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DBS takes employees along on its digital HR journey
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DBS takes employees along on its digital HR journey



This article is brought to you by DBS Hong Kong

DBS was one the big winners at this year’s HR Distinction Awards, gaining accolades for excellence in HR digitalisation, leadership development and employee caring. Sharon Cheng, head of human resources, DBS Hong Kong, shares some of the bank’s recent initiatives.

What role has HR played in DBS’ push into digital banking?

Throughout the past few years, HR has been playing a strategic role to ensure our value and culture is embedded to every part of the bank, and to every individual. As we strive to create a joyful work culture where people are energised by being part of a great team, they are encouraged to be open-minded, empathic and respectful of others.

They are empowered to make decisions, take ownership and make things happen. This sets the foundation of DBS culture where our employees could be the best in what they work on, make some differences to their daily work and hence live a fulfilling employee journey with us.

We take every employee onboard when cultivating the digital culture – it’s not only limited to the management team or technology people, but about everyone. To accelerate the success of our strategic vision, we focus on setting the right mindset and building capabilities of our people.

How is DBS bringing its employees on its digital journey?

By starting with overall employee experience. Since 2012, we have embarked our Digital HR Journey which is in line with our Future of Work strategy. Every step of the recruitment from application, offer acceptance, pre-join activities, orientation, training and career management are now offered online and via mobile platforms. By leveraging Digital-Data-Science, we implement the latest recruitment technology and talent acquisition tools to source and assess the best-fit candidates.

The Digital On-boarding Journey also provides great flexibility to our Talent Advisors, hiring managers and new hirers in different aspects. Our e-Offer system allows an automated approval process in which lessened the manual work of our Talent Advisors. The e-offers will be issued in the system once approval has been obtained and new hires are able to sign the offer letter online without coming to our office again.

What’s the bank’s leadership strategy?

Building transformational leadership has been one of the seven pillars under DBS’ strategic priorities. In our transformation journey, we believed that it is important to bring our people with us when we head towards our strategic vision, and leaders play an important role to inspire, mobilise and enable employees during this journey.

It’s supported by three key areas:

  • 6 roles of DBS Manager – a framework that defines a manager’s role
  • Leadership Skills – soft skills that enable managers to execute the 6 roles
  • PRIDE! value – the DNA of all our employees which shape the way we do business and work with each other

Our Transformational Leadership is a multi-year campaign to provide holistic support to build Better Managers. This aims to strengthen manager capabilities via various learning programmes, encourage practices of what have been learned into the daily role as well as seek areas of improvement via Feedback Loop.

How does DBS care for its employees during these challenging times?

People are always our greatest assets. The wellbeing of our employees, both physical and mental, is utmost important especially during these challenging times. As such, extra efforts have been put in place to provide comprehensive wellbeing support for our employees starting from the beginning of pandemic.

We provided various support to our employees to ensure their physical wellbeing is being taken care of. DBS COVD-19 Degree Protocol and Contact Tracking mechanism have been established to ensure our people’s wellness and safety. As part of business continuity, we enabled our employees to work-from-home or work remotely by leveraging comprehensive technological support.

We also help them to form new work routines and drive new work behaviours by curating internal tips and guides. Different departments also organised virtual townhall meetings to ensure the teams are stay connected and get updates about the business. Care packages with masks, hand sanitisers and health supplements are distributed to all employees.

We understand that mental wellbeing of our people is equally important. We have strengthened our internal chatbot & helpdesk to answer employees’ questions related to COVID-19.

To educate our employees about COVID-19 and provide support to their body and mind wellness, educational eDMs, FAQs and webinars were arranged, as well as access of mindfulness mobile applications sponsored by the bank. Through the Employee Assistance Programme, a 24-hour hotline manned by professional counsellors and clinical psychologists serves to help our employees manage stress and emotional disturbances.

We are committed to creating a great workplace for employees to lead fulfilled lives – the way they define it. Be the best they can be, drive change and make a difference.

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