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How effective is Citibank at resolving and retaining its staff? Essay

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To provide Citibank with a report that recommends improvement to recruitment and retention.


1) To assess the benefit, if any provided by Citibank for its employees.

2) To select appropriate performance criteria for the reasurement of staff performance.

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3) Examine and analyse employee perception of the current training provision.

4) Examine and evaluate other factors that may influence staff morale.

In order to manage the performance of staff managers I will be using performance criteria:

This is a handy measuring tool, which is used as a method by which I will be assessing people’s performance and the satisfactions and dissatisfactions of their work.

I will also be assessing the performance criteria of their absenteeism and the No of days staff are absent in a period of time.

Also I will be checking on productivity and the number of staff measured against output.

I will be monitoring the retention rates data and to see how long staffs have worked, whether they are temporary or permanent.

Company History and Background to problem

The company I am investigating is a subsidiary of Citigroup Inc, Citibank International plc. Specifically I will be looking at the Distribution Division of the Global Consumer Bank in the UK.

In the year of 2001 Citigroup hailed its position as one of the most successful financial services in the world. It registered double-digit increases across many lines of business, and a 20% returns on equity. Their main objectives are to establish trusted relationships with consumers, corporations, institutions and governments. They operate for both sectors of businesses, private and personal banking. They have corporate banking and this is for business, which generates a lot of money. Citibank is a large corporation and is known as a public limited company, or PLC, meaning that its shares can be floated and then traded on the stock market. Any member of the general public can therefore become an owner of these organisations.

I have analysed the annual report for Citigroup in 2001. The figures are very promising and show an increase of 8% in revenue over the previous year.

What I am currently basing my project on is the Citibank branches situated in London. The branches are based at Oxford Circus, Strand, Monument and Canary Wharf. I shall be conducting this coursework with the help of Danny Childs, Assistant Vice President of Citibank; he is also in charge of the employees in the London branches.

I shall be conducting research within the offices of Citibank to determine the quality of staff behaviour and how they go about customer services. I shall analyse my findings and from the information I discover, I will talk it over with Mr Childs and sort out ways to retain a positive atmosphere in his offices.

Performance Indicators

I am going to select the appropriate performance to evaluate Citibank’s effectiveness in training. There are two types of performance indicators:

A) Qualitative: – In-depth research into the motivations behind the attitudes of the employees through the questionnaires that I have conducted.

B) Quantitative: – Pre-set questions on a sample of 13 employees have in order to provide statistically valid data. I wrote this questionnaire and received anonymous and therefore unbiased answers that meet the research objectives.

Performance management simply expressed is an approach to managing people, which helps to ensure that individual’s performance goals and capabilities are linked to the goals and plans of the business. When this occurs, business performance goals are met; people know what is expected of them and receive the support they need to develop their capabilities.

Modern performance management is based on the principle of ‘objective cascade.’ This means that everyone sees a clear connection between:

a) The goals of the entire business.

b) The goals of the department.

c) How the performance goals of teams and individuals relate to and support business goals.

What is the overall approach to performance management in Citibank?


Performance management provides a commitment and fair approach to managing performance of all people within Citibank.

Aims: – Clarify performance expectations in relation to what people do and how they go about it.

* Address and enhance performance through honest and constructive feedback.

* Identify and deliver training and development to meet individual and team capability requirements.

Performance indicators that can be used for Citibank can be: –

Performance Indicator



Can be measured in quarterly times of the year to see how much money Citibank is bringing in.

Staff turnover

The amount of staff that has left Citibank can be measured with the staff from last year.


Annually compared to provide the number of times employees have taken days off.

Research Methodology

For my research into Citibank, I will be conducting several different kinds of methods to gather my data. My research will include both primary and secondary data. Therefore, my answers will be accurate and reliable.

Primary Research

Primary information is the process of gathering information directly from people within your target market, as I will have shown by the time this project is completed. I shall be gathering data from the market by means of conducting an anonymous questionnaire. A questionnaire contains several advantages: –

* + Through the questionnaire I can construct my questionnaire to suit the needs of fulfilling my research objectives.

* + A questionnaire contains up-to-date answers from the employee’s.

