Bank of America leads Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints about mortgages

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A review this week by Wikinews of US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaints about mortgages in the United States shows Bank of America leads all lending institutions in complaints.

Since mortgages complaints were recorded in December 2011, 77,622 total have been added to CFPB’s database. 29.2% of these complaints involved Bank of America, with the second most received by Wells Fargo, accounting for 15.5% of all complaints. JPMorgan Chase ranked third by volume of complaints with 9.8%. Ocwen was fourth with 8.7% and Citibank was fifth with 4.8%. Nationstar Mortgage; Green Tree Servicing, LLC; HSBC; PNC Bank; U.S. Bancorp; OneWest Bank; SunTrust Bank; Flagstar Bank; and Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. each had between 1.0 and 3.8% of total complaints. The remaining 14.4% of all complaints about consumer mortgages were divided between about 530 other lending institutions.

The Motley Fool reported last month that for the past fiscal quarter, the biggest US based mortgage lenders were from first to fifth Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Quicken Loans and U.S. Bancorp.

According to the US Federal Reserve, debt for family residences stands at US$10.706 trillion for the second quarter of 2013. As of the end of June of this year, Bank of America is the United States’s second largest commercial bank with US$1.343 trillion in domestic assets. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest commercial bank with US$1.251 trillion in domestic assets. JPMorgan Chase is the largest US commercial bank with US$1.329 trillion in domestic assets and US$1.947 trillion in total assets.

The mortgage complaints in the CFPB report include several subproducts. Conventional fixed mortgages account for 27.1% of all complaints. Conventional adjustable mortgages account for 10.0%. FHA mortgages account for 7.7% of all complaints. Home equity loans or lines of credit account for 3.8% of all complaints. VA mortgages are 1.4% of all complaints. Second mortgages and reverse mortgages each account for 0.6% of complaints. The remaining 48.7% of complaints are about other mortgages or other mortgage issues. A few years ago, FHA loans accounted for about 10% of all US mortgages while VA loans accounted for about 3%. Prime loans accounted for over 75% of the market and the rest were subprime mortgages.

California leads all states by volume of complaints with 14768. It is followed by Florida, New York, Georgia and Texas. When complaints are divided by a state’s total population, New Hampshire leads. The state is followed by Washington D.C., Maryland, Georgia and Florida. Complaints do not correlate with national rankings for August’s foreclosure rate by state where Nevada topped the list, followed by Florida, Ohio, Maryland and Delaware.

Two zip codes account for over 1,000 total complaints between them. 565 complaints originated in the 48382 zip code, which is in Commerce Township, Michigan, located in suburban Detroit. 553 complaints originated in the 33071 zip code, in Coral Springs, Florida. According to real estate website Zillow, there are currently 1,033 properties in foreclosure in Coral Springs while Commerce Township only has 131 properties currently in foreclosure. Four other zip codes have 100 plus complaints originating from them. 91730, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, had 158 complaints. 33409, in West Palm Beach, Florida, had 132. 92626, in Costa Mesa, California, had 125 complaints. 92660, in Newport Beach, California, had 122 complaints. Respectively, the towns had 534, 1,068, 153, and 134 properties currently in foreclosure. These numbers are higher than for the cities of a few sampled zip codes where there was only one complaint, such as Gold Hill, Oregon which has 4 properties in foreclosure, and Decatur, Illinois which has 6 properties in foreclosure.

The CFPB categorizes complaints into six categories: “Loan modification, collection,foreclosure” or problems when a person is unable to pay; “Loan servicing, payments, escrow account” or problems with making a payment; “Application, originator, mortgage broker”; “Credit decision / Underwriting”; “Settlement process and costs”, and “Other”. The CFPB says the complaint types indicate consumers “appear to be driven by a desire to seek agreement with their companies on foreclosure alternatives. The complaints indicate that consumer confusion persists around the process and requirements for obtaining loan modifications and refinancing, especially regarding document submission timeframes, payment trial periods, allocation of payments, treatment of income in eligibility calculations, and credit bureau reporting during the evaluation period.” Currently, 59.6% of all complaints against lenders deal with being unable to pay. 25.1% deal with problems in making a payment. 7.0% have to do with the application process.

