The banking sector

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Business ・APA ・6 Sources

Over the last eight years, there has been a significant revival and development in the banking industry. One of the banks that was severely impacted by the global financial crisis of 2009 is Barclays. A number of advantageous improvements have been made to the bank as a result of Jes Staley's appointment as the organization's leader. However, several problems still exist and are having a negative impact on the organization's production. One of these issues is low employee motivation in several of the company's branches, which has led to a drop in the productivity of the business. The issue of aggressive competition in some of the bank’s operational base has also resulted in the closure of more than 50 branches with the aim of cutting down on costs and increasing its profitability.

The paper provides a description of Barclays Company operations, organizational structure, and culture as well as its leadership styles. It also highlights the current leadership issue that the company faces, the role of the leader in tackling the problem and measures that can be embraced in dealing with the challenge.

Background of the organization

Barclays Corporation is a financial and banking institution with its primary operations in London. Over the years, the bank has focused on ensuring that it meets its consumer demands by delivering high-quality products and services. Its roots can be traced to the goldsmith banking in England almost 300 years ago. The financial organization has since established itself as a global force in the banking industry. As an international company, Barclays Corporation has branches in more than 40 countries around the world. Its headquarters are located in London, United Kingdom. Some of Barclays’ products and services include wealth management, commercial banking, retail, and investment banking (BCS: Summary for Barclays PLC - Yahoo Finance, 2017). The company’s segments are Africa, Asia, and Europe while its divisions entail Barclaycard, Barclays Wealth, and Barclays Investment bank. The company’s competitors include Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and HSBC.

Barclay’s success in the market has been attributed to various factors. The company has a strong brand as a result of its presence in the market for several decades, and this has played an integral role in boosting its consumer base. It also enjoys a good reputation and ensures that it produces goods that meet the needs of its customers. In so doing, this has been critical in enhancing its consumer loyalty. Product differentiation is another strategy that the firm has embraced in promoting its sales and productivity. The company’s success has also been contributed by its aggressive marketing and advertising strategies thus capturing the attention of various consumers. Finally, Barclays currently enjoys a transformational leadership style, spearheaded by the CEO, which has been pivotal in the recent enhanced financial performance it has posted.

Barclays has a vertical organizational structure headed by Jes Staley, the Chief Executive Officer. He is responsible for the running of the organization and ensuring that there is operational efficiency within the firm. John McFarlane is the chairman of the company, and his role entails assisting the CEO in the running of the company (Leadership | Barclays Directors & Leadership Team | Barclays, 2017). Some of the firm’s non-executive directors include Dambisa Moyo, Diane Schueneman, Sir Ian Cheshire and Crawford Gillies among others. The board of directors is mandated with the role of ensuring that it implements business models that can be vital in ensuring that the company enjoys sustainability in the market (BCS: Summary for Barclays PLC - Yahoo Finance, 2017). Tushar Morzaria serves as the group’s finance director while Paul Compton is the Chief Operating Officer. Through his transformational leadership, the CEO has been on the frontline in promoting a sustainable working environment that supports inclusivity and diversity. Some of those strategies that he has embraced in bolstering employee motivation and ensuring that social interactions among workers are enhanced include equality in the recognition, enhanced cultural and gender diversity and promotion of a collaborative workplace. Lynne Atkins is the company’s Human Resource director and plays a vital role in ensuring that recruitments, training, recognition and employee retention are in accordance with the firm’s goals and objectives. As at the year ending 2016, Barclays had a total of 129,400 employees around the world (BCS: Summary for Barclays PLC - Yahoo Finance, 2017).

Barclays’ mission is to help consumers meet their ambitions through the services and products that it offers. The company also aims at being a global leader in the banking industry. Its primary vision is to be the most preferred financial organization and product provider in the global market. Through corporate social responsibility, the company believes that its reputation will improve significantly in the future. Barclays is committed to building one of the most established brands around the globe. It also aspires to be one of the most admired financial institutions regarding its brand, culture, and services across the globe.

