We all want to ‘belong’ at our workplace

Nov 6, 2017-

After completing her Masters in Economics, Bandana Pathak, began her career from an assistant level at Nepal Bangladesh Bank in 1994. Working her way up the ranks, she eventually became the deputy manager at the bank, a position she held until 2004. Now the deputy CEO at Nepal Credit and Commerce Bank, Pathak is a strong advocate for ensuring that small teams in a big organistaion function seamlessly as part of a larger whole. In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, she talks about why the banking sector has such appeal among young graduates, the keys to 

keeping a team motivated and her management mantras. Excerpts: 

What do you think are some of the reasons that young professionals are drawn to the banking sector?

There are several reasons to why young professionals are drawn to the banking sector. First and foremost, banks are good pay masters. Every individual in a bank is entitled to benefits and perks which are perhaps not readily available in other organisations. Second, the banking sector is glamorous not only because of the monetary benefits but also because of the professional corporate culture. When working in a bank, you are exposed to the world and you tend to meet people from all lifestyles, which is an experience in itself. When working in a bank, hard working employees are never left disappointed—if you perform, it will be noticed. There are ample of opportunities to grow here. 

In your career, you have created and led several teams. What are the qualities every leader must have?

You have to realise that what you expect from your team members, you have to give yourself as well. People will not respect you or listen to you if you can’t live up to their expectations. You have to be a role model for people for them to believe in you. One needs to be knowledgeable and be aware of their duties and responsibilities. As a leader, you need to give space to you employees. You cannot monitor their every step; you need to let them perform and grow accordingly. As a leader, you also should be able to get things done without any compromises. If a leader compromises on quality, the team and the leader will both fail. Make yourself and the team happy. If you follow these steps it’ll do work wonders for the employees, employers and the entire organisation. If a team fails, it disrupts the entire organisation. 

How do you value teamwork? What are the best ways to keeping your team motivated?

Nothing is possible without teamwork. To form a good team, I believe in ‘Push and Pull’ theory. Sometimes as a leader, you need to pull them towards what the organisation needs to achieve, and at other times push them to fulfil their potential. The best way to motivate a team is by teaching them something new all the time. You need to trust them and boost their confidence and morale. Until your team is happy, you cannot get the results that you want. Our bank believes in equal participation. Engaging employees directly or indirectly in important decisions made by the organisation helps build a sense of belongingness and that is often a great source of motivation. Nothing can beat creating a feeling of ‘belonging’ in an organisation.

How do you respond when you see an employee demotivated?

You have to deal with cases where employees are demotivated frequently. What I usually do in such cases is I have honest conversations with these people. There could be various reasons for being demotivated. The person can be demotivated due to pressure, they could be going through harassment, it could be for personal reasons, or, he/she may be finding it difficult to understand the work procedures. To resolve such issues, communication is essential. You need to talk to the person and understand their issues and try your best to solve them. For instance, a couple of months back, a female colleague gave birth to her first child and she couldn’t manage her personal and professional life properly. She wanted to quit but I sat her down and explained the repercussions she would face personally and professionally in the future. That talk was quite helpful and she still thanks me for her personal and professional growth. Sharing problems with one another will bring a positive solution. If you don’t talk, you will drown in your own misery. I try to know why an issue came up and how I can help solve it. 

What are the keys to successfully climbing the corporate ladder?

One cannot compromise when climbing the corporate ladder—ethics count. People might not tell you that you are ethical but it is visible when you gain someone’s trust and respect. If you don’t fulfil your duties and be responsible at work, no one will trust you and once you lose that trust, it’s something that is difficult to regain.  My advice is not to work just for the heck of it. If you are employed in a position, constantly look for the right ways to upgrade—get updated, become knowledgeable. 

What advice do you have for young graduates?

Be serious about what you do and understand that patience is a virtue. If you are passionate and perseverant, success will eventually arrive at your doorstep. 

Published: 06-11-2017 09:01

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