Yesterday (15 October), United Overseas Bank (UOB) announced the launch of a holistic learning and development programme to help its more than 26,000 employees across the group build successful careers in the digital age.

Titled 'Better U', the programme is a reaffirmation of UOB's long-term commitment to provide its people with meaningful careers and to support them in their development journey, the bank stated in a press release.

It also identifies five core competencies, which form the bases for future learning and employability, that will enable the employees to decide with greater certainty which routes of continued learning and technical specialisation they would like to take.

In line with that, all UOB employees will undergo a 12-week foundation course with modules targeted at honing these competencies - encouraging a growth mindset, developing complex problem-solving skills, as well as acquiring skills in the fields of digital innovation, human-centered design and data.

The course was designed based on behavioural science and training best-practices, for instance, with modules designed as games or interactive team-based formats for a more engaging learning experience. Further, almost all the modules are conducted digitally to ensure employees can learn "at their own convenience."

The Better U programme is the first such training initiative that covers soft skills as well as digital and data skills to receive accreditation by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF). Upon completion of the foundation course, employees will be awarded a UOB-IBF Certificate of Achievement.

Commenting on this initiative, Dean Tong, Head of Group Human Resources, UOB, said: "To help our people find their place in an environment where work is being transformed by technology and customer expectations, we designed the Better U programme to nurture a mindset that is curious and open to new avenues of personal and professional growth.

"By designing an holistic development programme that covers both soft and technical skills, we are sowing the seeds of learning to prepare our people for successful careers in an industry that is undergoing significant change."

He added that the programme is part of the bank's long-term approach to nurture its talent and empower them to take control of their future.

"Through it, we hope our people will be able to discover their full potential and for some, possibly chart a new course in their career."

Looking beyond 12 weeks

Moving forward, once the foundation course has been completed, employees can choose to pursue specialised learning tracks or educational opportunities that are aligned with their capabilities and interests.

They can also apply for financial support to advance their education up to a Master's degree should they meet the bank's selection and sponsorship criteria. Further, the Better U programme suggests learning tracks to guide employees who may not know the area in which they wish to specialise.

Apart from that, the bank has introduced two progression pathways in the areas of data management and project management, and will expand the range of specialised learning tracks over the next three years.

Photo / UOB