Of the complaint-heavy zip codes, for 48382 in Commerce Township, Michigan, 98.9% of all complaints have to deal with being unable to pay. Accounting for 23.4% of all mortgage complaints in Commerce Township, 132 of the complaints for being unable to pay were made regarding Bank of America, accounting for 97.8% or all but 3 complaints against them from the zip. 121 of the Bank of America responses in Commerce Township were closed with explanation and 12 were closed with non-monetary relief. 33071 in Coral Springs is different, with 537 of the 553 complaints being categorized under other. Only 11 complaints relate to foreclosure and issues with being able to pay. 92626 in Costa Mesa, where 32% of the mortgage complaints were about Bank of America and 26.4% were about Wells Fargo, had 93.6% of its complaints dealing with being unable to pay. 5 total complaints dealt with payment issues and 3 dealt with applications.

Beyond regional variance in complaint types lodged, the top five mortgage lenders by volume of complaints all had being unable to pay as their top complaint category, ranging between 55.8% for Citibank and 69.4% for Bank of America. Problems with payment accounted for the second largest area of complaints, with Ocwen having the largest percentage of complaints at 31.9% and Bank of America having the smallest at 18.8%. Foreclosure was the top area of complaints for a number of other lending institutions including 1st Alliance Lending, OneWest Bank, Ally Bank, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Bank of the West, BMO Harris, BOK Financial Corp, Caliber Home Loans, Inc, Capital One, Deutsche Bank and EverBank.

Nationally, complaints reached a high of 5,840 for January 2013, 1,107 more than the next highest month of April 2013. The total emerging for September is the second lowest since records were first kept in December 2011. On a state by state level, this pattern largely repeats with a major exception for Florida which saw a peak of 849 complaints in June 2012. Then, as now, Florida was one of the top five states in the nation in its foreclosure rate. The national January spike came as the Qualified Mortgage standard required by the The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 came into play. It required mortgage lenders to take steps to insure borrowers could repay their mortgages.

Bank of America’s complaint volume follows the national trend, with a spike in January 2013 with 1,925 total complaints. Unlike nationally, the next month by volume of complaints was February of this year with 1,598 complaints. Prior to that, the highest month was May 2012 with 1,418 complaints. The lowest volume of complaints is September this year with 334.

Wells Fargo matched national trends for volume of complaints by month, with the exception of the current month being the lowest on record for number of complaints with 197 compared to the next lowest month, December 2011, when they had 221. JPMorgan’s complaint volume by month spiked in January and March of this year with 504 complaints. April of this year was the next highest month with 493 complaints, edging out May of last year with 488 complaints. September this year is on track to be the lowest month by complaint volume.

The federal government shutdown is unlikely to impact the current mortgage situation in the United States directly for most consumers, though mortgage processing by the Federal Housing Administration could be slower, resulting in fewer mortgages processed.

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Canada’s west coast battles high winds

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Currently, there are blackouts, heavy rain, and high winds in British Columbia. Over 220,000 BC Hydro customers have no power. Buildings have already collapsed and trees have been knowed down. Five Vancouver rivers were in danger of flooding, which rain fell at 10 mm an hour for more than six hours at midday.

The steel frame of a four-storey building under construction in Vancouver collapsed. Construction workers escaped injury, luckily they were on a coffee break at the time of the incident. The steel frame crushed cars in a parking lot and missed a truck driver.

Citizens had to evacuate a subdivision of 30 homes. The winds smashed trees into houses in West Vancouver.

“We have some real fears here with electrical problems,” said Captain Rob Jones Cook of the Vancouver Fire Department. “This is impinging on electrical poles and lamp standards. We also have hydro bus lines running down two sides of the building.” The Vancouver Fire Department says they have no idea as to why the building collapsed.

Winds are gusting at more than 100 kilometres an hour (62 mph) in some areas and rainfall amounts of 50 to 130 millimetres.

According BC Hydro spokeswoman Elisha Moreno, the hardest-hit areas are Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford and Mission, B.C. “We’re trying to be optimistic and hoping it’s by end of day today, but there may very well be customers that are into the early-morning hours before restoration,” Moreno said.

Extensive ferry cancellations, road closures, and massive power outages are in effect until the storm ends.