* + Through the questionnaire I can also understand the state of mind the worker is in and how he feels about working within Citibank.

The questionnaire will be emailed to all of the staff employed by Danny Childs. They will then fill it in and return it back to me. I have decided to use this method because it is honest and will be unbiased. It is reliable and will be of present and true facts. It is also a good idea because it is anonymous and employees won’t feel pressured into giving answers that only are only said for the sake of Danny. I will be handing out questionnaires to 30 people in Danny’s workforce.

Secondary Research

I will also be using other sources of non-primary findings. They are called secondary research. Secondary research is the process of collecting data that is not new. It can be old evidence from magazines, the Internet or statistics. In this case when the secondary research is collected it will be analysed in accordance to the questionnaires.

These sources will be coming from Danny Childs past findings and research data, which he has stored on his laptop. These findings inform me of staff turnover and retention rates of Citibank. I will only be gathering data that is from the past year and which I consider to be useful. Secondary research gives a background analysis of the primary research conducted and I will be able to notice any trends, if any, in the results. After I have had all the results in for both the primary and secondary, I will combine them together and have an accurate answer and accomplish my aim.

I will be using a quantitative research method. This asks pre-set questions to the Staff of Citibank.

This is called sampling as I am making sure my results are going to be typical of the whole Citibank workforce.

My questionnaire will be unbiased and ensure that my objectives are met. I will also research into my answers to check how valid they are.

Before starting off my main concerns to do with sampling was that how am I going to choose the correct people for interview (sampling method) and also deciding how large a number to interview (the sample size). There are 4 main sampling methods: Random sample, Quota sample, Stratified sample, and Cluster sample.

Random Sample:

This is when I would select employees within Citibank and ensure they are all treated equally in the questionnaire selecting process. A successful random sample is one which:

1) Picks names at random from a register process…e.g. every 50th name.

2) Send an interviewer to each worker within the offices of Citibank and question him.

Quota Sample

This is when you’re- selecting interviewees in proportion to their age within the offices. This allows the interviewer (which would be me) to question whoever he sees in the office room, as long as the correct quota is achieved.

Stratified Sample

Only those with certain characteristics are to be interviewed. Eg: I am going to only interview managers within Citibank worldwide. This means I am interviewing individuals at random.

Cluster Sample

This is sampling only within a certain area, such as university towns or certain business districts. It is usually used for students such as me who are doing projects on a large scale.

Therefore I have decided that the sample that I will be conducting is Cluster Sampling. This is because my sample size was 13 employees and is only referring to the distribution division of Citibank, and not the rest of the company.


Out of the thirty questionnaires that I handed out among the staff, only thirteen questionnaires were sent back to Danny Childs who then forwarded them back to me. The reason not all questionnaires were filled in was that half of them thought that it was Danny himself who had constructed the questionnaire and not me. After receiving the questionnaires I went about analysing each question and breaking them down in terms relating to the aim. All answers that were multiple choice, I ensured that I amalgamated the answers and I created pie charts to visually show my answers. Where questions have a ‘long hand’ answer I will be using ‘verbatims’. This is when I will be lifting relevant comments from the answers. The way I have done this is to pick out key messages and repeated statements within the answers and to then summarise it: –

1) How long have you been at Citibank?

What employees wrote

A=Less than a year 1

B=1-3 Years 8

C=3-5 years 4

D=More than 5 Years 0

Out of the thirteen who answered, the majority of employees (eight workers) said that they worked between one to three years. Only one employee who filled in the questionnaire has been with Citibank for longer than a year and also had the most negative comments to say about Citibank as an employer. I constructed a Pie Chart to represent the data above: –

2) How would you rate Citibank as an employer?

What employees wrote

A) Poor 0

B) Below Average 2

C) Average 4

D) Above Average 7

E) Excellent 0

Out of the thirteen that answered, the majority of workers currently employed at Citibank said in their questionnaire that as an employer, they rated Citibank as average. The reasons for this are explained in question three. I have constructed a pie chart to show the data above for question two.

3) Give a Brief reason for your answer to the previous question.

