Be a leader, not a boss

Oct 23, 2017-

After his graduation, Gautam Dangol started his career at Kumari Bank, before moving to the Credit Department at Sunrise Bank. Eventually, his interest in behavioural aspects of employees, led him to join the HR department at NIC Asia bank, a department that he currently heads. In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, Dangol talks about how he weeds out thousands of applicants to find the right person for the right job and about some factors that are key to motivating employees. Excerpts:


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

If you look at it, banks are very well organised and systematic. 

The banking sector is attractive not only because of the perks available to employees but also the space it allows for an individual to grow professionally and personally. I have been working in the banking sector for the past 15 years and my experiences have shown that if you are sincere, honest and perform well, this is the one of the best sectors to work for. Here, growth comes to those who are determined, dedicated and hard working. Working for a bank comes with huge responsibilities—you cannot take it for granted. You need to prove your worth with every task that you are handed. 

At NIC Asia, what are some of the criteria for job selection?

Banks do have certain norms and prerequisite while hiring the best person for the right job. In recent years, due to the fluctuating demand and supply of employees and immense competition, an undergraduate degree has become mandatory for even entry-level positions.  Just recently, we announced a vacancy for 200 applicants for trainee assistants and we had 5,600 graduate applicants apply, which is phenomenal. Out of that, 3,600 were called in for the written test and 2,000 applicants sat for the interview. Sitting down, reviewing and interviewing 2,000 applicants is a challenging task. However, when I sit for an interview, I try to focus on their behaviour. 

A person can be a topper in school but there is no point hiring someone who doesn’t have the right kind of behaviour. During my interview sessions, I try to observe if the applicants are determined, honest, sincere and zealous. Personally, I have worked in various branches across the country and the one thing I look for in an applicant is how well they can adapt in a new environment and how they would get along with their colleagues. A new person is like raw clay—if you invest your time, you can mould them into any shape, just as long as they have the right attitude and behaviour.

How does the HR system work in NIC Asia in comparison to other organisations?

Every bank has its own HR policies, and NIC Asia also has its own rules, regulations and policies in terms of human resource management. Looking beyond policies, NIC Asia looks after employees that are diligent and hardworking. Such deserving employees are awarded accordingly. Our bank doesn’t let the hard work of employees go in vain. When the time comes for appraisal, we ensure that only the deserving ones earn the credit and merit for their achievements. The system is transparent at NIC, which leaves no space for nepotism. 

HR department are oftentimes seen as the mouthpiece of an organisation rather than a bridge between the employees and the top management. What can HR departments do to truly work towards the interest of the employees?

To agree to disagree, HR is an integral part of the management. The HR team has to understand the concept and vision of the management and realise it through their actions. Having said that, HR is a strong bridge between management and employees but it cannot be called as the management’s mouthpiece either. At NIC, we have a concept of grievance handling. We believe that the role of HR is not only to recruit, manage perks and come up with policies but to also be counsellors to employees in need. I have worked in various organisations and I strongly believe that an HR manager should have a perceptive personality that can subtly filter complaints back and forth between the management and employees without creating any kind of conflicts.

How important is money as a motivational factor for employees? What other 

motivational tools can managers utilise to motivate their teams?

Definitely, money matters. Money is something but also at the same time, money is not everything, although it does plays a major role in an individual’s life. In my opinion, good communication, being affable, praising and compliment your team’s work are good ways to motivate employees other than providing them with monetary motivators. 

What are the keys to maintaining a positive environment at the workplace? How can work conflicts be avoided?

Avoid conflict at work depends on the leader entirely. I believe in leaders rather than bosses. A boss simply makes other people do their work, whereas as a leader walks and works along with their employees. 

A leader should have the feeling of ownership and spread that attitude among the employees. If a leader has a strong, transparent and approachable characteristic, conflicts can be avoided easily, whereas, if a leader has a condescending 

mannerism, employees will have a difficult time among themselves and a negative attitude will begin to spread, not just in the department but the entire organisation.

What do you think young professionals need to do to move up in an organisation they just started in?

To start out, a person needs to be hardworking, sincere and determined. They need to have a passion to excel in life. These young professionals need to set a certain target for their career growth. Plan ahead; be organised. Give in your 100 percent.

Published: 23-10-2017 07:58

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