After a robust screening and selection process, Fidelity bank was awarded the Best HR Management in Financial Sector Award. Speaking to the Fidelity team, they said: “We are grateful to God, first of all for yet another prestigious attainment, and we take this opportunity to thank the Board, Management, and employees of Fidelity Bank for all the support we continue to enjoy. They are the ones who keep inspiring us to do better.”
The HR Focus Team sat down to speak to them, to ask how they feel about this prestigious award, and the inner workings of the HR Team that yielded this result. When asked how they felt about the Award, they said: “it was a magical feeling when we heard Jerry Adjorlolo’s voice announce: “The Best HR Management in Financial Services goes to… Fidelity Bank!” Wow! The entire team was extremely excited that fatefulevening! This award reaffirms the fact that we are employing the best HR Management practices within our business. The fact that our resilience through the pandemic, and our agile response to the ever-changing needs of our people and the environment also received due recognition and commendation, brought us immense joy. It is a great feeling when your effort and hard work is acknowledged and rewarded on such an esteemed platform.”
Fidelity Bank’s HR Team is made up of twelve seasoned HR Professionals with a combined total of about 150 years’ worth of working experience in HR Management as well as other relevant fields such as credit, marketing, relationship management, etc. As part of their effort to directly contribute to the overall strategy of the Bank, the HR department works with business heads through the HR Business partner concept. HR Business Partners have been assigned to the strategic business units in the Bank to provide first-hand HR support to these strategic business units to enable them realize their business objectives. HR Business Partners work closely with business heads in the crafting and execution of the relevant and critical HR strategies to support the business in achieving its objectives. At Fidelity, HR Business Partners are supported by HR Specialists in the following areas; Learning and Development, Resourcing and Talent and Shared Services & Rewards. To ensure alignment of HR’s strategy with the overall business objective, the HR department is required to present its strategy to the board and executive management on a yearly basis, to demonstrate how the department is going to support the Bank to achieve its set targets for the year.
Fidelity bank’s talent management philosophy is hinged on attracting and retaining the best talent regardless of where they are located on the globe. Pursuant to this, they have invested in relevant selection tools (Psychometric Online Testing Tool) to identify the best resources within the industry with a view towards facilitating an agile environment and providing the requisite support to engender a progressive bank-wide learning culture. Fidelity Bank’s employee value proposition is to be an employer of choice, and this influences how we acquire and retain our top and key talent.
Their external talent identification and acquisition strategies are executed through participation in Career Fairs at various universities, Job Fairs, engagement of National Service Personnel (they enroll between 80 and 90 graduates for National Service annually), our proprietary Graduate Trainee Management Program, Internship Programs, Employee
Referrals, etc. They employ various selection tools like group tasks, projects, presentations, assessment centres and the like, to select the best fit talents for their business, in line with their corporate strategy.
As part of Fidelity Bank’s internal Talent Management process, they have profiled all employees of the Bank based on the 9 Box Grid or Framework to assist with the strategic management of their various talents and strengthening their bench successor capacity across the business. The HR team deliberately assigns employees to various relevant capacity development programs aimed at preparing and accelerating their growth with respect to technical and soft skills.
Over the last two years, Fidelity Bank’s HR Team has incorporated various policy initiatives in response to the identified needs of their people. To mention a few, they have automated most of their HR Processes and continue to embrace the use of technology to improve service delivery. HR Team managers continue to receive periodic agile training as part of the transformation agenda of the Bank.
Further, a new cloud-based HR management system with the following capabilities has been procured: Performance Management, Career Management, Recruitment and Selection, and Exit Management. In the last two years, the HR Team has made several strategic business cases based on data decision-making. They conducted pulse surveys in addition to their biennial engagement surveys.
Members of the HR Team have served as panelists at various in-house or external fora. Additionally, they enhanced and introduced some of the following existing policies and benefits aimed at improving the employee experience:
1.Based on feedback from employees through a poll, they established and opened their first Creche (Fidelity Kiddie Lounge) in September 2019 to respond to the unique needs of parenting staff with infants, babies, or toddlers. The services are highly subsidized by the Bank.
2. In September 2019, they reviewed their Maternity Leave Policy from 3 to 4 months and the Paternity Leave Policy from 2 to 5 days.
