UOB launches holistic L&D program

The in-house designed training program is the first to receive accreditation in Singapore

UOB launches holistic L&D program

United Overseas Bank (UOB) has launched a holistic learning and development program, titled ‘Better U’, to help its more than 26,000 employees across the Group build successful careers in the digital age.

The program 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).

To cultivate a culture of continual learning among its employees, UOB designed the 12-week course based on behavioural science and training best practices.

For example, Dean Tong, Head of Group HR at UOB told HRD that many modules were designed as games or interactive team-based formats for a more engaging learning experience.

Also, almost all the modules are digital so that employees can embark on their learning journeys at their own convenience.

READ MORE: Why you can’t afford to forget about L&D

The Better U program has also identified five core competencies essential for employees to remain relevant:

  • Developing a growth mindset
  • Complex problem-solving skills
  • Skills in the fields of digital innovation
  • Skills in human-centred design
  • Data-savviness

The five competencies will enable employees to decide with greater certainty which routes of continued learning and technical specialisation they would like to take, Tong shared.

In addition to the foundation course, UOB has designed career pathways and learning tracks and will also set up a dedicated team to advise and to guide employees as they navigate the future demands of work.

“We designed the Better U program to nurture a mindset that is curious and open to new avenues of personal and professional growth,” Tong said.

“By designing a holistic development program 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.”

READ MORE: Four tips for dealing with change in the age of disruption

He explained that the program is part of UOB’s long-term approach to nurture talent and empower them to take control of their future.

Upon completion of the foundation course, employees will be awarded a UOB-IBF Certificate of Achievement. Following that, staff 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 – if they meet the bank’s selection and sponsorship criteria, which consider areas such as personal strengths, aspirations and job performance.

The Better U program’s learning tracks also aims to guide employees who are unsure about which area to specialise in.

At present, they’ve 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.

UOB launched ‘Better U’ in Singapore earlier this month with close to 1,500 employees participating bank’s headquarters. The program will be rolled out progressively across the group.

The bank expects that by 2020 at least 70% of all employees globally will have completed the 12-week foundation course.

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