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Experience of National People's Cooperative Bank of Jamaica

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 3149 words Published: 14th Sep 2017

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Executive Summary

This paper reflects my experiences as a student, especially in the context of the world of work and the experiences I gained from this involvement. My work experience was intended mainly to develop knowledge and to help me understand how businesses operated. At the same time, it also afforded me the opportunity to view the world of work through the eyes of managers, as well as to appreciate the critical relationships between different parts of the same organization.

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In preparation for this assignment, I was required to research a suitable organization and arrange for my work experience. I was also required to identify a suitable issue or problem with the organization, and set aims, targets and objectives. Finally, I was also required to monitor the progress against the action plan and review the effectiveness of the achievements of the targets set, as well as my own performance.

While I was concerned about my own development in this process, I was also eager to learn about how the organization measured up to my pre-conceived ideas about companies and the way how they operated. I have always viewed these organizations as large, impersonal places shrouded in mystery and awe, places where people like me would feel alienated and ill at ease. There was always something foreign about them, that they were out of reach of the ordinary person like me.


For my work study assignment, I chose The National People’s Co-operative Bank of Jamaica Limited, a premier community bank for rural agricultural and community development in Jamaica that offer a range of services, situated in Buff Bay, Portland in the heart of the town established in 1906. There are 37 branches island wild with main branch which is located at Mandeville. They employed approximately 160 people island wide.

I chose this company because I wanted to learn more about the operations of a company that was geared towards commercial operations. Also, I wanted to learn about all aspects of its operations, from an administrative viewpoint, as well as the farming operations, which to me contained an important practical component to the learning process. Since this was a local company, which was fairly recently established, I was also keen to discover if the company was operating along approved financial lines and in conformity with local government laws. I wanted to as much information as I could possibly garner that would assist in my personal development and preparation for the world of work.

Literature Review

It was difficult to find suitable literature that applied specifically to the work experience. One of those examined was the Labour Relations Handbook, by George Kirkaldy, a noted industrial relations specialist, with over 45 years experience in industrial relations and labour law. This particular text was chosen because of its relevance to the Jamaican situation and because it contained so many examples about real-life situations on the Jamaican labour scene.

I had always wondered about what comprised the eight hour normal work day and the 40- hour work week. Because of my work experience assignment, I discovered that the eight hours of work per day did not include one hour that employees were entitled to for lunch time. Similarly, I found that once the employee completed his 8 hours for the day, any additional hours he worked for that day should be paid for at time and a half rates. As for public holidays, I found that if a public holiday fell during the week and the employee did not work, it was still expected that he be paid for the day, although there was no legal obligation on the part of the employer to pay the worker.

Learning about these things were an eye-opener for me as before this assignment, I did not think about these things and regarded work entitlements as the responsibility of the employer and no business of the employee. I learned too, that work arrangements are normally a result of discussion between employer and employee, and not merely a function of the employer.


  • To introduce students to the concept of work.
  • To provide students with opportunities for practical experience in order to help in their professional growth and development.
  • To give the employers an opportunity to help in the personal growth of young people, while providing a ready source of potential employees for their workforce.


  • To encourage a healthy exchange of ideas and experiences between the employer and the employee.
  • To help students better understand their responsibilities as good citizens.
  • To give employers an opportunity to provide a service that will help build a stronger nation.


The method I used to gather information was a daily journal I kept. This allowed me to keep a day-to-day record of my activities, while a hardcover notebook I constantly carried with me was used to record details of my daily activities, including some of the labour terms I found confusing. My employers also kept a record of my daily activities, which they kept in the filing cabinet reserved for employees. This, they explained to me, would form the basis of my evaluation at the completion of my work experience.

The work experience covered one week, a period my

employers believed was sufficient time for me to get a better understanding of the work processes involved and to get a feel of the four departments of the company: administration, production, transport and marketing. My immediate supervisor also explained that this would allow me to better appreciate the time and effort required to get the product from the planting to marketing stage, and that it required much co-operation and the timely application of resources to ensure the best result. .(See evaluation sheet in the appendix)

LO1 Understanding the ways to arranging appropriate industry experience

  1. Selecting a suitable host organization. The organization of choice is the National People’s co-operative Bank of Jamaica Limited
  2. Explaining the structure of the host organization and sector in which it operates.