Most of the employee’s answered that Citibank provided a “Good benefit package e.g.: salary, BUPA.” Two employees claimed that Citibank is “more enjoyable than previous employment.” Four employees were not happy with their employer’s and were not afraid to let it be known. One of those four even went far enough to leave the question unanswered which goes to show how much he values Citibank as an employer. Referring to page 2 of my appendix, an employee said, Managers don’t want to see customers, even if they are available to assist. The worker sees this as a bad thing, yet if he thinks about it he can use this to his advantage. The manager of the branch may believe in Maslow’s theory of management and develops a democratic approach towards his staff. By allowing the staff to think for themselves and make the correct decisions, Danny Childs will only be called in absolute urgency, and by shadowing him for a week I learned and watched the way the workforce was run.

4) When was the last time you attended a training course?

The employees have answered this question vaguely and were not afraid to point out that ‘Citibank training is bad’ and that it is ‘so boring’. One employee even said that he ‘cant remember’ the last course he had attended. This goes to show that Citibank need to invest in making their training courses more innovative and enjoyable for their workers in order to keep them motivated. They could ensue team working in the courses meaning placing workers who haven’t worked together before or are not in the same social circle as that particular worker into a group, switching their tasks around and discussing ways of them working more effectively.

Team working, managed effectively, can provide employees better quality and more innovative work at a lower cost and at a faster rate. To achieve such improvements in performance employees must be involved. They must have the ability to contribute and feel they are listened to. Greater participation can help a company like Citibank gain a competitive edge. Although this may be expensive, the outcome may be fruitful. The workers may leave the course happier and wanted and therefore work harder and produce more business for Citibank.

5) Overall, what do you think of the training provided at


What employees wrote

A) Poor 2

B) Below Average 1

C) Average 6

D) Above Average 4

E) Excellent 0

Most of the employees at Citibank rated training as only average. I discussed this topic in more detail in question four and discussed the different approaches that could be taken. Even if changes were implemented correctly, I would hope that if I was to ask the same question to staff in six months, the majority might answer that training is Excellent. Below is a pie chart, which I created to show my results from question five: –

6) What keeps you motivated at Citibank?

Nine out of the thirteen that answered said that the salary they are on is what keeps them motivated. There were no other factors involved in keeping the staff happy. Three workers said that they survive by motivating themselves and only one claimed that he was there only to do a job. Three things influence the motivation of staff in practice:

* The company culture.

* Its approach to managing its people

* The financial reward systems.

Company culture means the accepted set of attitudes and habits within an organisation-its ethos. Every business has its own culture, and Citibank is no different. Within an hour of sitting in the office with Mr Childs, jokes aside I set out to work hard throughout the week. What kept me motivated was that I was working at a top bank and I wanted to please Danny so as not to disappoint him. It was challenging, yet purposeful. Elton Mayo was a motivational theorist who pointed out that the difference in attitude was often to do with the unofficial leader or leaders of the staff concerned. For the majority of the workers, it is the financial reward system that keeps them motivated. Danny explained to me that each of his sales team has a PRP (performance-related pay) scheme to follow. It is a highly attractive system for encouraging staff to work towards the organisation’s objectives. The usual method is:

1) At the end of each month, the individual’s achievement is discussed against the targets set.

2) If they have reached a target or gone above it, they are rewarded with a pay rise, or are given a bonus scheme to work to.

7) Do you feel you get motivation from your managers?

This question was answered with much criticism towards the managers. I designed this questionnaire to find out exactly what the staff is thinking and I got what I wanted. This question was answered in a way that it was being critical of the managers and mocking their intelligence. In two of the questionnaires, staff said that the managers give “support rather than motivation”. Support and motivation are two totally different things. Support is when the manager doesn’t literally do the work for an employee, but rather sets the framework for what is to happen. Motivation is when a manager would encourage his employee’s to do something by means of offering them incentives. For most of the answers given in this question it is plain to see that employee’s don’t feel they get the right motivation that they feel is deserved.

