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OCBC Hong Kong builds a sustainable business together with employees as ‘One’
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OCBC Hong Kong builds a sustainable business together with employees as ‘One’


A future-ready and high-performing workforce is driving the Bank to long-term success.

This article is brought to you by OCBC Hong Kong

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCBC Group, which is the second-largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the world’s most highly-rated banks, OCBC Hong Kong believes employees are important assets to achieve business growth and sustainability. As such, developing a future-ready and high-performing workforce has always been its top priority.

To build the Bank together with employees, OCBC Hong Kong is committed to strengthening its people assets and culture to nurture a learning organisation where people contribute to the Group’s success and each other’s growth. “We focus on future and sustainable banking needs in the VUCA world (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) and support our employees to upskill and reskill in meeting personal and corporate growth,” Cindy Leung, Head of Human Resources, OCBC Hong Kong, stresses.

Therefore, under its ‘Future Smart’ framework, OCBC Hong Kong has curated various targeted learning initiatives to transform workforce capabilities, upskill and equip employees with generic, technical and leadership competencies, and help them achieve their career aspirations with the support of the Bank.

To this effect, the Bank has democratised learning by introducing the self-driven mobile learning application ‘HR in Pocket’ (HIP) to empower employees to learn anytime and anywhere. The Human Resources (HR) team has also created an enhanced competency framework to provide a systematic learning roadmap and professional accreditation. To further promote collaborative learning, OCBC Hong Kong has scheduled ‘Learning ThriveDay’ on the second last Friday of each month as well as forged ahead with the ‘Future Smart Learning Festival’, which brings employees in different entities together to learn and work on thematic topics.

All the efforts to cultivate the learning culture have been widely supported by the leadership. At OCBC Hong Kong, leaders play a crucial role as mentors, sponsors, and co-creators. They share their experiences and insights with employees, and act as role models to keep employees motivated and engaged.

Employee wellness is one of the pillars of its HR strategy. To cope with the outbreak of COVID-19, the Bank had reacted fast in order to ensure smooth business operations and at the same time putting employee’s health and safety as top priority.

A holistic programme was rolled out to extend full support to employees during pandemic, which included:

  • Vaccination Day Off & Vaccination Transport Reimbursement,
  • Medical Leave & consultation reimbursement,
  • Distribution of masks, hand sanitiser, RAT packs,
  • Various Health & COVID-related Talks,
  • Regular deep cleaning of the workplace,
  • Additional medical protection and financial support against vaccine side effect,
  • Smart casual dress option for staff,
  • Hybrid Work Arrangement.

The Bank also supported the community in its anti-pandemic efforts, which included:

  • Providing free cleaning and disinfection services for NGO, nursery schools, kindergartens and primary schools;
  • Donating anti-epidemic items to an NGO that provides rehabilitation services and facilities to people physically and mentally challenged due to neurological impairment; and
  • Adjusting branch operating hours.

The success of the learning strategies and the Bank’s response to pandemic have been well-proven by numbers: overall employee engagement rose by 8%, average training hours per staff increased by 87.5%, staff training expense on upskilling with future workforce capabilities went up by 122.54%, and a 100% participation rate for the organised wellness programmes (e.g., Anti pandemic fatigue series) has been achieved.

As a reputable bank with a network of 40 branches and offices in Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR and more than 2,000 employees in Hong Kong alone, the Bank believes there is no one-size-fits-all HR strategy. The key is to take different needs and perspectives into consideration to design more diverse initiatives to fulfil the different needs of employees of different generations.

As the role of HR continues to evolve, Leung stresses that HR should remain agile and innovative in driving and supporting HR transformation and coping with the changes in the banking industry.

 “Think and act like an entrepreneur, be more explorative with no fear of failure, and try new things,” she affirms. “Stop having a fixed mindset which prohibits innovation. Be less conservative and be brave enough to take on further challenges.”

She further reiterates that it is important for the Bank and its employees to grow together hand-in-hand, bringing out the best in employees and enable sustainable business performance “For now, and beyond.” (OCBC’s tagline)

Photo / OCBC Hong Kong

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