Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
Photos: A peek into the design, amenities and thought process behind DBS Hong Kong's new learning centre in One Island East

Photos: A peek into the design, amenities and thought process behind DBS Hong Kong's new learning centre in One Island East


The space has been meticulously designed with facilities and technologies to engage people in diverse and interactive ways.

To keep up with the ever-evolving ways of learning and the increasing demands for L&D events, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) has recently inaugurated its newly redesigned DBS Learning Center.

Relocated to its One Island East office, the new Learning Center offers more interactive and engaging formats, as well as different multimedia elements, aiming to enhance the overall learning experience for its people.

“In DBS, we strongly believe in empowering our people to ‘Live fulfilled’, by which our employees will be able to ‘Be the Best, Be the Change, and Be the Difference’,” affirms Betty Lam, Managing Director, Head of Human Resources, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.

“This belief is at the core of our approach in staff development, where we are committed to creating an impactful, innovative, and immersive environment for our people to continuously equip with the latest domain knowledge, connect and immerse to new experiences, develop leadership and soft skills in being future-ready, becoming their best selves and making a positive difference in personal and professional lives.”

One prominent feature of the new learning space is the messages shown along the corridor. Well-channelling the bank’s employee value proposition, this interior design creates an atmosphere that prepares employees for their learning journey, immersing them in an environment that aligns with the bank's vision of being a "Best Bank for a Better World", explains Lam. 

Moving on inside the Learning Center, the space has been meticulously designed to provide a large and versatile area that can accommodate various forms of knowledge sharing and networking. Be it for hosting seminars, trainings, small-group discussions or workshops, the layout of the centre allows seamless transitions between different types of media and activities, fostering a dynamic, stimulating, and collaborative learning environment.

To cater to all forms of multimedia communications – from text and images, to audio, video, animation and video conferencing capabilities, DBS has equipped the centre with state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technologies. The advanced audiovisual equipment, for example, allows for immersive visual experiences, making presentations and multimedia content engaging and impactful. Its setup also offers flexibility for all types of communication, enabling people to engage in diverse and interactive ways.

Meanwhile, accessible via iPad, an innovative 'One-Stop Control System' enables easy control of the lighting and AV systems, enhancing the overall ambience and ensuring optimal visibility and sound quality. Lighting can also be adjusted to cater for the natural lights outside of the office to ensure the best visual experience for people.

There is also a catering and networking area called 'JoySpace'. It is a vibrant and interactive place to encourage employees to come together, network, build relationships, share ideas and experiences, and enjoy refreshments.

"I personally love the booth area, it is a dedicated space outside the training rooms for break-out activities, and allows employees to take a moment to relax, recharge, and engage in informal discussions, fostering a sense of connection," highlights Lam.

Security and hygiene are also taken into consideration. The bank has implemented strict protocols to maintain cleanliness and hygiene at the Learning Center, with a goal to create a welcoming, comfortable and safe environment for colleagues to interact.

Sharing the conceptualising process of the new Learning Center, Lam emphasises the importance of employee involvement. After all, it is a learning space for all DBS staff, who are the ultimate users. The design, therefore, must serve the purpose of meeting their needs.

With that in mind, the HR team has engaged with employees closely throughout the process. "We had regular communications between HR representatives, corporate landlords and the designer to refine the design and reflect the needs and desires of our employees," elaborates Lam.

"HR had invited colleagues to suggest and vote for the name of our learning rooms, which encouraged creativity and enhanced engagement." This eventually sees two beloved names, 'Grow' and 'Spark', assigned for the learning rooms, which reflect what the bank believes – continuous growth and the transformative power of learning.

Other channels to gather feedback included actively seeking input from the management team and trainers to understand their needs and accommodate any specific requests/requirements; as well as referencing insights shared by learners through post-course evaluations in the previous learning centres to pinpoint areas for improvement and necessary adjustments in shaping the design and functionality of the space.

Overall, Lam notes that the design and amenities of the Leaning Center embody DBS' commitment to creating a space facilitating learning and fostering engagement, collaboration and personal growth, where employees can feel inspired and empowered as they embark on their learning journeys, supported by top-notch facilities and a focus on their wellbeing.

"The Learning Center is a powerful embodiment of what DBS stands for both as an employer and as a brand," she reiterates. "We prioritise creating an environment where our colleagues feel purposeful, invested in, connected, cared for, and valued. By dedicating a space specifically for learning and development, we demonstrate our investment in the growth and success of our people."

Apart from the new Learning Center, DBS’ endeavours for employee learning and development are also supported by offering a wide range of courses through its DBS Learning Hub, empowering people to proactively pursue their learning goals by simplifying the manager approval process for learning costs less than a certain threshold, and offering sponsorship programmes to provide financial support for employees to pursue external training and educational opportunities.

"We thrive to be a learning organisation whereby our people are skilled at acquiring, creating and transferring knowledge and apply the new learnings in their daily work. We empower our people to build fulfilling long-term careers, and create impactful outcomes for our customers and communities," Lam concludes.

All photos / Provided

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window