– Sterling Bank remains top destination for talents, despite “Japa”

Over the years, human capital has been recognised as one of the most important resources for the success of organizations. According to American business magnate and philanthropist, Bill Gates, “In the long run, your human capital is your main base of competition.”

Similarly, Arianna Huffington, a Greek-American author, who has been named on the Time Magazine list of the world’s most influential people and Forbes Most Powerful Women list says, “The most important thing that we entrepreneurs have is our human capital.”

David Bookbinder, a psychotherapist and life coach says, “The value of a business is a function of how well the financial capital and the intellectual capital are managed by the human capital. You better get the human capital part right.”

The emphasis on people by these eminent entrepreneurs lends credence to Sterling Bank’s approach to the development of its human capital, and the remarkable successes it has achieved in recent years. Today, Sterling is seen as an employer of choice in the Nigerian economy; especially with the introduction of the flexible work models into its work culture, among other digitization innovations implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the bank’s impressive human capital management feats, Sterling’s Chief Human Resource Officer, Temi Dalley, remarks that, “Sterling is an employer of choice for Talents because it is committed to creating a workplace that empowers talents to do their best work and become the best version of themselves. We have achieved and continue to maintain this because we decided to focus on creating human experiences, supporting quality of life and providing growth opportunities, while putting the needs of Sterling humans at the center of our initiatives.”

According to the CHRO, there has been a whole lot of transformation that has earned the bank accolades such as the Overall Best Place To Work In Nigeria for three consecutive years and a certified great place to work for five consecutive years from Great Place To Work Institute. She lists some of the changes to include introduction of initiatives like paternity leave, flexible working hours, mental health breaks, bespoke training plans, diversity, equity, and inclusion programs as well as other initiatives that have endeared diverse talents, especially millennials, to the organization. This is proven by back-to-back conferment of the Victor Ligbagbo Award for the Best Workplace For Millennials by Great Place to Work Institute.

While optimizing for organizational performance, the bank has also balanced its efforts by focusing on the needs of the individual – indexing heavily for personal growth and gender inclusivity. This commitment has been rewarded by HR People Magazine with the award of Sterling with the Best Work-Life Balance award for 2022; LinkedIn with the naming of the bank as one of the top 25 places to work in Nigeria for two consecutive years – 2022 and 2023, and by BabyMigo as one of the top 30 workplaces for mothers in Nigeria.

Dalley says the bank’s employee value proposition seeks to retain top talents, continue to attract the best, and drive the growth of highly upwardly mobile individuals by harnessing their unique skills to ensure Sterling competes with top firms across the globe. This is captured in our employee value proposition mantra which says “Live your best life, do your best work.”

She further explained that Sterling has designed its talent management practices to deliver a human-centred experience; delivered through a mix of empathy, innovation, and cutting-edge technology, while also developing the next generation of leaders for the organization as the transformation to a financial holdings company progresses.

According to Dalley, “Our vision is to be the financial institution of choice. To achieve this, Sterling Bank strives to build an organisation that motivates and inspires its employees to achieve their full potential by adopting the human-centered approach at the centre of its vision and strategy, with a clear focus on creating a work environment and building a culture that embraces the new way of work through investments in new technologies. All of these present new and exciting opportunities for our talents as they see an opportunity to rise to the top of their careers while doing some of the best work of their lives.”

The CHRO says the bank’s Future Of Work campaign is aimed at sensitising all its employees on how to build future-forward skills and remain relevant in an increasingly digital world, noting that about 96 percent of its employees are already aware of that, “Sterling’s management has a clear vision of where the organisation is going and how to get there” while 89 percent of them say, “management has shown sincere interest in me as a person, not just as an employee.” The Bank’s internal learning program, iLearn, has created a pathway for the upskilling of employees in preparation for an agile and digital-focused future, making the required talent readily available to drive the achievement of the organization’s lofty growth ambitions.

In a bid to further position its workforce for the emerging future, Sterling Bank has partnered with Nexford University, a United States based next generation university in a program designed to create a global emerging markets’ talent pipeline known as “Fund Your Future” as part of Nexford’s wider ‘Learn to Earn’ program for emerging markets.

The programme is designed to solve three major challenges of enabling employers to find qualified entry level talent, helping students with affordable access to university education, and giving students the skills they need to actually get desirable jobs.

The benefits of the partnership for Sterling Bank are multiple as students are given an education specifically tailored to the bank’s corporate needs, accelerating their fit into the workplace as well as their development, with the added advantage of possessing real-world skills.

The students also benefit more as Sterling Bank will be playing two roles of helping the students to underwrite loans to fund their tuition fees with Nexford; a development which will protect them against fluctuations in foreign exchange,and put them in control of their finances.
Under the arrangement, Sterling Bank also provides students with partial scholarships and internships during their studies, in addition to post-graduation job opportunities.

These efforts have crystallized into major successes with HR Optimization awards for Talent Development, Adoption of Technology, and Organization Development attained by the lender from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM).

Dalley says the bank’s adoption of agile way of work – beyond being a bold move – has yielded amazing results for the organization. Adding that, “As an employer, we have attained inspiring heights and our workforce is positioned to run at the pace that our strategy requires.”

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