“Embracing Change is the First Step to Digital Transformation”: Q&A with Grace Yip from DBS Bank

June 30, 20178:20 am2645 views
“Embracing Change is the First Step to Digital Transformation”: Q&A with Grace Yip from DBS Bank
Recent workshop conducted at DBS Bank to train employees

As organizations continue to grapple with challenges presented by the digitally disrupted landscape, the global talent crunch and ambiguity brought about by the VUCA economy, Grace Yip, Chief Operating Officer of Group Human Resources, DBS Bank and Speaker at CommunicAsia2017  shares with HR in Asia strategies followed by the bank to retain talent and inherent ability of its people to innovate and solve problems.

Unlocking secrets to become forerunner in the banking industry adopting some market-first services in the sector such as Digibank, India’s first branchless, paperless and signature less bank; using Hackathons as a medium to assess candidates and hire potential talent beyond degrees and more. Read on…

  • What are the talent management and retention challenges faced by the BFSI sector in ASEAN and APAC?

The three key areas where we continue to see challenges are in retaining millennials, future-proofing people to adapt to the digital disruption impacting our industry, and attracting the best talent to work in the financial services sector. These challenges are applicable to key markets in Asia.

Grace Yip, Chief Operating Officer of Group Human Resources, DBS Bank and Speaker at CommunicAsia2017

Grace Yip, Chief Operating Officer of Group Human Resources, DBS Bank and Speaker at CommunicAsia2017

  • In the VUCA economy, how can HR managers help drive value-focused digital transformation?

The most important thing is to help people embrace change. It is both the willingness and the ability to adapt and be more comfortable with the ambiguity that the VUCA economy brings, as well as building the right digital skills and capabilities to not just contribute, but lead the digital transformation in the organisation.

There are a few things that have been crucial in our digital transformation journey. The first would be adopting journey thinking. By putting ourselves in the customers’ shoes, we are then able to focus on the end-to-end experience and make sure that what we are doing is indeed creating value in the customers’ eyes.

Secondly, we adopted an agile way of working. We are now more quick and nimble in the way we build and adjust our products and solutions. Helping people adapt and embrace change isn’t just the job of HR – it is what each line manager and leader needs to do collaboratively with HR.

It’s great to see how DBS has embraced digital transformation over the years, and this has brought a greater sense of pride and achievement among employees.

  • Does automation challenge some of the typical roles in banking, such as the need for an accountant or clerical services?

Automation, especially in administrative and transactional activities, is already here and will continue to affect us. We can either see this positively or negatively. I choose to see this as an opportunity to re-think and re-define jobs to be more meaningful and impactful. It does mean that people must continue to future proof themselves and be ready to do more value-added work.

  • How important is training and development in the Banking and Financial sector to retain and upskill top performers?

Helping all our people to be the best that they can be has always been an important priority for us. This will continue to be so, as we live and work in a world where change is accelerating.

We continue to think about how we are developing our people, not just nurturing top performers into digital bankers, but also our entire workforce as we move into an ever-evolving world. Agile and nimble organisations that groom their workforce to become digitally-savvy will be able to move ahead of the pact.

See: Transitioning Through Change: Business Practices That Should Not Be Amended

  • What is workplace culture at DBS Bank to encourage diversity and inclusion in its recruitment and business practices?

We hire candidates based on merit and fit. We look to hire people who can contribute to the bank, and possess the right skills and capabilities needed for the role. Some qualities we look for in potential hires are strong communication skills, creativity, initiative, good problem-solving skills, and the ability to work in a team.

More than just a degree, we look out for candidates who have an innovative mindset and are able to adopt a more nimble and digital approach when coming up with solutions. We pride ourselves on having a diversity of talent. Their different experiences, knowledge and expertise is what drives our high performance and creates innovative solutions.

Hackathon organised to assess candidates at DBS Bank

Hackathon organised to assess candidates at DBS Bank

  • DBS Bank has been known to be a forerunner in the industry adopting some market-first services in the banking sector. What have been the key drivers propelling such first-of-a-kind initiatives, detail on some of them?

Much of this is due to the inherent ability of our people to innovate and solve problems. This is seen across many parts of the bank, from launching India’s first branchless, paperless and signature less bank, digibank, to using hackathons as a way of assessing individuals in our hiring process.

We recently conducted a two-day hackathon, Hack2Hire, in Singapore and India as part of a recruitment exercise to hire software developers. We were the first bank in Southeast Asia to adopt such a recruitment approach.

  • What are the people management and workforce empowerment practices at DBS Bank to ensure employee engagement, performance and productivity?

We put in a lot of thought around how we can help our people live fulfilling lives and careers at DBS. We have taken a three-pronged approach. The first focuses on helping our people to be the best that they can be. This can be done through our learning and development programmes, which are designed to equip them with the skills to become digital bankers.

Employees are also empowered to make career choices in line with their ambition and desire to growth. Secondly, we believe in driving change. Our people have the opportunity to reimagine banking with our senior leaders. Collectively, we can innovate by conducting various experiments to develop new products and solutions.

Thirdly, we want our staff to make a difference by doing meaningful work that is of value to our customers, and create opportunities to contribute to the communities we work and live in.

  • What according to you will be the future of HR in banking going forward till 2020?

Automation, analytics and cloud solutions will be key drivers and enablers of change in HR. This is an exciting time for HR practitioners as we embrace change and also partner with the business to enable digital transformation in our respective organisations.

Also read: HR as the Agents of Change in Digitally Disrupted Future of Work: Q&A with Karen Cariss, CEO of PageUp

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