Barclay’s leadership has also played an integral role towards its growth and strengthened performance over the years. Despite the challenges that the company has faced in the past two years, its transformational leadership has been essential in creating a conducive environment for all the workers. Jes Staley has been on the frontline, pushing for a change in the organizational structure of vertical workplace relations to collaborative relations. In so doing, he believes that teamwork will be embraced and that employees will find it easy to meet the firm’s goals. According to the CEO, it is vital for departmental managers to create an environment at the workplace that promotes job satisfaction among all the employees. The board of directors also plays a vital role in coming up with business strategies that are critical in developing the firm’s growth. Departmental managers are also encouraged to carry out regular team buildings with the aim of enhancing social interactions among staff members in their departments. A feedback channel has also been introduced in the company, and workers are supposed to report back to their managers after performing a given task. The strategy aims at bolstering the performance of each department. The board of directors and the departmental managers are also tasked with conflict resolution and problem-solving. Those employees that go against the set regulations and ethics are punished by the disciplinary committee.

As a part of Barclay’s organizational culture, it respects and values all the stakeholders as well as their contributions. By so doing, the company’s reputation has over the years improved immensely. Building trust with the employees and the consumers has been critical in enhancing its operational efficiencies and market performance (Bass & Riggio, 2014). In the past decade, the company has designed a transformational framework that seeks to increase cultural and gender diversity. The strategy focuses on strengthening the existing relationships among the workers. Barclays acts ethically and fairly and ensures that transparency is an instrumental component in its operations. The company also strives for excellence in everything that it does and this is made possible through the utilization of the resources at its disposal and expertise in producing sustainable outcomes. Barclays’ human resource department also focuses on hiring and retaining skilled workers, and this it believes will help in boosting the firm’s productivity. The enhanced customer loyalty that the company has over the years enjoyed is as a result of the firm’s culture of putting the customers at the center of everything it does. In all the organization’s operations, it always aims at surpassing the expectations of its clients. Various individuals admire working with the company because it provides employees with a platform to build their careers and they also want to be associated with an organization with a strong brand and significant market share.

Background of the problem or issue

After the 2009 global financial crisis, Barclays Corporation has since been subjected to various challenges. Some of these issues have ended up contributing to a decline in its financial performance. In 2015, the troubled African Barclays segment was on the verge of exiting the market, and this ended up causing a lot of losses to the firm (Davies, 2017). It is only in the recent past that the performance and productivity of the bank have slightly improved. Barclays’ profits have tripled in 2017, and this is far much better performance compared to the one recorded in the past two years. The increase in the firm’s profits from £1.1 billion in 2016 to £3.2 in 2017 and this has been attributed to the improved consumer demand in all its segments as well as the reduction in the provisions for the legal matters. The bank has also on several occasions been slapped with penalties by the Bank of England on its failure to adhere to the set financial regulations. In this section, an analysis of the issue faced by the company that has impacted negatively on its productivity is conducted.

One of the primary issues faced by Barclays Corporation is low employee motivation and job satisfaction, and this has ended up contributing to reduced productivity in some of the company’s divisions. The challenge is mostly experienced in the firm’s African segment and parts of its Asian branches. In countries such as Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa, employees have in the past been on record claiming that they work for long hours with low pay and little benefits. The low employee motivation has resulted to low morale among various workers in the firm’s branches in the African region. The issue has mostly been fuelled by the failure by the departmental managers in the affected branches to come up with strategies aimed at addressing the concerns of the workers. Apparently, this has ended up contributing to a decline in the segment’s productivity and competitiveness in the market. A combination of the low job satisfaction levels and the aggressive competition that the bank has in the recent past faced has been the main reason behind the low revenues generated as well as the decision by the bank to close down some of its branches.

Employee motivation plays a critical role in promoting job satisfaction levels and promoting an excellent workplace relationship among the workers (Bass & Riggio, 2014). Barclays, however, has been hit with the issue of low productivity among its employees in various segments. According to the affected employees, the company has a poor employee benefit and recognition system as well as dwells on a vertical organizational structure that creates a huge gap between the junior employees and their seniors. With the poor working relationships among the workers in some branches as a result of unequal recognition and awards, the job satisfaction levels have further declined significantly. Sales representative are among a group of Barclays’ employees in most segments, whose motivation levels are significantly low. Based on the recounts by some of these workers, their pay is low, and most of them fail to meet daily needs despite working for an established global financial institution. The CEO, however, has on most occasions refuted the claims of low morale among the workers. The situation on the ground is exactly opposite of the leader’s claims. Employee transfer and resignation rates in the company’s Asia and African segments have in the past two years been on the increase, and if no measures are put in place, the issue may end up affecting the efficiency of the organizational operations. The bank may in the future be forced to close down more of its branches, especially those struggling with performance issues as a result of low employee-productivity.

