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A Dutch lesson on staff management

From Mr Peter Vintner

Sir: At the press conference following the takeover of Barings bank, Aad Jacobs, the chairman of the Dutch bank ING, confirmed that staff would receive their 1994 bonuses; a matter previously in doubt ("Dutch clinch Barings deal", 7 March). What is more, he announced that payments would be in ascending order of heirarchy the most junior employees being paid first.

Irrespective of the merits of the bonus, Barings' staff will feel valued, fairly treated and more kindly disposed towards their new employer. Productivity and service are likely improve as a result.

Contrast this attitude of management towards staff with that of, for example, the privatised utilities or high street banks in this country. Senior management here take the view that it is better to sacrifice staff in order to pay their own bonuses.

As a consequence, remaining staff feel unvalued, unfairly treated and unkindly disposed towards their employer.

Potential standards of productivity and service will never be achieved.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW19

8 March