The RCMP have advised people to stay home and off the highway.

The same heavy weather has also affected nearby Washington State, USA.

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What New Home Buyers Are Looking These Days From Builders?}

Submitted by: PropLadder India

Buying first home is not something that easy. You should be prepared with as much of information as you can before you begin. You must understand the real estate market. Buying a new home and searching for it is sometimes exciting, exhausting and scary in some cases. In the end, your aim is to end up with a new home that you love at your affordable price. These days many people for looking for apartments/flats for sale in Bangalore and Hyderabad. This article would be helpful for those in buying in their dream home.

To begin with, you have to make some priorities in buying a home and make some options. Once you have listed all your thoughts together finally you will end up with a locality and a builder.

A new buyer has certain expectations on the builder as it is the home where they would stay for their whole life. Here are some points a new home buyer should expect from a professional builders:


A new home buyer expects a builder to be open and honest about the information which he provides. The foundation between a buyer and builder is a good relationship and trust, respect and good communication.

Time management:

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Time management is most important factor. A builder must be available and ready to show the property when a buyer requests for. Unavailability may lead to a negative impression in the buyer, he may think that there may be some issues in the property and so the builder is trying to hide them and even the buyer will not be so patient to wait for the next site visit he will go for another builder.


The builder must be knowledgeable. An experienced builder will have more knowledge than a new builder. The key part of their job is to inform and guide you in all aspects of home buying till the end.

Should know your interest:

A builder must be interested in finding your interest about your needs and what you’re looking in a house like size, price, features, amenities and location. That way they can show you the most suitable properties instead of confusing you showing many properties.

Invite you for site visit:

A builder who will invite you for site visits and approach with the design and explain the detailed descriptions will be more helpful.

Answer your questions:

This looks simple yet critical. You may have many questions in your mind, unless you clear them you cannot happily invest in the property. Don’t hesitate to ask your questions to the builder. If they cannot answer your questions to your satisfaction, they may not be the builder for you.

Explain the building process:

A builder should explain the entire building process clearly, like who is responsible for what, construction and payment details, pre-delivery inspection, what are needed on closing the deal.

Give you regular updates:

When you are ready to buy a property / signed the deal to buy a property, the builder must give you regular progress updates regarding the construction process and make arrangements for your site visit on regular basis.

Truthful in Documents:

A trustful builder will help you in explaining what a home buyer should look after while signing a deal. He will provide you a detailed written contract and review it with you in detail.

Deliver on their promises:

A professional and a true builder will do what they say they would do, with full attention and with a thorough quality.

About the Author: PropLadder India provides apartment, flats and villas in and around Hyderabad and Bangalore at affordable prices. You can get more information on Propladder at :


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David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

David S. Touretzky, prominent free speech activist and critic of Scientology, discussed his opinions on the recent Internet backlash against the Church of Scientology in an interview with former Scientologist and Wikinews reporter Nicholas Turnbull. The recent conflict on the Internet between critics of Scientology and the Church has been spurred on in declarations by a nebulous Internet entity using the name Anonymous that the Church of Scientology “will be destroyed”. Anonymous has directed recent protests at Scientology centres across the world, which have attracted significant numbers of individuals supporting the cause. In recent e-mail correspondence with Wikinews, a representative of the Church of Scientology declared that the Church considers the activities of Anonymous to be illegal, and that Anonymous “will be handled and stopped”.

Touretzky, a research professor in artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University, has been a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology since mid-1995, and has been protesting against Scientology vociferously since then; he has also run websites that publish material that Scientology wishes to keep suppressed from the public eye, such as extracts from Scientology’s formerly-confidential Operating Thetan (OT) materials. Touretzky views the actions of the Church of Scientology as being “a threat to free speech”, and has endured harassment by the Church of Scientology for his activities.

The Church of Scientology continues to suffer damage to its public reputation through increased exposure on the Internet and vocal protests by Scientology critics such as Prof. Touretzky. A recent event that focused intense attention on Scientology’s totalitarian attitude was the leak of an internal Church of Scientology propaganda video to the Internet video sharing site YouTube, in which celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise spoke heavily in Scientology’s jargon and stated that that “we [Scientology] are the authorities” on resolving the difficulties of humanity. The declaration of war by Anonymous followed shortly after this leak, in the form of a video posted to the Internet.

