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UOB has launched a holistic learning and development programme to help its employees succeed in the digital age

With one in three jobs in the financial services industry set to be disrupted by data analytics and automation in the next three to five years[1], United Overseas Bank (UOB)’s latest learning and development programme aims to prepare its employees for the future.

The programme focuses on helping UOB’s more than 26,000 employees broaden soft skills such as nurturing a growth mindset as well as technical skills such as those in the areas of digital and data.

Dean Tong, Head of Group Human Resources at UOB, said, “We believe that the key to the future is to be adaptable because we cannot be sure of when or how technology will change job roles. What we are focused on is developing our people’s ability to be adaptable to ensure that they are ready to capture future growth opportunities.”

With this in mind, UOB launched the Better U programme as a long-term commitment to provide its staff with meaningful careers and to support them in their development journey. The Bank has committed to invest $26 million over the next three years to prepare its employees for the changes that lie ahead.

Tong explained, “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 a 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.”

The programme identified five core competencies that UOB believes are essential for employees to remain relevant in the future. Through a 12-week foundation course, all UOB employees will complete modules in these five areas, namely having a growth mindset, developing complex problem-solving skills, digital innovation, human-centred design and data storytelling.

Tong said, “The objective of this programme is to provide our colleagues with the  opportunity to deep-dive into areas that can help them in their careers.”

He added that the knowledge acquired from the programme will form the base for future learning and help employees decide which technical specialisation they might be interested to explore in greater depth.

UOB has incorporated behavioural science and training best practices into the courses, with many modules designed as games or interactive team-based experiences to make learning more engaging.

Almost all of the modules are also digital, enabling employees to complete them anytime and anywhere, even while on the go.

Tong explained, “The Better U programme is part of our long-term commitment to nurture our talent and to 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.”

UOB, which prides itself on being a future-orientated and employee-centric organisation, has designed career pathways and learning tracks for those who are interested to specialise in areas that are aligned with their capabilities and interests.  

The Bank has already introduced two progression pathways in the areas of Data Management and Project Management, and it plans to expand the range of specialised learning tracks over the next three years.

UOB is also setting up a dedicated team to advise and to guide its employees on their learning journeys.

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

The programme has already been launched in Singapore, with nearly 1,500 employees having participated in a Better U showcase at the Bank’s UOB Plaza headquarters. It will be rolled out progressively across the rest of the Group, and by the end of 2020, UOB expects at least 70 per cent of its 26,000 employees globally to complete the 12-week foundation course.

Tong said, “We have an unwavering commitment to our people and we are determined to enable all employees to be future-ready and to help them grow to their fullest potential.”

“Through the Better U programme and our ongoing training initiatives, we will continue to ensure that our colleagues are well-equipped with industry-leading skills that can serve them well in the long term.”

To find out more about careers at UOB please visit

AUTHORUnited Overseas Bank

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