Access Bank Plc has emerged the best bank in Nigeria for the year 2016. The announcement was made by the Award Committee at this year’s BusinessDay Annual Banking Awards last week.
Also, Access Bank’s School of Banking Excellence has won the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Award for the Best Bank Academy for the year 2016. The award was in recognition of the quality of the curriculum of the school and quality of the graduates as well as the consistency in their production of fresh graduates.
Founded in 2002, the school was conceptualized to groom the youth, educate them and prepare future leaders for the banking industry. During the programme, students of the School are mentored by high level resource persons both internal and external, including the Chairman and Group Chief Executive of the Bank. Receiving the award, Chief Conduct and Compliance Officer, Access Bank Plc, Pattison Boleigha, said the five months entry level training at the Banking School of Excellence, has acquired an enviable reputation as a learning centre of excellence.
“Our approach to employee development is a mix of different learning methods ranging from self-study, on-the-job training to e-learning programmes. Employees, on a continuous basis, are exposed to various capacity building programmes, both locally and internationally” noted Boleigha.
Access Bank Rwanda benefits
Michelle Kabahiga, the Head of Human Resource in Access Bank (Rwanda) Ltd, explains that the bank identifies candidates within the Rwanda market with the requisite qualifications to undergo the training and eventually fill the Executive Trainee positions.
"In a bid to entrench professional values (known internally as ‘the Access Way’) in our staff, shape and polish their skills, the Bank has benefited from sending trainees to the Access School of Banking School to receive quality training. This has translated into a high level of professionalism, excellence and outstanding contribution to the development of Access Bank,” she noted.
The selection of Entry Level candidates (exclusively University graduates aged 27 years and below) starts from Front-Line Officers, and through an open and competitive process, includes capable external candidates as well.
She added that in order to assess the performance of trainees, upon completion of the training the Bank sets performance expectations and goals through Key Performance Indicators signed between the employee and line supervisors and monitored through periodic appraisal exercises.
"To ensure that quality staff are retained in the system long after their training, the bank’s management holds different engagement sessions that are meant to support and encourage Entry Level Staff in their daily work, help them to overcome challenges, develop their skills and increase their performance capacity,” she further explained.
Rwandan trainee speaks
Access Bank Rwanda’s Head of Treasury, Florin Rwiranga, attended the training in 2012. He says that he was trained in different core practical aspects of banking as well as soft skills such as Time Management, and Emotional Intelligence, building his performance and confidence in the process.
"The training enhanced our personal and professional skills, (equipping us with the knowledge to) respond and make decisions quickly while being results-oriented,” he said
He advised employees who benefitted from the training not to take it for granted. “It is not mandatory that every institution should train their employees but if we have been given that chance, it is worth taking seriously”.
From 2008 to date Access Bank Rwanda has sent 82 trainees to the Access School of Banking Excellence.