Stanbic Bank introduces the Compassionate Leadership Public Engagement Series in partnership with ConsumerCentriX

“Compassion is an intention that does not necessarily change your actions; instead, it changes the way you conduct your actions.”
- The Mind of the Leader, Harvard Business Review (HBR) Press, 2018 

In light of the tremendous challenges we have all faced over the last 18 months, Stanbic Bank is pleased to have the opportunity to introduce the Compassionate Leadership Public Engagement Series in partnership with ConsumerCentriX. The idea behind the series, which will consist of three webinars, is that while challenges and suffering are unavoidable, resilience is possible through compassion. Businesses and those they support (both as employees and as customers) can thrive via compassionate leadership.

During the second wave of the pandemic, Uganda faced unanticipated and heartbreaking realities, and nearly everyone was directly affected by COVID-19. As the country now works toward vaccinating the population,  the recently lifted 42-day lockdown, while helping save lives, has clearly had an impact on the resurgence of the economy. Other effects have been felt across the board, whether related to health, education, or mental health and wellbeing – or beyond.

Stanbic Bank has felt these impacts since the start of the pandemic and made the critical decision to act with compassion toward its employees and its customers early on. It has always been the bank’s mission to be a customer-centric organisation, in words and in deeds. SBU’s leader, Anne Juuko, found herself playing the roles of mother and big sister in addition to her responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer in response to the new realities of the pandemic. Executive management introduced supportive measures aimed at safeguarding the wellbeing of employees; for example, the bank invested in free COVID-19 testing for all employees at a time when tests are unaffordable for many individuals, and the bank invested in a well-equipped sickbay where infected employees receive treatment in a safe environment until out of danger. In addition to health-related concerns, the bank also focused on financial hardship brought about by the pandemic. Many Stanbic Bank employees were and continue to support multiple dependents beyond their immediate children and household members with the uptick in unemployment. The bank, in another act of compassionate leadership, extended financial COVID-19 relief of UGX500,000 to each staff member.

As the pandemic slowed businesses and put individual workers out of work, thousands of SBU’s retail and business customers were worried about how they would repay their loans with the bank. In response to this, the bank restructured a loan book worth over UGX900billion and suspended interest payment on loans to thousands of small businesses in multiple sectors. The bank also focused on relationship management, reaching out to customers through multiple lines of communication to encourage and share useful information to help customers stay afloat.

Unfortunately, this pandemic is far from over, both around the world and in Uganda, but we are not powerless to work towards a better future for ourselves, our businesses, our communities, and our loved ones.  As leaders, we carry responsibility to continue to advocate for a better and stronger economy, adequate healthcare, and fairer vaccine distribution. Just as importantly, we can find strength to sustain ourselves through our commitment to universal virtues like compassion.

The Compassionate Leadership Public Engagement Series, which will be launched on November 4th and run for 6months, will feature discussions with top leaders from key sectors such as banking, healthcare, and small business in Uganda. Join us as we share practical strategies and tools to help business owners lead with compassion, fostering better working environments and leading to stronger business outcomes. We look forward to engaging with you on this exciting series!