The ongoing dispute, cast by some as Scientology versus the Internet, brought Scientology terms such as “SP” (Suppressive Person, an enemy of Scientology) and “KSW” (Keeping Scientology Working) into general usage by non-Scientologists from the late 1990s onwards; increased attention has been drawn to Scientology by the release of the Cruise video in addition to media coverage. This focus has caused an even greater propagation of these terms across the outside world, as Touretzky comments in the interview.

Wikinews asked Prof. Touretzky about the impact that the activities of Anonymous will have on Scientology, the public relations effect of the Tom Cruise video, the recent departure of individuals from the Church of Scientology’s executive management, the strategies that Anonymous will employ and Touretzky’s experiences of picketing the Church.

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The Way Collection Agencies Collect Judgments

I am not an attorney, I am a judgment and debt referral specialist (Collection Broker). This article is my opinion, based on my experience in California, and laws vary in each state. If you ever want a strategy to use or legal advice, please contact a lawyer.

While there is a wide variation on how collection agencies work to collect money from debtors, now almost none now engage in the stereotypes of abuse that were more common a long time ago. Although there are bad apples in every profession, most debt collectors remain reasonable and polite, usually much more than the debtors.

Every collection agency starts with a letter and/or a phone call, because:

1) A small percentage of debtors pay after they get first notice of the debt, as a few realize this has become serious.

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2) It provides the debtor a chance to explain their side of the story and contest the debt, because once in a while, the debt is not valid. A few examples of this are when the debtor filed for bankruptcy protection, or a judgment against them was vacated or has become expired.

3) Laws require that debtors get mailed full or mini “Miranda” wordings, telling them of their rights, how to dispute the debt, how to contact a government agency, etc.

The mini Miranda, has words similar to “I am NAME, of this BUSINESS-NAME, a debt collector representing CREDITOR-NAME. Information obtained during the course of this call will be used for the purpose of collecting the debt.” Similar words must be included in all phone conversations, and on all letters.

After some time has passed, usually 30 days, most collection agencies write or call again, until one of two things happen:

1) They succeed in making friends with the debtor, and figure a current or future payment plan. Once in a while, they may visit the debtor’s residence for friendly face-to-face discussions.

2) The debtor tells them in writing to stop all communications. This is somewhat like asking a painful tooth to stop hurting, because it doesn’t cease collection actions, and debtors will still receive all legal notices. Sometimes the next step is putting the debt on the debtor’s credit report. Then more waiting, and if there is not a judgment yet, sometimes they sue the debtor to get a judgment. Getting a judgment is the key to being able to request that a sheriff seize the debtor’s assets.

If there is a judgment, many collection agencies hire private investigators to find the debtor’s assets, and their lawyers to recover the judgment. Most collection agencies do not need to own your debt or judgment, because they work on their client’s behalf.

Most collection agencies charge between 25% to 50% of what is collected, depending on how new the debts are, how much is owed, and what fees they charge. At 50% there should be no upfront or any other costs, at 25% you should expect to pay some fees. On unlawful detainer judgments, most collections agencies charge an upfront fee.

A debt or judgment broker knows the best collection agencies, and brokers are easy to find with a web search.

Article Source:

About Author: – is the best and fastest judgment and debt solution, where Judgments and debts quickly get recovered by the very best – matched to your debtor. Mark Shapiro – Judgment and debt Broker – best quality free leads for collection agencies and contingency collection attorneys.Author: Mark Shapiro

Australian health workers to close intensive care units in Victoria next week

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Members of Australia’s Health Services Union (HSU) will go on strike in Victoria next week in a dispute over stalled wage and career structure negotiations. Over 5000 physiotherapists, speech pathologists and radiation therapists will walk off the job next week, effectively closing the state’s 68 largest health services.

The strike will force the closure of intensive care units and emergency departments across the state.

It is feared the strike could continue into Easter.

National secretary of the HSU, Kathy Jackson said admissions would be crippled, while intensive care patients would have to be evacuated to New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia as hospitals will not be able to perform tests or administer treatment.

“When an ambulance shows up you can’t admit a patient without an X-ray being available, you can’t intubate them and you can’t operate on them,” she said.

