Pay and posts are extrinsic rewards that are never enough
Poshak Paudel, who has been the CEO of Citizen Life Insurance for about a year, started his corporate journey working for various development organisations as an
Poshak Paudel, who has been the CEO of Citizen Life Insurance for about a year, started his corporate journey working for various development organisations as an auditor. He completed his Bachelors in Management from Chitwan and later joined Tribhuvan University for a Master’s degree in Finance. Paudel had a breakthrough moment in his career when he received a fellowship from Life Management Insurance in the US. During his career, Paudel has worked for Met Life Insurance for 15 years as a financial controller. In this interview with the Post, Paudel talks about instilling good customer values in his employees and provides tips for ensuring better management in the workplace. Excerpts:
In the service industry, providing impeccable customer service is key. What does your company do to ensure that all employees who deal with clients share the same service values?
At Citizen Life, our top priority is to provide an impeccable experience to our customers. We believe that each customer of ours is king—everything we do, all the efforts we put in, either in training human resources, adopting new technologies or expanding new branches, is all for them. Innovation, convenience and comfort are the things we want our customers to relate with our brand. Looking at other insurance companies, we make sure that our customers receive faster claim settlements too.
To ensure good customer services, the management sends employees for trainings, workshops and orientation programmes to improve their skills. We also make certain that these trainings are conducted as per the company’s vision and guidelines. We maintain synergy in all our training programmes and our trainers stay updated with market trends. So far, we have conducted three major training programmes in a short operation span. As a leader of the organisation, I give the utmost priority to my employees. Open communication is mandatory to avoid any kind of conflicts.
If having happy employees is the key to providing genuine customer service, how do you ensure that they stay motivated and productive?
In my opinion, pay and posts are extrinsic rewards that are never enough to motivate a team. So, we focus on working towards maintaining a positive environment in the workplace. A good working environment is what drives a team to work better and that includes honesty and integrity. We focus on carrying out engagement activities for our team to boost the team morale. Only when the working environment is good, the team members can foster and develop further. Proper communication, working culture, delegation of responsibilities and authority, and also frequent engagement with the team, along with refreshment programmes, are the core basis for a good working environment. We strive to provide such a working environment to make sure the team is motivated and productive.
Working culture has been gradually changing. People no longer believe in 9-5 jobs. How does your organisation function in these changing times?
Since we are in the service industry, we have to make sure that a certain window of time is set so that our customers can reach out to us for any queries. Thus, we have adopted a 9-5 time frame for most of our employees. We have also shifted our focus to digital platforms so that the customer can use our services at any time of the day. With the gradual change in consumer behaviour regarding service requirements, we remain flexible to adapting to new trends in the market. But our sales team, from our CMO to our agents, are all available at any time of the day for our customers. There is no such window. On top of that, if anyone wants to work as an agent for our company, there is no time limitation. You may work any day, from anywhere as long as you remain productive. Also, you earn as much as you want. You may even earn more than the CEO of the company if you put in the work accordingly.
What would you say are the characteristics of efficient leaders?
A leader should always be proactive and must lead by example. They have to have confidence in their organisation’s mission and the team, and must always work on building that confidence throughout. It is necessary to take proper care of the team and act with honesty and integrity with all team members. Strong communication and confidence to delegate work are key attributes of a leader. I believe that when anyone joins a company, it is as much our duty to foster and escalate the career of our team members as much as it is theirs to foster the growth of the company.
What are your tips for ensuring better management in the workplace?
In order to ensure that the management at a workplace is great, the company has to focus on a good working environment. When the environment is good, everything else falls into place. The communication and coordination works really well, the team is motivated and people actually start to enjoy their work. When this happens, the workplace becomes self-managed and productive. Also, regular communication about the objectives and development of a company’s activities is a key tool to build confidence. Confidence strengthens team work, which will help towards building a better working environment. So it is necessary that you understand the workplace, the team and strive to make the environment better for better management.