Attrition from Financial Institutions and RMA impact them and service delivery

Civil servants are not the only professionals leaving as Financial Institutions (FI) are also suffering a high attrition rate. Until February 2023 7 FIs namely Bank of Bhutan (BoB), Bhutan National Bank (BNB), Druk PNB, T-Bank, Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL), National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF), Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Limited (RICBL) and Bhutan Insurance Limited (BIL) lost around 385 staff.

Currently, these FIs are still losing their staffs, mainly to Australia. BoB and BDBL has one of the highest attritions from the FIs with the Central Bank, Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) also losing a number of employees.

BoB lost 50 employees in the past three months, from March to May 2023 and 86 employees have left since January this year.

BNB has since lost around 15 employees losing 55 employees since 2022.

BDBL has lost around 41 employees in the last three months, which means a total of 63 employees have left since January this year.

RMA has lost around 66 employees since 2022 with 32 of them leaving in the past five months.

There are also high attrition rates in other FIs.

With high attrition rate from the FIs, the banking sector is impacted greatly. According to an official from BoB, attrition has had a great effect on the employees. “The stress and work pressure experienced by the remaining employees are not only adversely affecting their well-being but also leading them to contemplate a path similar to those who have already left. Efficiency in service delivery is also impacted.”

“The Turn-Around-Time is impacted, efficiency is impacted, and quality is also impacted. If the attrition continues in the same rate, then the days are not very far when we will face challenges in providing efficient services. However, it is good to mention that the remaining employees have taken additional responsibilities,” she added.

Similarly, an official from BDBL shared that the impact felt is very high. “The impact attrition has had is reduced workforce, knowledge and skill loss, recruitment and training costs, and impact on institutional culture. We are currently functioning with around 15-18% reduced human resource strength. This is leading to increased workload for the remaining staff which affects the institution’s ability to function optimally.”

She further added that the departure of skilled employees results in a decline in productivity, lower efficiency, or delays in service delivery and can affect the overall performance and reputation of the institution. She also shared that most employees leave the bank in short notice and it takes time and lots of resources for the bank to full up the gaps and therefore affects the service delivery.

“In a service industry like ours, there is no time to learn but simply deliver which is quite a challenge.”

RMA is also facing similar challenges, an official shared. “Staff attrition from RMA is quite a similar story to that of other organisations. We had a number of staff resigning from senior level posts who performed well, with most leaving for studies abroad. To replace the staff, as an immediate measure, we had to recruit new people. However, the people that left were well groomed, trained and experienced so it is hard to replace the skills and the new ones have to learn everything from scratch and we can’t achieve the productivity level of the experienced ones.”

The official from BDBL shared that when experienced employees leave, the institution suffers from a loss of expertise and institutional memory.

Similarly, the official from BoB shared “The new recruits are being given on-the-job training by their supervisors and seniors and the bank is also trying to digitalize a number of processes. However, we can still see a gap in the specialized areas such as IT.”

With most FIs struggling with service delivery and productivity, an official from BNB shared that as they have a system of notification, where one is required to notice the institution two months before resignation it has allowed them to recruit people which has helped them curb the issues in terms of service delivery and efficiency.

As huge numbers of staffs are leaving, the official from RMA shared that they are trying to retain their staff by instituting a feedback system. “For the long run, we have instituted a feedback system and an exit interview to learn the main problem and institute some measure. We have learned that people are leaving for better opportunities outside, while few of them genuinely are going for higher studies. We are looking into improvements to retain our staffs in terms of working environment, satisfaction level, engagement and leadership. We are also trying to strengthen and improve the existing policies as there is a huge generation gap too.”

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