“If something goes wrong in an ICU you need to be able to X-ray, use nuclear medicine or any diagnostic procedure,” said Ms Jackson.

Ms Jackson said the HSU offered arbitration last year, but the state government refused. “They’re not interested in settling disputes, they hope that we are just going to go away.”

“We’re not going away, we’ve gone back and balloted the whole public health workforce in Victoria, those ballots were successful, 97 percent approval rating,” she said.

The HSU is urging the government to commence serious negotiations to resolve the dispute before industrial action commenced.

The government has offered the union a 3.25 per cent pay increase, in line with other public sector workers but the union has demanded more, but stopped short of specifying a figure.

Victorian Premier John Brumby said the claim would be settled according to the government’s wages policy. “The Government is always willing and wanting to sit down and negotiate with the relevant organisations . . . we have a wages policy based around an increase of 3.25 per cent and, above that, productivity offset,” he told parliament.

The union claims it is also arguing against a lack of career structure, which has caused many professionals to leave the health service. Ms Jackson said wages and career structures in Victoria were behind other states.

Victorian Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said he was not in support of the proposed strike and called on the government to meet with unions. “There could not be a more serious threat to our health system than has been announced today.”

“We now have to do whatever is possible to stop this strike from proceeding,” he said.

The opposition leader will meet with the union at 11:30 AM today.

Victorian Hospitals Industry Association industrial relations services manager Simon Chant said hospitals were looking at the possible impact and warned that patients may have to be evacuated interstate if the strike goes ahead.

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Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal gets final approval by city Planning Board

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The proposed Elmwood Village Hotel got the final approval it needed from the city of Buffalo’s Planning Board this morning.

In a unanimous vote, the Board approved most of the design and site plan of the hotel.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed hotel by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and is designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. It is to be placed on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo and will require the demolition of at least five properties (1109-1121 Elmwood).

Despite the fact that today’s meeting was not a “public hearing”, several citizens lashed out at the Board after the approval.

“Thanks for destroying Buffalo,” said one man.

“[I am] disgusted. Because they did not allow the community to speak, it is the bastardization of the concepts of justice and democracy, and that’s what happened [today],” said Clarence Carnahan, a local business owner and concerned citizen, to Wikinews. He also referred to some board members as “immoral pigs.”

“[I feel] frustration because no one could speak. I was going to address the displacement of all the shops that are there and that they should be grand-fathered into the new space. We did not get to say that. [I am disappointed] that they are endorsing this enormous monstrosity.” said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood.

Although the Board approved the hotel proposal, Savarino Construction must still go before the board to approve things such as signage and lighting. The Planning Board meets again on April 11, 2006 at 8:00a.m., but it is unknown if the hotel proposal will be on the agenda.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood and owner of 605 Forest Avenue in Buffalo, threatened to sue Savarino Construction at a public meeting on March 15, 2006 saying, “if you try to get a variance to change the code, I will sue you. This is my home, number one. If you go against city code, and you try to do the most rooms with a minimal amount of parking, again, I will sue you.”

Today, Georgiadis confirmed to Wikinews that he is “definitely” suing, but that his “situation is different” as compared to others looking into legal action. “This is my property. They did it [changed the code] without my approval.”

Last week, the Common Council voted and approved the rezoning of all five properties including 605 Forest.

Some are also considering taking the case to the New York State Supreme Court to “seek an injunction”and would go “pro se, meaning I am going to present the case myself,” said Carnahan.

Despite the approvals by the Common Council and Planning Board, organizers schedulaed another protest for Saturday April 1, 2006 at 2:00p.m. on the proposed site at Forest and Elmwood.

“We are not going to go down without a fight. We are going to go kicking and screaming,” said Pollina.

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US adds 173,000 jobs in August; unemployment rate drops to seven year low

Monday, September 7, 2015

The US economy added 173,000 jobs in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 5.3 to 5.1 percent, the lowest since April 2008.

Although August job gains were lower than most economists forecast, job growth numbers for June and July were revised upwards by a combined 44,000. Average job gains over the past three months stand at 221,000, compared to March-May’s 189,000 monthly average. Over the past twelve months, job growth has averaged 247,000 per month.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent, or 8 cents, marking the largest increase in earnings in seven months. Hourly earnings had risen by 6 cents in July. Wages have risen by 2.2 percent over the past year.