The Bank is a Cooperative of an economic and social nature. The Bank provides a range of services to its members/clients including: savings and loan facilities to the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), legal services (e.g. Financing the acquisition of land titles working through and with the National Land Acquisition Programmed of the Ministry of Agriculture), limited bill payment services (Paymaster) and the Family Indemnity Insurance Plan through CUNA Mutual.

  1. Explaining how the industry experience would support the development of an appropriate management report.

The People’s Co-operative Bank movement in Jamaica spans over 107 years. The Management, Volunteers, Partners and Staff are committed to the task of “Building Communities, by Ensuring the Growth and Development of their Members”. Their approach takes into account:

  • the project or issue
  • reducing it to a set of manageable tasks
  • obtaining appropriate and necessary resources
  • building a team or teams to perform the project work
  • planning the work and allocate the resources to the tasks
  • monitoring and control the work
  • reporting progress to senior management and/or the project sponsor
  • reviewing to ensure the lessons are learnt and best practices understood.

LO2 Agreeing aims and objectives of work based projects with others.

2.1 Negotiating appropriate aims, objectives and targets for the work based project task.


  • To improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Increase brand awareness in all segments.
  • To improve modernization of internal processes and customer service technology.


  • To provide a more suitable atmosphere for the physical challenge/disable people.
  • To have a better working environment both for its staff and customer.
  • To see the bank working toward online banking and overall on a wider scale.

2.2 Evaluating how the aims, objectives and targets will benefit both the organization and self.

  • Organizational Aims and Objectives must be harmoniously aligned with personal goals and agendas.
  • Knowledge of Aims & Objectives must be clearly communicated to staff and stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of personal goals and desires of staff must be known by organization management.
  • Harmony must be sought so that organizational prosperity and personal prosperity is seen as one.

LO3 Monitor and evaluate progress of work-based project.

3.1 Researching suitable information to a work-based activity.

The approach taken is to:

  • Select project activity.
  • Review Best Practices
  • Ensure limited resources are used on the right way
  • Harness the energy of staff in achieving beneficial change
  • Manage complex changes in an organised way
  • Evaluate risks; define goals and key success areas and set quality objectives for the future.

3.2 Maintaining a reflective practice journal to monitor progress.

  • Daily Journaling
  • Journal Review by Project Manager daily.
  • Progress Report Weekly
  • Best Practices recorded and repeated.

3.3 Assessing how the development of skills and behaviors improved owned knowledge of working practices making recommendations for improvement.

  • Developing an Evaluation Strategy
  • Best Practices and under achievements from Journal observation used to make recommendations for improvements.

LO4 Presenting report on work-base project.

4.1 Developing conclusion to meet the aims, objectives and targets.

Report must be solution based and target specific.

4.2 Carrying out appropriate changes to improve the collection, formatting storage and dissemination of information and knowledge.

  • Preparation, assessment and strategy development Phase: Preparing staff for change by appropriately and consistently communicating Goals & Expected Outcomes.
  • Detailed planning and implementation of strategies Phase: Management focuses on staff and stakeholder compliance and resistance.
  • Data gathering, corrective action and recognition Phase: Management and staff reinforces best practices to reinforce the new collection strategies. Ensure new storage structures are simpler and have more than adequate capacity. Keep listening and communicating sharing and gathering knowledge.

4.3 Implementing a strategy to improve access to systems of information and knowledge.

  • Preparation, assessment and strategy development Phase: Preparing staff for change by appropriately and consistently communicating Goals & Expected Outcomes.
  • Detailed planning and implementation of strategies Phase: Management focuses on staff and stakeholder compliance and resistance.
  • Data gathering, corrective action and recognition Phase: Management and staff reinforce best practices to reinforce the new collection strategies. Ensure new storage structures are simpler and have more than adequate capacity. Keep listening and communicating sharing and gathering knowledge.