3. Virtual Recruitment & Onboarding procedures supported by their Oracle HR System.
4. Deployment of an all-new Intelligent Online Learning Tool, called Percipio LXP that enables learning on the go and in the flow of work.
5. Women empowerment and capacity building programs aimed at improving representation at the Senior level.
6. Virtual Mini-Town Halls with Executives.
7. Virtual Classroom Training Programs.
8. Engagement of a Medical Consultant to guide the decision-making process for covid-19 related issues.
9. Refreshed their Flexi-Policy to include work-from-home and remote work.
10. Assignment of staff with psycho-social challenges to the Bank’s Clinical Psychologist for support.
11. Bank-wide education on Covid-19 by various experts as well as provision of various support systems to employees of the Bank.
In our conversation with the leadership of Fidelity Bank’s HR Team, we were informed that after winning the award for Best HR Management in Financial Services, their next step as a team is to raise the bar even higher.
They will keep enhancing their employees’ experiences based on insights garnered from surveys, feedback sessions and research findings, etc. Additionally, they will subject themselves and their practices to International People certification assessment processes to ensure that their practices remain robust and align with global standards.
Some features they use in their Employee Relations Strategy is constantly engaging their staff via surveys, executive-led town halls, etc. to understand their needs and further communicate what is new and obtain their buy-in during every change management process.
In their own words, “our corporate culture is hinged on faith in God, mutual respect, transparency, meritocracy, collaboration, an unrelenting quest for excellence and an inclination for social impact/giving back to the communities we serve. This is aptly reflected in our 5 Fidelity values: Culture of Excellence, Integrity, Passionate to serve, Driven to Exceed
Expectations, and Serving the Community.”
As part of their culture, they believe strongly in the God-factor and thus, they begin all functions with prayers and also have a Christian Fellowship across the Bank. Fidelity Bank is a meritocratic organization that rewards all their high performers according to transparent and easily verifiable benchmarks. Their values underpin their business operations and as such, they constantly use different modes of communicating who they are to their employees and other stakeholders. The culture is constantly communicated by Executive, HR and it is lived through what is known in Fidelity as “The Fidelity Way”. Their performance management process measures both the hard-core objectives as well as the values to yield an alpha-numeric rating. Their Values are part of the core strategic pillars of the Bank. The values can be seen on their walls, notice boards, used as screen savers, etc with the aim of reinforcing the right behaviours.
Mr. Owusu Boahen: His Leadership
We managed to have a conversation with the HR Head of Fidelity, Mr. Owusu Boahen, he mentioned: “I feel extremely excited to be part of, and leading a winning HR Team within the Financial Services Sector. I am grateful to God that I have the able support of a very experienced. and matured team who always look for the best solutions to improve the employee experience within the Bank.”
His philosophy has been embracing continuous learning and not settling for mediocrity; in his own words, he said: “It has always been about creating value and embracing Global Trends that can help me improve upon what I bring to the table as a leader and an Executive Committee member.” Personally, as an impactful member of the HR Community in Ghana, he hopes to contribute towards Improving our visibility as strategic partners at the executive level using big data. He believes HR professionals need to embrace the use of data as a key strategic tool in demonstrating their value to the business.
In Fidelity, he has put together continuous learning opportunities, project-based assignments, team-level knowledge sharing sessions, certification programs, e-learning, capacity building programs, shadowing programs, where HR Business Partners handover their responsibilities to Specialist HR Professionals in the team during their absence.
Under Mr. Boahen’s leadership, the Human Resource function is seen as a critical piece of the Bank’s management structure and continues to feature regularly as one of the strategic pillars of the Bank. To show the importance the organisation places on HR’s role, the Bank has formed an HR Board Sub Committee to ensure the Board has an oversight of the activities being undertaken by the HR department. Further, the HR department reports directly to the MD (Managing Director) and sits on the Bank’s Executive Committee. The HR department is one of the few Support functions that presents their strategy at the board strategy session every year.
As an HR leader, Mr. Boahen hopes to target Consultancy and serving as an HR Mentor to groom more HR Professionals for our nation. In his current organisation, the next project he hopes to achieve as Head of HR, is to subject Fidelity Bank’s processes and practices to international standards to earn the Bank a “Best Places to Work in Ghana Certification”. The HR Focus Team looks forward to seeing what the next few years will look like for the Fidelity HR Team.