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Co-operative Bank’s Employee Empowerment Essay

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Updated: Nov 27th, 2020


The present banking marketplace is exceptionally competitive. Therefore, there is a need for Co-operative Bank to keep on advancing, retaining, and attracting top talent so as to possess exceptional skills that are aimed at developing people. In addition, there are wide arrays of transformations in the banking marketplace that urges banks to keep on assisting the employees to embrace the critical novel initiatives that are essential for keeping the pace (Treadway, Adams & Goodman, 2005).

During the previous three decades, Empowerment Institute has been extremely active in formulating the ‘empowering organization.’ This involves behavior transformation, development of talents, and changing the culture in an organization. In addition, the features of a disempowering culture are transformed so that change initiatives can be successful in future. Empowerment Institute recommends this methodology to small and large organizations.

Moreover, a large number of practitioners have been trained on how the methodology can be implemented. In all organizations, there is at least one feature of a disempowering culture. In such an organization, transformation initiatives cannot be implemented (Greshon & Straub, 2009). This paper aims at describing specific examples of the symptoms identified at Co-operative Bank and developing a plan for transforming the practices and empowering employees. In addition, the conclusions will be elaborated.

Apathy and burnout

Apathy refers to an indifference state in an individual or failing to portray emotions such as passion, concern, motivation, and excitement. The person is not interested in anything and does not associate his work with any meaning. On the same note, employees experiencing job burnout portray features such as low or absence of motivation and enthusiasm, exhaustion, frustration, and cynicism. This is particularly the case among the human service employees at Co-operative Bank.

There is a need for Co-operative Bank to ensure that its employees have meaning in their anticipations and goals. Failure to this, employees may be unable to solve simple challenges and have concentration issues. If employees fail to achieve their goals, they experience further burnout (Treadway, Adams & Goodman, 2005).


Apathy and burnout are more common among sales and customer care representatives. Often, sales representatives involved in marketing bank accounts to customers fail to meet the set targets. Consequently, they become apathetic and experience job burnout. The management arranges for coaching classes for the sales representatives who are performing very poorly. They have to report what they achieved to their supervisors on a daily basis. Failure to improve leads to termination. Such a career involves immense emotional involvedness when trying to convince the customers. In some cases, the clients are rude to the sales representatives. Consequently, the sales representative lacks enthusiasm and motivation to continue with the work. In addition, a sales representative has to work extremely hard to meet his targets.

Distrust and cynicism

Many times, change initiatives fail to succeed at Co-operative Bank because of uncertainty, negative emotions, and anxiety among employees (Kotter & Cohen, 2002). It is worth pointing out that the effectiveness of any change relies heavily on how open the employees are, their commitment, and dedication towards the change.


Junior employees at Co-operative Bank distrust the intentions of the management. They often express feelings that the managers are only propagating their self interests and do not care about the bank and employees. Consequently, they fail to embrace all change initiatives since they do not trust them. A majority of the employees were reluctant to participate in promoting the bank’s agents and M-banking since they felt they were being used. The bank has created an environment where the management promises things but fails to deliver, which creates tension whenever implementing change. Therefore, every time an improvement promise is made, the employees have the feeling that this is a lie and the management will benefit at the employees’ advantage.

Lack of participation in decision making

Some organizations hinder their employees from participating and sharing during decision-making processes. There is a need for organizations to think of the best strategies through which their goals can be achieved.


Employees from the sales department at the bank are not allowed to participate in decision making when marketing M-Kesho, Co-op kwa Jirani, and M-Karo. However, the sales department’s employees possess sufficient knowledge in regard to marketing various products since they are directly involved with the customers. Hindering these employees from participating makes them feel demoted. As a result, they are usually reluctant in marketing the bank’s products accordingly, which leads to failure.

Gossip and back biting poisoning work environment

Back biting and gossip are extremely destructive in work environments. The negativity associated with gossip and back biting results to conflicts, reduced productivity, and tension. Usually, gossip and back biting are hard to control and the victim may be unaware.


The customer care representative at Co-operative Bank, Mrs. Mutono, was undergoing through a stressful moment as a result of the spouses’ unfaithfulness. Consequently, Mrs. Mutono resulted to coming to work late and her enthusiasm and productivity were interfered with. The operational manager, Mrs. Githua, was concerned about Mrs. Mutono’s state and pleaded with her to open up (Bolman & Deal, 2008). After discussing the issue, Mrs. Githua started gossiping about Mrs. Mutono to the colleagues and exaggerating about some facts. Since Mrs. Mutono was stressed and engrossed in her own world, she did not know that she was the topic of discussion at the workplace. Eventually, every employee at the bank was aware of Mrs. Mutono’s fate and they were using words to ridicule her.


To avoid cases of apathy and burnout at the bank, there is a need for the managers to communicate the goals and values of the bank and elaborate them to the employees. Apathetic employees may find no meaning in their work. However, comprehending the value and purpose of one’s work is vital when dealing with challenging situations. Employees who are actively involved in promoting the company’s goals and values should be rewarded. This is a way of recognizing them and showing that the company values them. Another way of preventing apathy and burnout is giving the employees control in regard to how they achieve their goals.

Cynicism and distrust can be solved through honest and two-way communication with the employees. Providing good information and involving the employees in decision-making in regard to change initiatives results to success. The employees’ feedback and input should be sought whenever change is being implemented. Employees should be recognized and rewarded frequently through the use of simple words. The managers should set the tone and indicate that they believe in the employees’ abilities and performance (Gershon & Straub, 2009).

Communication is key in promoting the participation of all employees as far as participative decision making is concerned. This makes them feel appreciated and valued in the organization. Consequently, they remain loyal and participate actively in meeting the organization’s objectives.

So as to stop back biting and gossip, there is a need to analyze the gossip and act immediately so as to stop further spread. This prevents negative outcomes, resentment, and revenge. The gossip should be discussed with the person spreading it at the place of work.

In essence, an organization should create an environment where there is care, trust, self responsibility, authentic communication, learning and growth, as well as process skills so as to unleash full potential in employees.


Bolman, L. G. & Deal, T. E. (2008). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Gershon, D., & Straub, G. (2009). Empowerment Institute: . Web.

Kotter, J. P. & Cohen, D. S. (2002). The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people change their organizations. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Treadway, D. C., Adams, G. L., & Goodman, J. M. (2005). The formation of political sub-climates: Predictions from social identity, structuration, and symbolic interaction. Journal of Business and Psychology, 20(2), 201-219.

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