

It would look that direction of the ASU are unconcerned with the degrees of emphasis being experienced by employees on the squad. When asked in Question # 15 about back uping staff members when they take a hard phone call, the director ‘s response was that employees are encouraged to take clip out whenever they got a hard phone call, but nil farther is done ( e.g. no offer of reding ) . ABC Bank do offer an Employee Aid Program but this might non be sufficient to support the administration should an employee leave and launch legal proceedings against ABC Bank for non holding sufficient support constructions in topographic point for employees in hard emotional functions.

Management should concentrate on positive behavior every bit good as negative behaviors

It would look that direction of the country focal point on negative behaviors, as shown in the director ‘s response to Question # 11. When asked about what developing new squad members receive, he refers to the recording and reappraisal of phone calls that staff members make. Where betterment is required, staff members are brought through what should hold been done otherwise. Although it is of import to rectify behavior before it becomes a bigger issue, direction should besides concentrate on the positive behavior of staff on the phone. Positive feedback will better moral and reinforce that behaviour in the employee.

Motivation is an of import function for a director of people – brand clip for it

It seems that Motivation non considered necessary within the ASU squad. As referenced in the response to Question # 40, the director of the country believes that employees do non necessitate motive as they are independent self incentives. This might be true, but it is of import that people are motivated in their occupations. Having regular one-to-one meetings with squad members should be higher on the director ‘s docket, along with reenforcing positive behavior of squad members. I believe one alteration could be to add a public presentation aim around the figure of team meetings and one-to-ones held with employees.

Performance Management

It is common pattern for directors in ABC Bank to merely finish public presentation direction for new employees when the following public presentation period begins. New employees could happen it hard to understand their ain personal marks and the marks of the group so they might non be effectual in their function. Therefore, directors should finish public presentation direction for new employees instantly.

ABC Bank do non necessitate public presentation direction to be completed for Temporary or Contract employees. However, many of the impermanent employees have been hired with a position to doing them lasting one time the economic clime improves. If impermanent employees are given public presentation aims, even if these are informal, it will convey them more into line with the lasting employees. Contract employees can besides be given public presentation aims but possibly a small less formal than those of permanent/temporary employees.

Identify cardinal staff and guarantee they are retained

Management should place cardinal staff in the country and seek to maintain them as they aid squad efficiency. In the instance of employees redeployed from other countries of the administration, their accomplishments may be required once more in the hereafter so it would be of import to retain them and their cognition. Besides, some staff completed their QFA scrutinies and would be easy recruited by rivals.

Identify staff for patterned advance / sequence

Although the places of squad leaders and directors in the country are filled at present, it is likely that some will go forth the administration, or reassign to other sections over the coming old ages. It is of import that staff that show leading potency are developed so they can step into these functions should they go available. Management should happen chances for their staff to acquire experience of squad leader and direction functions whenever possible. This will besides help in motive for staff who are seeking a new challenge in their calling.

Performance Related Pay / Gain sharing will come back at some phase – be ready for it

Although ABC Bank is non presently paying Performance Related Pay or Gain sharing, it is likely that these will return in the hereafter. Management of the ASU country should understand how these pay constructions impact each of their employees as it is likely that staff will desire information themselves. The ASU is different to many other countries in ABC Bank in that it has a assortment of staff at Management, Specialist and Clerical classs. This will do budgeting and planning in the country more hard as some staff will have different compensation depending on their class.

Complete the Mission Statement for the country

It is of import for the members of the squad to cognize the aim for the country and how it assists in accomplishing the aim of ABC Bank. Management should guarantee that the mission statement is completed and communicated to staff every bit shortly as possible.

Ensure IT alterations are implemented every bit shortly as possible

The direction and control of the arrears instances at ABC Bank is intelligibly of critical importance. Therefore, direction of the ASU unit should guarantee that any system alterations required to pull off their country efficaciously are implemented every bit shortly as possible. If other system alterations are prioritised it will negatively impact the ASU country and should be raised at the highest degrees of the administration.