Analysis and Findings

What I found during my stay at National People’s Co-operative Bank of Jamaica Limited was that the world of work was indeed a very complex place and far from the simple place I had imagined it to be. In the first place, I thought banking was simply a matter of paying out and collecting money. I was rudely awakened from my slumber when I came to realize that the process involved all and types of services such as bill payment, golden harvest, Family Indemnity Plan and different types of loans offer both for farming and land preparation, the selection of the, as well as serious attention to detail at all stages of the journey. I learned that agriculture was as much a science as an art, that the plants required as much care and attention as a human being and that one careless act could result in the destruction of months of painstaking effort.

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I was surprised too that the company strictly adhered to local standards and laws, that statutory deductions made from the wages of employees were paid over to the relevant government agency, and on time. Most of all, I was very surprised that employees earned vacation leave and were actually paid for it. I did not ever imagine in my wildest dreams that workers in the agricultural sector were actually entitled to these benefits and were actually getting them. In the back of my mind, I remembered my grandfather as a farmer, carrying his machete and fork to work, working on his own and getting meager returns for all his hard efforts. I never imagined an agricultural business running with the professionalism and efficiency of a bank and having employees, each of whom had a personal file and had benefits like life insurance, sick leave and maternity leave.


I learned that agriculture can be successful business in Jamaica. I grew up regarding banking as a vocation usually practiced by older men, many of whom were dying. At the same time, most of the younger people regarded agriculture as dirty work, and thus many of them shied away from it. My work experience helped to change all that stereotype of the Jamaican farmer. Not only was it helping to keep people in the rural areas, but the business was also helping to bring new skills to these communities, like welding, laboratory and plant machinery upkeep.

From a wider perspective, the developments in the agricultural sector presented an even greater opportunity for Jamaicans to fully grasp agriculture as a true driver of the economy, from the viewpoint of developing the different sub-sectors, to creating linkages with other productive sectors like manufacturing and tourism.


Evaluation sheet

Often one of a company’s most expensive assets is its human capital, the human resources of the organization. The management of your human resources focuses on:

Recruitment and selection of employees who can succeed at their jobs and who will stay with your organization, and making sure that employees’ abilities are optimally nurtured and developed so that the company can receive an optimal return on the investment made in these employees.

Recruitment and Selection

This is particularly challenging in a global organization where one of your biggest challenges will be finding, retaining and developing a superior global workforce. Successful companies know what the jobs entail and seek to hire those candidates who can be more successful or effective with the lowest amount of support. Understanding cultural differences in the recruitment process, the selection of candidates and what motivates employees in various cultures is crucial to the success of global organizations.

Targeted Interview Techniques

While not difficult to learn, they are far more effective at identifying exactly what capabilities particular candidates could bring to your organization. This is particularly important when recruiting and selecting across cultures.

Assimilating New Employees

In this competitive environment for attracting good global talent, companies need to pay particular attention to the perception of the company on the part of candidates and new hires. A well thought out and extensive assimilation process often makes new employees more likely to stay. This process should start before the offer is made. This is especially important in group and relationship cultures as it helps the new employees feel welcomed into the group and gives them time and structure to establish relationships that will be important to the employee as well as anchor their loyalty to the company

Helping your employees recognize that they work in a multi-cultural environment or a global environment is an official reminder that there is an expectation that they will attend to cultural differences.

Localizing Your Employee Handbook and Job Descriptions

The meaning of job titles and job responsibilities vary across cultures.

Performance Management

Cultures with a preference for Certainty (prefer to know the structure/rules rather than handle ambiguity) prefer competency based performance systems. Communicating exactly what is expected and defining the levels of behaviors and assessing employees all against the same criteria feels fairer to many employees. Performance systems that depend on manager discretion can be viewed as “favoritism” and “unfair.”

If you know what it is that differentiates successful employees (their competency / behaviours) recruiting (external) and selecting (internal) against these competencies reduces the need for development (as you hire those who already have the needed skills) and benefits employees by recognizing those who already have the skills necessary to succeed.

The global leadership competencies required for success include: The flexibility to work and manage across cultures

The ability to be the voice of the local culture to home office while being the voice of home office to the local employees. One having an understanding of and ability to adapt to cultural differences as they impact business practice.

Change Management

The development of your organization and, particularly, how you manage change impacts the success of your business. Managing change and growth across cultures and geographies requires specific knowledge of the impact of change and growth needs in particular cultures.    


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