Leadership role

The success of any organization is dependent on the leadership styles that are applicable (Allio, 2013). In some companies, leaders are pivotal in solving problems and coming up with goals that employees have to abide by. In the case of Barclays Corporation, excellent leadership can be instrumental in addressing issues that it currently faces. Leaders are mandated to undertake various roles in an organizational setup. Some of the leaders’ roles in the Barclays Company are highlighted in this section.

Barclays is dependent on a transformational leadership style. As a leader in the bank, one is mandated with the role of creating inspiring visions and establishing visions that have to apply to a departmental and organizational level. The leader also sets stretch goals and comes up with the solutions in the event of a challenge (Allio, 2013). Barclays is currently struggling with the challenges of low employee morale, and it is in such situations that leadership is required. The leader needs to implement measures that are aligned with the organizational goals, which will be essential in boosting job satisfaction levels of the workers. Employee motivation platforms such as equal recognition and awarding suitable benefits and incentives and involving the workers in the decision-making process are some of the strategies that a leader can embrace in dealing with the issue currently faced by Barclays Corporation.

Recommendation or plan aimed at leading the organization out of the issue

There are various measures that Barclays’ leadership can implement in driving the company through the organization through the current problems. The challenge of low employee morale within the Barclays Corporation is as a result of low motivational levels. In this case, situational leadership model is essential in this case. According to the theory, any leadership styles are suitable depending on circumstance or event (McNally, 2017). With the current issue faced by the company, it will be necessary for the leaders to come up with an employee motivation program that will primarily focus on enhancing the morale of all the workers in the most affected branches. The strategy will be in the form of workable employee recognition and rewarding system.

The recognition and rewarding system will be designed in such a way that it will benefit all the workers. Barclays has a transformational leadership, and this will make it easier for the implementation of the changes. Some of the benefits that will have to be introduced or enhanced in the organization include paid sick and maternity leaves, health insurance cover and risk allowance. Every department will also have to recognize their employees solely based on performance and not favoritism. An annual pay rise for all the workers in all the bank’s segments will have to be included in the benefit packages. The visionary and transformational board of directors will have to approve the strategy within the first two months of its proposal. Human Resource departments for all the Barclays branches will have to embrace the new rewarding and recognition systems as a part of their daily operations. Apparently, this will help in dealing with the issue of low employee morale and motivation that has in the past few years contributed to the decline in the productivity of the workers.

Implication to the organization and leadership

The implementation of the recognition and rewarding system will be critical in improving the performance of the workers and on a bigger picture the organization (Allio, 2013). Barclays currently faces stiff competition from various financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo. Incorporation of the employee motivation system within the organization will be essential in ensuring that the productivity of the firm is enhanced significantly, and this will in return contribute to a bolstered competitive edge over the competitors. Barclays will also enjoy enhanced operational efficiency and improved inventory management with will promote its revenue generated (McNally, 2017). Finally, with the increased job satisfaction levels within the firm, a conducive workplace environment will be created that will drive staff members towards meeting their full potential.

The change process will also be essential to the company’s leadership. The managers will find it easy to relate with the motivated employees, and this implies that the company’s goals will be attainable. The high morale among the workers as a result of better pay and recognition will also improve social interactions between the senior and junior employees within the company. With such a collaborative working environment, the leaders of the firm will have their ability to set goals and visions simplified, thus facilitating organizational growth.


Barclays has over the years enjoyed immense growth around the world, and this has been contributed to its large-sized assets and market capitalization. The company has its operations in more than 40 countries. In the past two years, the firm has however been subjected to various challenges including the closure of some of its branches in Europe and Africa and the low employee motivation in some of the bank’s branches. The issues have ended up negatively impacting the performance and productivity some of the segments. In the quest of dealing with this issue, it will be vital for the leadership to introduce an employee recognition and empowerment program that will be critical in boosting the morale of the workers and at the same time the performance of those branches that are currently struggling in the market.


Allio, R. (2013). Leaders and leadership – many theories, but what advice is reliable? Strategy Leadership, 41(1), 4-14.

Bass, B. M., & Riggio, R. E. (2014). Transformational leadership. New York.: Routledge.

BCS : Summary for Barclays PLC - Yahoo Finance. (2017). Retrieved 8 September 2017, from

Davies, A. (2017, September 16). Barclays plans to close around 54 branches by the end of 2017. The Independent. Retrieved from

Leadership | Barclays Directors & Leadership Team | Barclays. (2017, September 16). Home. Barclays. Retrieved from

McNally, K. (2017). Leading a Multigenerational Workforce. Healthcare Executives, 58-62

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