Job growth in August was primarily concentrated in the health care and social assistance, financial activities, and professional and business services sectors. Those three areas of the economy added a combined 108,000 jobs. Food service and drinking places employment increased by 26,000 over the month, and other economic sectors saw employment hold steady. Manufacturing, on the other hand, saw employment decline by 17,000 in August. A stronger dollar and worldwide economic weakness make US exports less desirable, leading to a flattening in manufacturing employment so far this year after steadily rising in the early years of the US economic recovery.

The solid overall job gains led analysts to slightly raise expectations for a decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month. Investors raised the likelihood of a September rate increase from 26 percent before the jobs report to 30 percent, and stocks dropped by over one percent on Friday. “The payrolls data is certainly good enough to allow for a Fed rate hike in September,” said Deutsche Bank’s head of currency strategy, Alan Ruskin. “The big question is still whether financial market volatility will scupper the plans.”

“This is the first time the market has looked at a Fed meeting and really has no idea what the Fed is going to do,” said Mark Kepner, a New Jersey equity trader with Themis Trading. “Right now you’re looking at the overall uncertainty and that’s what’s hanging on the market. I don’t think this number in and of itself changes how somebody’s going to vote.”

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The Changing Dynamics Of Rewards &Amp; Recognition

“Can gratitude be part of a process beyond its moral trappings?”

Gratitude is not just a matter of good gesture but provides a far deeper impact on one’s life and attitude. It provides the charm for any help done to anyone. Gratitude makes one of the pinnacles of humanity, which is seen in action and stands better than mere words. As Henri Frederic Amiel says-

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”

Have you ever wondered what is that one more important thing that keeps employees motivated to be the best self at work day in and day out? Appreciation. While words of appreciation and encouragement might be validating, they’re fleeting beyond a point.

Attracting talent is crucial, but what is more important is recognising talent in the workplace. Not just that: In the crossroads of people and change, carrot and stick, smarter rewards, and speedy perks, it is critical for HRs to create a reward strategy that articulates the expectation of both employer and employees.

Recognition in the Workplace:

Human interaction involves gratitude which helps to cherish the relationships among each other. It is more pronounced in any workplace which involves people willing to cooperate to combine skills and merit to produce necessary solutions. Skyhigh Marketing in their book” The Side effects of “Thank You” brings out the merits of Gratitude such as:

    • Ensure high productivity – Gratitude generates happiness which makes dopamine released to the brain, making it more productive
    • Reduced Stress Levels – Practicing Gratitude on a regular basis would help to reduce stress hormones. Being grateful ensures emotional and physical resilience
    • Foster Healthy Lifestyle: – Two major indicators of healthy living are the sleep patterns and immune system. Gratitude acts as a catalyst to attain happiness and joy
    • Social Recognition: Social sense of gratitude helps in building a healthy work culture between employers and employees
    • Increased focus at work: Recognition does not just foster health and happiness but it is a prime factor to increase focus at work.

Economical Aspects:

In the” The Side effects of the “Thank You” book, the authors describe the varying costs and effects of losing and rehiring an employee. This is prevalent in low paying jobs with high turnover rates as these jobs do bear pressure and thereby lose productivity and are the major cause of attrition. This goes higher in costs connected to high paying jobs also.

The best way forward is rather simple. Coming up with sturdy rewards and recognition strategy! At the end of the day, that’s the best way to let your employees know that they’re doing well.

Companies must invest more in building strong reward and recognition programs and must use modern technology such as a unified HRMS software in order to track the mood and morale of the employees and determine how to increase productivity by keeping employees motivated at work. An end to end HR Solution like Darwinbox, Cake HR, Bamboo HR, Namely etc can help in tracking productivity, giving and receiving effective feedback and appreciating and recognising employees by enabling peer-to-peer recognition. This will help in building a culture of recognition and gratitude at work.

