“The purpose of this article is to discuss on the various aspects of Knowledge Management practices in the Indian Public Sector Banks.
At the outset, let me explain what Knowledge Management is all about. Knowledge Management refers to a multi-disciplined approach to achieve organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. It is the collection of processes such as acquiring, creating and sharing knowledge and the cultural and technical foundations that support them.
Benefits of Knowledge Management
An effective Knowledge Management program has got following benefits to the organisation-
- Foster innovation by encouraging the free flow of ideas
- Improve customer service by optimising various processes
- Streamline operations and reduce costs
- Enhance employee retention rates by recognizing the value of employees’ knowledge and rewarding them for it
Banks and financial institutions rely on gathering, processing, analyzing and providing information in order to meet the needs of their customers. Banks were among the early adopters of Information and Communication Technologies. The visible benefits of ICT in day-to-day banking in India are quite visible. Implementation of Core Banking Solution, ATM, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, RTGS (Real-time Gross Settlement), NEFT(National Electronic Fund Transfer) etc. have enabled Indian Banks to manage increased transaction volume with large customer base in a very efficient, accurate manner leading to high level of customer satisfaction.
Fast-changing technology, rising customers expectations and tough completion from private & foreign players have led Public Sector Banks in India to grow up in every aspects, including knowledge management, during the last decade.
Public Sector Banks are trying their best to attract and retain the best talents in the industry. Just attracting & retaining the best talents is not enough. Banks are implementing strategies to utilise these talents in the very interest of the organisation. For doing so, banks have implemented State-of-the-art Infrastructures in their Banks. Banks have re-engineered/optimised various business processes. Banks also try to effectively share/spread the knowledge throughout the Bank. The processes of knowledge management in various Public Sector Banks in India are almost similar. Most Banks adopt some or all of the following measures for managing knowledge in their organization:
Orientation/Induction Training for new recruits- Banks conduct Orientation Programme or Induction Programme for all the new recruits to apprise them of the history, culture, strengths etc. of the Bank.
Training- Banks provide training to their Employees through Bank’s own Staff Training Colleges (STCs), as well as through external training provided by premiere banking institutes like Institutes for Research and Development in Banking Technology(IDRBT), Hyderabad, National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM), Pune, Bankers’ Training College(BTC), Mumbai etc.
Mentoring-One senior executive (normally Chief Manager & above) acts as a mentor to a new recruit for a specific period (normally one year). The mentor trains/grooms the new employee on technical/business/functional knowledge/skills.
Brain storming session- Banks conduct brain-storming sessions on specific topics related to various banking/business/customer service etc. among staff members from different departments to generate new/innovative ideas to improve existing processes.
Review Meetings- Periodic Review Meetings (Quarterly/Monthly) are held in every departments/branches/offices to review the business position/progress of the branch/department. The minutes of the important Meetings are circulated to various employee groups of select departments/executives.
Quality Circles/Professional Circles-Voluntary groups of 3 or 4 Employees form a Quality Circle/Professional Circle & give Presentations to other Employees/Executives on a specific topic normally to improve a process/quality or provide a new idea or concept.
Intranet/eLearning/Knowledge Portals- Banks implement Intranet/eLearning/Knowledge Portals, which contain Bank’s internal circulars, policy documents, manuals etc.
Internal Magazines/News Letters-Banks publish (quarterly/monthly) magazines (usually on Banking, IT, Risk management, Economic Research etc.) where respective department contributes articles for the benefit of all employees.
As Reserve Bank of India is in the process of licensing some new banks next year and a large number of experienced bankers of PSBs are due for retirement in near future, there would be a lot of pressure on Public Sector banks to retain the existing talents. Indian Public Sector Banks need to explore newer and faster ways to upgrade/manage Knowledge across the Banks for the benefit of all stake holders (Employees/Customers/Government/Investors etc.).” – Srihari Subudhi – New Delhi, India