Most managers assume they understand human motivation when in practice they have never studied it. As a result they may underestimate the potential within their own staff. Or unthinkingly cause resentments that fester. The process of managing people takes place in every part of every organisation. By contrast a few people would need to know the financial concept of gearing in their working lives. So lack of knowledge of motivational theory is particularly unfortunate and has exceptionally widespread effects. In this case, ignorance leads to managers to ignore motivation altogether. They tell themselves that control and organisation are their only concerns. Other managers may see motivation as important, but fail to understand its subtleties. For these reasons, I can state that there is a case for saying that the concepts of motivation are that of the important factors in running a business.

8) Do you feel you have career prospects at Citibank?

Most of the employee’s answered this question with mixed answers. After reading each answer I realised that it was roughly a 50/50 outcome. Some of the employees saw themselves with a future at Citibank, while others thought that they deserved to be elsewhere. A lot of factors can depend on whether or not an employee has a future at Citibank. The outcome I have come to is that the reason the question was not answered properly was because I didn’t ask the question correctly. What I should have I asked was Where do you see yourself in two years time? That way, I will be getting a more detailed answer from the employee and he/she will give me a clear idea of what they think lays in their future. Here is a pie chart to represent the data: –

As you can see from the graph, 54% of the staff saw themselves with a future and 46% saw themselves leaving Citibank.

9) Do you feel you are paid a fair wage for your job compared to the banking market place?

Out of the thirteen employees, nine answered that they are happy with their salary compared to other banks. Citibank “on the whole, pays fair wages.” One worker said “there is always room for improvement” showing that although they are being paid well, more money is always better.

Referring back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, if the pay levels were increased, it can be used as an incentive to ensure that they remain at Citibank. Maslow believed everyone has the same needs- all of which can be organised as a hierarchy. When employees earn enough to satisfy these needs, however their motivating power slowly disappears. Maslow then referred to his ‘hierarchy of needs’ in order for them to remain motivated:


Esteem needs

Social needs

Safety needs

Physical Needs

10) Are you offered any financial incentives such as bonus schemes or awards?

Out of the thirteen that answered this question, ten replied that they are offered decent incentives if they work hard enough to earn them. A workforce must be put in place, which provides departments such as operations and marketing with the correct number of appropriately skilled employees to accomplish their targets. For an employee to work well, he must first be able to have a good relationship with his employer. I created a pie chart to give a visual representation of the data I received: –

11) Do you feel Citibank has effective managers within branches?

More employees said that managers are effective within the branches, although those that weren’t happy, had a lot to criticise. One worker said that managers “should be more hands on.” The question that came to my attention is What is an effective manager? There are several explanations to this question, and I am going to explain it by means of McGregor’s Theory X and Y.

This comes from Douglas McGregor who identified two styles of management. Theory X managers tend to distrust their employees; they believe they don’t really enjoy their work and that they need to be controlled. In McGregor’s own words, many managers believe “The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he can.” This theory is not about workers, but he is actually talking about the managers themselves. Theory X in other words is how managers view their workforce. On the other hand, Theory Y managers are more likely to involve employees in decisions and give them greater responsibility. The managerial assumptions identified by McGregor X and Y are:

* “The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in the solution of organisational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population.”

* “The average human being learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept but to seek responsibility.”

* “Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement.”

It is clear that Danny is a theory Y manager in some aspects as he is inclined to adopt a democratic leadership style. Their style is to delegate authority to meet specific objectives. Theory X style is to be self-fulfilling. Lazy people are obviously going to produce less output then a lively person. The way to make that lazy person lively is to offer him an incentive, which will motivate him to work harder.

12) Would you recommend your friends to work for Citibank?

Eight employees said that they’d recommend friends to work for Citibank, one of them saying what I needed to read, “Higher starting salary compared to High Street Banks.” The answers show that it was mixed opinions and there could be several reasons. Workers may not want to mix business with pleasure and therefore for friends to be around them in the office, their performance can severely decrease.

13) What, in your view, could Citibank do to improve your working environment?

The employees answered and voiced their opinions to make the working environment of Citibank better. The question was answered in detail and I was happy with the result.


Below you will find that I have broken down my questionnaire into an easier way to understand. I completed this before I began my analysis and this appendix can be referred back to as a backup for my analysis at anytime:

Question 1- How long have you been at Citibank?

A) Less than a year

B) 1-3 Years

C) 3-5 Years

D) More than 5 Years

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