Sterling Bank Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial institution, has again emerged as the 2022 Overall Best Workplace in Nigeria in the large corporate category awards organised by the Great Place to Work (GPTW).
Since 2020, the Bank has continued to win the overall best workplace award of the GPTW.
According to the organisers of the award, the bank emerged first Best Place to Work in the large corporate category, Best in Promoting People Leadership Practices in the large category and the Best in Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives in the large category.
In a keynote address, Chairman of Sterling Bank, Mr. Asue Ighodalo said, “Now, more than ever in the life of our country, we must create an environment that enables an inclusive and consistent growth rate of over seven percent year-on-year to emerge from our present economic and social predicament.”
Describing himself as an apostle of and a firm believer in private sector-led growth, Mr. Ighodalo noted that creative, disciplined, innovative, and efficient organisations, manned by visionary, selfless, hardworking, satisfied and passionate people will catalyse the growth of the national economy.
“Rising at dawn and working till dusk each day, are the men and women who drive these organisations,” he said, adding that “for the organisations to thrive and sustain themselves, these men and women must be happy at work, passionate about their work, well trained, healthy, mentally balanced, fairly treated, motivated, appreciated, comparatively well rewarded and respected.”
He said employers have a duty to ensure that employees work in an environment and with people who enable outstanding performance. According to him, the world changed significantly in the last five years and the change has greatly affected employees’ attitude to work, their ways of working, the reasons they work, their organisational loyalty and where they work from.
He remarked that in order to retain the quality of talent they need to survive, grow, thrive and sustain themselves, organisations must adapt to the constant changes, volatility and unpredictability in the world because “we are at the edge of a new world economic order with indications that China will soon overtake the United States as the world’s biggest economy and the dollar’s importance in international trade, settlements and store of value will diminish.”
He said the global economy continues to face unprecedented challenges, noting that the greatest impact on how people work and their commitment to work has been the 2019 Covid pandemic with its lingering effects. He added that the war in Ukraine continues to further destabilise the global order, negatively affecting the cost of food and energy, disrupting supply chains and logistics certainty, and pushing many people into unemployment all over the world.
“Our enabling environment must improve and our organizations, which are the growth drivers, must become attractive work havens. So, with all of these challenging changes, volatility and unpredictability how do we create and sustain attractive and productive work havens?”
“Regardless the positive and efficiency enhancing impact of technology, science, robotics and digitalisation, I remain absolutely clear that each organisation is only as good as the people that work in there, driving and controlling its systems and technologies.
“People are the heartbeat of any organisation, driving it forward with their individual and collective efforts. They are not just assets; they are the essence of the company, making it vibrant and alive.
“Strategies, milestones, and overall financial performance may grab the headlines, but these only come together by the channelled efforts of the dedicated hands and minds of the people who call the company home—individuals who are comfortable enough to live their best lives and do their best work within their respective organisations,” Ighodalo said.
He enjoined organisations to commit to the wellness and stability of their employees, by offering a wide range of wellness programmes and initiatives, including mandatory annual physical check-ups, holistic maternity and paternity initiatives, employee assistance programmes to provide access to mental health support, and extensions to employees’ health plans that provide cover for older dependents.
He said companies should also take steps to promote work-life balance, and may, subject to the nature of the tasks, offer unconventional flexible work arrangements and paid health breaks among others.