Impact of Recognition In Times of COVID:

Many would like to show gratitude in the best of their times but rarely at the lowest point. And it becomes even more difficult to express gratitude when everyone across the world is under a crisis like COVID. A pandemic forces people not to interact, not to converse face to face, which would make people feel agitated when they are all alone at home with zero social life. The tendency will prevail as the work from home culture evolves to be permanent. Therefore, now when more than half of the corporate population across the world are working remotely it becomes even more important for HRs to focus on recognition to keep employees motivated which in turn will enhance productivity at work.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

While formal recognition programs like annual employee awards are valuable, recognition shouldn’t be restricted to once in a year affair. It should be continuous and holistic. HR should encourage managers to recognize their reportees and peers in impromptu ways. With employees working from home, managers could start their virtual meetings by calling out good work done by the employees from the past week. In addition to regular meetings, managers should also encourage their team to set up virtual celebrations where anyone can voice their appreciation for each other. These virtual get-togethers can help foster connectivity at a time when people need it most.

Ways of Gratitude:

Gratitude is not a measurable quantity that can be judged but seen as a matter of human quality which is inseparable from motivation and productivity. This is the key to a healthy and productive workspace, enabling gratitude to be a primordial virtue.

A way of recognition is by peer to peer appreciation where colleagues could show the impact of gratitude more profoundly, enabling the workplace to be holistic and stress-free. This would be more crucial when the workplace is online oriented, where the colleagues are unable to meet face to face in this crisis.

Another is to create a ratio where both praise and criticism is used to judge a service or event on an employee. This may at least force the employee to work more to better interact with their peers and clients. The measure of gratitude should not restrict to only this ratio, but also involve the following methods(Summer Allen, “ The Science of Gratitude”)

  • The Gratitude Adjective Checklist(GAC)- This involves the employees to report a 1- 5 scale on the basis of these adjectives of gratitude, thankful and appreciative for any time period.
  • The Gratitude Questionnaire(GQ-6) – It is designed to measure the level of gratitude of a person as a “ trait gratitude” using a 6 value set.
  • The Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test(GRAT)- Another way to measure trait gratitude, with a rating system on a series of statements

These ways are only possible if the workspace encourages trust-building, promotes transparency, be open and tolerant of others’ views and opinions. It’s only possible if the workforce engages itself towards the feeling of esprit de corps. To express such an approach of gratitude, it is recommended to adopt these three simple practices at work.

  • Formulate a reward strategy
  • Maintain a recognition journal
  • Come up with innovative ways of recognition like-
  1. time-off to be used at a future date,
  2. free breakfast or lunch for those still coming into work,
  3. gift cards to local restaurants

BBC announces pay freeze and no bonuses for managers

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More than 400 senior managers within the United Kingdom’s BBC, which employs around 28,500 people, have been told that they face a real-terms pay cut as bonuses and pay rises are scrapped this financial year.

Tuesday’s announcement said that bonuses will not now be paid and pay rates will stay fixed until 2010. The BBC’s executive management board, including Director-General Mark Thompson, his deputy Mark Byford and the Director of BBC Vision Jana Bennett did not take their bonuses for 2009 and have already had their pay frozen. Senior staff will have their bonus plan abandoned whilst junior staff have been told to expect any pay increases to be modest.

The BBC is under budget constraints after receiving a licence fee settlement below the amount management felt it required. Coupled with the effects of the credit crunch, the BBC is believed to need to find £1.7bn in savings between now and 2013 but has seen a further £450m shortfall develop. Initial plans to sell important BBC buildings have been put on hold since the falls in the property market in 2008. The planned pay freeze could save £20 million but risks angering unions who are seeking a general increase of £1,800 per person. Gerry Morrissey of BECTU, the broadcasting union, has already mentioned the possibility of industrial action. He told Sky News, “We have never been in favour of bonuses being paid so believe this should happen every year, and the money go towards eradicating low pay.”

The Press Association quotes Mark Thompson as telling staff “A strategic contingency exercise, led by a senior group of managers, has been looking at what additional funds are needed should we need to put aside additional funds to cover our current estimate of the financial risks we face… We need to be in as strong a position as possible if we are to deliver distinctive content and meet our key strategic projects, such as moving to the new Broadcasting House, moving network production to the nations and funding our broadband future.”

The pay freeze will not affect the Corporation’s highest paid on-air talent, who are on individual contracts.

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