Sri Lanka’s premier private sector bank, Hatton National Bank (HNB) once again won recognition at the National Productivity Awards 2015 winning third place in the ‘Service Sector – Large’ category for the second consecutive year. 1st and 2nd place were not awarded.
The gala event took place in the presence of a distinguished gathering of industry leaders and public servants, with Sri Lankan President His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena serving as Chief Guest.
Organized by the National Productivity Secretariat (NPS) of the Ministry of Public Administration and Management under the direction of the Ministry of Public Administration, Local government and Democratic Governance, the National Productivity Awards 2015 is the only national awards programme aimed at facilitating improvements to Sri Lanka’s productive work culture in addition to encouraging innovation and creativity.
HNB’s Chief Operating Officer, Dilshan Rodrigo had this to say about the award. “We are honoured to be recognized for our efforts to set exemplary benchmarks in efficiency, environmental consciousness and enhancing customer engagement. All of this is only possible due to the efforts of our highly committed and engaged staff who have demonstrated receptiveness to change in our journey of continuous improvement”.
Winners were selected according to a stringent set of evaluation criteria on par with evaluation standards followed in Japan, China, South Korea and other member states of the Asian Productivity Organization.
HNB has made tremendous strides towards improving productivity and driving operational excellence, both through the refinement of existing processes and the implementation of fresh initiatives all aimed at inculcating a productivity focused work-culture across every level of the organizational hierarchy.
During the year, HNB achieved significant improvements to its productivity levels through the adoption of a new automated work flow system designed to completely streamline processes like credit appraisal for Personal Financial Services by facilitating the electronic transfer of customer loan application documents to the Central Credit Operations from the branch network. Such measures enabled HNB to achieve an unprecedented level of autonomy to the bank’s branch network by freeing branch staff to focus more on customer engagement and relationship management.
Improving the ability of the HNB’s sales teams to communicate and forge relationships with potential customers from all walks of life, via training & development was also recognized as another factor contributing to the overall productivity of the bank.
Other significant initiatives undertaken towards productivity enhancement by HNB were the implementation of paperless office with automated workflow systems, implementation of 1.3MW solar Photo Voltaic system bringing down the dependency on the national grid by 13% thus reducing the carbon footprint, plus a fully-fledged on-line learning management system.
In parallel, HNB also commenced Lean Six Sigma Yellow belt training and certification and 5S methodology for HNB employees, both at its head office and its branch network with the aim of creating a culture of continuous improvement across the bank.
HNB’s consistent reputation as one of Sri Lanka’s most innovative financial institutions also served as a competitive advantage at this year’s National Productivity Awards. Backed by a series of state-of-the-art ATM Cash Deposit machines, together with its e-banking portal and a robust mobile banking app, the bank was also able to redefine standards of convenience and efficiency for its customers.
Last and most importantly, the significant gains made by HNB in the sphere of productivity and operational excellence could not have been achieved without the steadfast support and engagement of all its employees which is sure to continually hold the company in good stead.