Why DBS Bank is building a talent pipeline for the finance industry

by John Hilton15 Feb 2016
You know a company is serious about L&D when they launch a 40,000 sq ft learning centre, with the aim of building a talent pool to shape the future of Singapore’s finance industry.

The Singaporean multinational financial services company DBS Bank believes the new addition will set a benchmark for innovative learning spaces and approaches in Asia.

Further, the DBS Academy conducts over 10,000 training sessions each year and employees can access scenario-based leadership development programs and digital master classes.

Why are these kinds of projects important to DBS Bank?

“DBS believes that people are at the heart of what we do, and they are our greatest resource,” said Khoo Teng Cheong, head of learning and development, DBS Bank.

“Hence, we’re heavily investing in training and developing them, providing them with the tools and resources they need as they work towards their career aspirations.

“This is also to help build a talent pipeline not only for the bank, but for the finance industry as a whole.”

Khoo told L&D Professional that DBS Bank want to develop people who are innovative, team players, creative and have good problem-solving skills, so that they can shape the future of banking.

Employees also participate in talent conferences, external programs, mentoring and coaching to ensure a holistic development experience, he said.

“Through these development opportunities, they are able to build a strong network with their peers,” added Khoo.

L&D Professional recently spoke to Professor Stephen Billett of Griffith University about the importance of employees participating in a range of tasks to help them develop. This is something which DBS Bank wholeheartedly agrees with.

“We believe in the importance of internal mobility so our employees get a holistic experience of different functions of the business, and this helps accelerate their development,” said Khoo.

One of the biggest tests facing DBS Bank is that they have diverse workforce and that everyone has different learning needs.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to L&D does not work in this case,” said Khoo.

“It is hence important for us to apply a tailored approach to understanding each employee’s learning needs, so that we can provide them with the right opportunities for them to grow in their careers,” he said.

This involves constantly improving the medium and/or formats in which DBS Bank deliver their training content.  

For example, DBS have developed online personalised learning roadmaps which their staff can access on the go.

These roadmaps enable staff to assess their individual career progression, as well as the development opportunities available in DBS.

“With these roadmaps, they will be provided with a clearer idea of what training programs are best suited to their individual roles and levels of experience,” said Khoo.

“The banking and finance industry has become increasingly challenging in recent years and our working environment is changing at an unprecedented pace.

“As such, we make it a point to constantly review and update our learning solutions so that we are up to date with the latest developments.

“There is also a greater emphasis on social and collaborative learning today, and we are tapping on new technology to change the way people learn and provide the relevant tools to facilitate this.”