UOB levels up its Group-wide training programme, Better U, as part of the Bank’s commitment to invest in its people

UOB levels up its Group-wide training programme, Better U, as part of the Bank’s commitment to invest in its people

SINGAPORE, Oct. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — United Overseas Bank (UOB) today announced that it has expanded its award-winning Group-wide learning and development programme, Better U, to enable its employees to master skillsets in data analytics and project management, two areas essential to future employability. Better U is one of UOB’s flagship training programmes and sits alongside the Bank’s other training and traineeship programmes for its people.

For Better U Infographic, please click here.

According to research by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore[1], data analytics will augment or transform 90 per cent of jobs in the financial sector within the next five years. Similarly, project management skills will continue to be sought after in the future of work[2]. Given the criticality of these two skillsets, UOB is making it possible for its people to specialise in these areas and to stay ahead of industry developments.

For the next level, Better U is open to all UOB employees who have completed the mandatory foundational modules, which develop competencies in five core areas – growth mindset, problem-solving, digital awareness, human-centred design and data storytelling.  More than 8,000 UOB employees have already completed the foundational modules and by the first half of next year, the Bank expects that number to almost double to 15,000 UOB employees.

UOB kicked off the next stage of its Better U programme at a two-day virtual event for its 26,000 strong global workforce this morning. UOB Deputy Chairman and CEO, Mr Wee Ee Cheong, who opened the virtual event, said continuous learning is essential as industries and business models are reshaped given advances in technology and changes in customer expectations and behaviours.

Mr Wee said, “At UOB, we believe that continuous learning is essential for long-term sustainability. The new world presents tremendous opportunities and challenges and we are committed to investing in the future and in our people.

Better U is our flagship development programme that we launched for our people last year. So far, more than 8,000 colleagues around the world have participated in the foundational module. Better U has been important in inspiring 96 per cent of participants to continue developing their skills, while 98 per cent have said they are committed to applying what they have learnt in their roles. These results are very encouraging as we believe every individual should be given an opportunity to take the initiative and be responsible for their own learning and growth journey. With this in mind, we are adding two new tracks to Better U – project management and data analytics – that are essential skills that can be applied across all functions in the Bank.”

UOB’s business partners including Grab’s CEO, Mr Anthony Tan, then participated in a fireside chat while Microsoft’s Chief Operating and Marketing Officer, Mr Borko Kovacevic, joined IBF CEO, Mr Ng Nam Sin, and Professor Susanna Leong from the National University of Singapore in a panel session. They shared their insights into changing employee mindsets and how to learn, to unlearn and to relearn to stay relevant, how organisations can be successful in upskilling their workforces in digital capabilities and what they believe are indicators of a successful training programme.

A roadmap to developing a Better U for all employees

UOB has designed the second level of Better U to enable employees who have completed the foundational level of Better U to choose the track in which they want to deep-dive. While UOB is starting with two tracks this year – data analytics and project management, it plans to expand the specialised tracks in other areas such as cybersecurity, human-centred user experience and user interface design by 2023.

The data analytics and project management tracks feature three progressive stages, which are fully-digital and designed to be in bite-sized content, so that employees can go through them at their own pace and convenience. The Bank has taken the lessons from COVID-19 safe distancing restrictions and lockdowns to ensure all colleagues can gain the skills they need, remotely and based on their work and home life demands.

Each stage of the specialised training programme enables participants to learn and to acquire skills based on their level of experience and knowledge. This ensures that the training is meaningful to those employees who are upskilling or to practitioners who feel the need to upskill themselves in their chosen discipline. In creating and curating the curriculum, UOB tapped insights from subject-matter experts across the Bank such as its technologists and data masters to ensure that these specialised skills development tracks are practical and can be applied in a real-world setting.

Mr Bernard Tay, who has 10 years of experience at UOB as the Team Head for Contact Centre, participated in the Better U programme and is in the first cohort to embark on the project management track. He said, “I am thankful and excited for this opportunity to develop in this current climate. While I have specialised skills in my current role at the UOB Contact Centre, the value of expanding my knowledge in project management expertise will enable me to be ready and confident to move into other roles and future opportunities at UOB. I hope to put into practice what I will learn during this journey to build a successful career.”

[1] Source: “The Impact of Wider Integration of Data Analytics and Automation on Manpower in the Singapore Financial Services Sector” study, commissioned by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, 2019

[2] Source: McKinsey Global Institute’s workforce skills executive survey, March 2018

About United Overseas Bank

United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. UOB is rated among the world’s top banks: Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA- by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings. In Asia, UOB operates through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as branches and representative offices across the region.

Over more than eight decades, generations of UOB employees have carried through the entrepreneurial spirit, the focus on long-term value creation and an unwavering commitment to do what is right for our customers and our colleagues.

We believe in being a responsible financial services provider and we are committed to making a difference in the lives of our stakeholders and in the communities in which we operate. Just as we are dedicated to helping our customers manage their finances wisely and to grow their businesses, UOB is steadfast in our support of social development, particularly in the areas of art, children and education.