HNB wins Taiki Akimoto 5S Awards

Monday, 2 April 2012 00:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) clinched organized annually by the Japan-Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association (JASTECA) last week, recognizing the successful implementation of the internationally accepted 5S concept which leads to increased efficiency and safety in the work place.  

The bank won the Sector Awards for Banking for 2011 in the Medium and Small categories which were won by HNB Pettah and Nawalapitiya customer centres respectively. The Merit Awards were won by the HNB Grandpass and Panchikawatte customer centres.Human Resources and Administration Deputy General Manager J R P M Paiva with award winners and their teams at the Taiki Akimoto 5S Awards.

In 2010, HNB Kurunegala won the Overall Award in the Banking Sector category, a first for the banking sector in Sri Lanka. HNB Grandpass and HNB Nawalapitiya customer centres carried Merit awards whilst HNB Mahiyanganaya and HNB Pettah were awarded with Certificates of Commendation. 

The Taiki Akimoto 5S Awards are conducted annually by the Japan-Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association. The 5S competition has a 15-year history and nearly 550 companies had taken part in the competition.  HNB has been a dominant contender since the introduction of 5S in 2008. The bank in its first year of 5S was recognized in several categories on the achievement in 5S practices.

Last year, 12 HNB branches participated with four branches qualifying for the final round of audit, demonstrating the bank’s strong position towards implementation of the concepts of 5S. The HNB Nawalapitiya Manager Mahinda Seneviratne was a happy man as the branch clinched the award for the third time.

He believes that the achievement was possible due to sheer commitment and the steps taken to develop customer care services.  When asked about his experience with 5S, he said, “It took a continuous journey of three years to reach the top level award and it is all about recognition for the hard work, determination and effort on the part of the team which was also immensely supported by the Human Resources and Central region teams.”

HNB Pettah Manager S. P. Aryasinhe stated, “The award is a result of the collective efforts of all the staff and we are confident that the branch will be able to improve its overall position in the next competition too.”  She went on to say that the achievement was possible due to dedicated team work and the sustainability plans which were in place to carry forward the good work of yesteryears.


Commenting on their success, HNB Panchikawatte Manager R. A. S. Perera said that the 5S concept is a fine tool for any organization to improve service quality, productivity, staff moral, cost and especially the most important factor to any individual – time.  “It has helped us look at continuous process improvements and various cost reduction techniques. The 5S implementation has not only benefited the staff but also the service quality, which our clientele appreciates.”

The 5S concept, he added, has helped staff to look at the development of school children through various CSR projects carried out by the bank. Many children who attend schools in the vicinity are from homes below the poverty line and they were able to help these children in numerous ways and look at life with a broader perspective.

The principles of 5S were implemented at HNB with the assistance of Kaizen Productivity (Pvt) Ltd. Chairman and Managing Director Lal Fonseka, based on a decision by the bank’s management to improve quality and productivity in the Bank.  In the long run it is expected to produce several benefits to the bank such as recognition and clean work places, releasing of unutilized office space as well as productivity gains. 

The enthusiastic support of the staff had been vital in the successful implementation of 5S in all HNB customer centres throughout the country.  With the assistance of the regional heads, the bank’s human resources division conducted 5S awareness programmes in all regions at the inception.

The implementation of the 5S concepts has led to a more customer friendly office environment and has created a more conducive atmosphere for staff to unleash their creativity resulting in increased morale, enthusiasm and teamwork.  The bank is expected to feature a greater number of branches in the next competition.