Ensure you are mensurating what you want to acquire

In inquiry # 27, the director of the ASU raised that staff public presentation was measured on the figure of phone calls made. However, that they are presently traveling to mensurate the figure of effectual phone calls made ( this is where the employee spoke to one of the clients themselves ) . Management must guarantee that they are mensurating what truly matters instead than merely what they can presently mensurate. If new systems or alterations to bing systems are required to guarantee meaningful measuring is possible so they should be made every bit shortly as possible. Staff will rapidly place what is being measured and guarantee they concentrate on presenting betterments in those countries. “ What gets measured is what gets done ” ( Donovan, 2010 )

Make a strong relationship with your enlisting advisers, possibly making “ preferable suppliers ”

Temporary and Contract staff are on a regular basis required within the country. Management should construct a strong relationship with the enlisting advisers to guarantee ABC Bank receive the best appliers. This could include doing one or two enlisting bureaus “ preferable suppliers ” and may ensue in a decreased committee therefore salvaging ABC Bank money.

Ensure new method of sorting arrears instances is communicated clearly

In inquiry # 45 it is clear that ABC Bank are traveling to travel to a new method of sorting arrears instances based on the ability and willingness of appliers to refund their debts. This new method of sorting arrears instances must be clearly communicated to staff to guarantee they understand and buy into the new constructions. Staff members are finally the people who must explicate this construction to clients.

Offer calling patterned advance

Management of the country should offer clear calling patterned advance to employees. Although the functions of squad leader are presently filled, this might non ever be the instance. Employees that wish to see taking the squad should be facilitated.

Directors should see implementing a Scientific Production Line Model as per ( Kroll, 2010 )

In Question # 27, the director of the arrears subdivision references that they do enter the figure of calls made etc, but that they do n’t hold daily/weekly/monthly marks. However, that they do mensurate staff against their equals. In his book, The Refractive Thinker, Kroll states that fiscal services companies should increase their focal point on aggregation public presentation and that by raising the productiveness of employees they will acquire higher hard currency flow and could better employee morale and motive ensuing in lower turnover of staff.

Directors should specify hourly, hebdomadal and monthly productiveness ends, guarantee that there are effects for non accomplishing your marks and guarantee close supervising of employee ‘s to guarantee marks were met. ( Kroll, 2010 )

Beginning: ( Kroll, 2010 )


In decision, I have found ABC Bank to hold a mature attack to Staffing, Compensation and Performance Management across all of its concern units. Modern human resource patterns have been introduced and are working good for both the company and its employees ( e.g. employee aid plans ) . The tonss which ABC Bank on a regular basis receives in the “ Top 100 topographic points to work ” study is testimony to this being a good topographic point to work. However the bank is non without countries for betterment, some of which have been identified earlier in this study.

Working within the ASU unit can be really hard for employees as they are covering with clients with assortment of emotional and fiscal jobs. Although assisting clients through this hard period in their lives is non the duty of the bank, they should endeavor non to do it any more hard than is necessary.

ABC Bank are a commercial entity with their ain stockholders and finally the bank must do a net income or they would non be carry throughing their duty to those stockholders. However, the bank should non lose sight of the fact that they pride themselves on being different to other Bankss ( possibly by leting more clip than rivals before instigating legal proceedings ) .

With new ordinances from the fiscal regulators the flexibleness that ABC bank one time had is being restricted and it could turn out excessively hard to distinguish the bank from its rivals based on how it deals with arrears instances.

The new construction for evaluation arrears instances based on “ Ability ” and “ Willingness ” to refund loans will doubtless convey new emphasiss and strains for employees and clients who are in arrears. It is of import that this new attack is introduced carefully and that employees are to the full cognizant of how it operates.

For employees and their households, the emotional and psychological impact of covering with these straitening state of affairss should non be ignored. Employee wellbeing should be a first concern, if non for the legal deductions of employees actioning the company for mistreatment, so for the impact this type of work could hold on the personal lives of employees.

I believe that the recommendations above will assist with the direction of such a strategic country for the administration, whilst still guaranting that employees are considered every bit much as possible.


Footings of Mention

ASU = Arrears Support Unit – a common name for the subdivision of a bank that trades with clients who are in arrears.

QFA = Qualified Financial Advisor – an industry broad making required by all employees of a fiscal establishment who offer advice or sell to clients.

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