Banking at MayBank

Project details:

The Organization

Maybank was established in 1960, and today is the largest company by market capitalisation on the Malaysian Bourse (Bursa Malaysia). It is ranked first among listed Malaysian companies and among the top 500 companies in the Forbes Global 2000 leading companies of the world.

The Maybank Group offers a comprehensive range of products and services that includes commercial banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, offshore banking, leasing and hire purchase, insurance, factoring, trustee services, asset management, stock broking, nominee services, venture capital and Internet banking.

Maybank’s mission is to humanise financial services across Asia, by providing access to financial services to the people at fair terms and pricing, and to be always at the heart of the community.

The Challenge

However, they realised that a Shared Mission by itself cannot achieve high performance and organizational effectiveness.

To become an effective organization and thus achieve their goals they needed :

  1.  provide our staff the resilience to meet stiff competition and rising costs;
  2. effectively utilize technological aspects of marketing, research and development and customer service orientation.
  3. achieve synergy amongst our staff and symbiosis of our various operating units/departments and divisions

They identified :

  1. Planning and teamwork are required to seek new markets and retain old ones are essential to achieve productivity and profitability.
  2. Staff need to be efficient, effective and productive and be flexible enough to move into any position and react to the changing needs of the customers.
  3. They must be proactive and be catalysts to changes either individually or in group/teams.
  4. Above all, the Bank needed to instill in their staff the right ethical values and attitudes so that they could commit themselves to the betterment of the Bank.

The Grid Solution

With a wealth of internal leadership and management skills they agreed to base their overall approach on the 7s McKenzie Model – a model that any organization can use to enhance its productivity and performance.

In this model, our Shared Mission is the main goals and the other 6s are interventions or tools that need to be implemented and coordinated to achieve productivity and profitability.

They were familiar with traditional approaches in most of the areas like Skills, Strategies and System design. These are relatively easy areas to monitor and measure but the areas of Staff or Style are harder.

They realised that a Shared Mission by itself cannot achieve high performance and organizational effectiveness.

To change their Management Style to an effective Participative Management styles and also change the values, beliefs and outmoded ways of their staff, Mayford have employed the GRID intervention approach.

  • enable our staff to solve problems based on Systematic and analytical approach
  • adopt a win-win approach to problem-solving and conflict resolution and even when there is an impasse, they will take actions to avoid further negative consequences,
  • enable them to analyse themselves in term of their own values, beliefs and their work and interpersonal relationship,
  • enable them to take proactive actions, on any issues based on facts/data rather than superficial assumptions
  • encourage them to face-up and thereby remove barriers that may have prevented constructive activities.

Also, to be effective in the 9,9 mode, our staff must:

  • change their outmoded beliefs, values and ways of working and interacting with people;
  • inculcate a new modus operandi based on the 9,9 values
  • realize that their needs can only be enhanced if they can harmonize their needs with those of the groups/teams they are with and also those of the Bank;
  • recognize that only by working together in teams can the Bank achieve synergistic results and lastly
  • recognize that for effective teamwork all staff must accept and religiously practice the MBB Norms and Standards.

The Results

The intervention has made the culture and relationship issues tangible.

  • COMMUNICATION among members is thorough and in-depth; members are candid with respect to one’s own thinking and attitudes, and open to others point of view.
  • TEAM DECISION MAKING is characterized by synergy issues being thoroughly discussed and solutions and decisions based on facts being fully thrashed through to understanding and agreement.
  • PLANNING based on analysis of facts permit real issues to be treated soundly; plans are produced jointly by those who should be involved, individual responsibilities are clear.
  • FACING UP for matters that need attention is done as a matter of everyday management. Real problems are searched out and faced squarely.
  • INITIATIVE of result producing action is exercised and anticipating problems as well as solving them when they arise.
  • PROFIT COST CONSCIOUSNESS is characterized by team members knowing how their actions affect costs and thus being motivated to optimize expenditures.
  • TRADITIONS, PRECEDENTS AND PAST PRACTICES are evaluated in the light of requirements for excellence and, when necessary, are modified or replaced through thoughtful discussions.
  • STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE receive full commitment from team members. Synergistic and individuality outstanding results are achieved because members are motivated to excel.

Managing director said regarding the challenge faced by company, “I would like to stress that strengthening or enhancing Bank Performance requires a total system approach that needs both business and human OD interventions. Changing staff values, beliefs, work ethics and job attitudes and inculcating in them the need to adopt certain norms and standards in their daily activities is one of the many strategies to enhance our Bank Performance.“

With the institution of Teamwork development in 37 of our Branches and application of the Action Research Model or the ARM and operating within the framework of the Norms and Standards, the team operating in the branches have to some extent helped to achieve the followings:

  • Improved staff morale;
  • Better staff attitudes and discipline.

I believe that the improved morale and attitude of the staff and management has indirectly contributed to some extent in

  • Achieving the Bank’s profitability
  • Increasing the Bank’s business, and
  • Increasing the ATM uptime.

Even at Head Office, the teams utilizing the norms and standards have helped in achieving better teamwork and coordination amongst units and sections in the departments, development of new markets and products, technological improvements and inclination towards market-driven systems and procedures. In addition, it is interesting to note that the ARM is beginning to be widely used in Maybank, not only as problem-solving tool, but also for making presentation of ideas and projects to Top Management of Maybank.

In conclusion, there is no doubt the adoption of the norms and standards in the daily banking activities has contributed significantly in strengthening Maybank’s performance. It is really the foundation or the basis for any organization to bring or introduce changes and new strategies. A work force that is more systematic, analytical, communicative, proactive and willing to ace up is indeed receptive work force to accept and implement changes.

Project info:


  • Malaysian Bank

  • Malaysia

  • Banking