IBF Inspire Award 2020 - DBS


Building a Future-Ready Workforce

DBS started our digital transformation more than seven years ago. In this pursuit, we have been future proofing our workforce by equipping employees with relevant skills and encouraging a growth mindset to stay ahead in a dynamic financial industry and create better business outcomes for our customers. This is especially so given the current challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Investment in our people through upskilling, reskilling and engagement is now more important than ever.


​Our Reskilling & Upskilling Journey


In 2017, we committed an investment of SGD 20 million over five years in a broad-based programme to skill our 12,000 Singapore-based employees in digital banking and emerging technologies, enabling them to thrive in the digital economy and adapt to the future of work. This also supports Singapore’s ambition to be a Smart Nation, and is aligned with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s vision of transforming Singapore into a Smart Financial Centre where technology is used pervasively in the financial industry to increase efficiency, create opportunities, better manage risks, and improve lives.

In line with this commitment, we began upskilling our employees under our in-house Professional Conversion Programme (PCP). This aims to equip employees with digital skillsets while sharpening their soft skills. We have given special focus to employees who have been with us for over 30 years to ensure they remain effective contributors to the bank and community. For example, our Customer Service Officers (CSO) stationed at the Customer Centre have been trained to go beyond just answering calls, and they are now able to serve customers through new digital channels such as live chat, video teller machines, emails and social media. As at end 2019, over 1,000 of our employees have transitioned into enhanced roles in the bank through the PCP. 



Our journey to reskill our people will continue in 2020 and beyond as we identify more complex roles and profiles. With reference to a study commissioned by the Institute of Banking & Finance and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, we have further identified roles such as transaction processing, collectors, business support and trading across the bank, where employees will be placed through an integrated programme focusing on skills development, job placements and career mobility.

Beyond the PCP, we have been upskilling our employees with targeted lessons like data analytics, training 7,000 staff in such capabilities across the bank in 2019. We also upskilled our Wealth Management Relationship Managers and arranged for regular trainings to improve knowledge, skillsets and technical knowledge required for even more effective client advisory.






Empowering Employees to Drive their Career Growth 

To enable our employees to take charge of their skills development and career planning, we launched My Skills in 2019. This is a resource platform that enables employees to capture their skills, knowledge and competencies to facilitate the planning and implementation of more relevant learning solutions. 

By performing a self-assessment of the skills required in their current role, employees get to understand their proficiency level and identify areas for skills enhancement. They can also find out the skills required for other job roles in the bank, so that they can work towards acquiring or deepening skills to fulfil their career development and aspirations.



We also leveraged AI to create DBS Match, an enhancement to My Skills that helps employees match their skills, proficiency levels and years of experience to that required for an available opportunity. We created DBS Match. With this, we are able to provide employees with hyper-personalised recommendations to identify and bridge skills and experience gaps.

My Skills was developed with both internal and external inputs, including reference to external standards from the Institute of Banking & Finance, Infocomm Media Development Authority and National Infocomm Competency Framework. We will also leverage the Skills Framework for Financial Services and continually refresh My Skills.  



​Continuous Adoption of IBF Certification


DBS continues to embed IBF standards in the bank, including our IBF-accredited in-house programmes and personalised employee learning roadmaps.

IBF certifications and training programmes are a key consideration for staff promotion for departments that have adopted IBF standards as part of their staff development journey. This ensures that employees are equipped with the skills to deliver a comprehensive suite of world-class products and services to our clients. For instance, completion of the IBF-accredited DBS Wealth Advisory Programme is mandatory for the career progression for our Private Banking Relationship Managers.


​Building a Continuous Growth & Development Mindset


Building a learning organisation is important as this enables us to constantly adapt, grow and be resilient in response to changes in the external context.

At DBS, our philosophy encourages employees to embrace a growth mindset, and to take charge of their own career and personal growth in order to be future ready.

Our DBS Growth & Development Model provides opportunities, support and guidance customised to the needs of the individual, depending on the career and life stage as well as aspirations of every employee.

In 1H 2019, we launched “Be My Guest” where an employee can sign up to join another department’s offsite, townhall, meeting, or cross-shadow a senior leader to understand a day in the life of someone.

We believe a culture of feedback will empower our employees and help them to learn and grow. Hence, in late 2019, we launched an online ‘Anytime Feedback’ tool, enabling employees to receive feedback at any time, even outside of the usual appraisal cycles. 

At DBS, we firmly believe that our people are our greatest asset. As an organisation, we are committed to building a future-ready workforce that will enable DBS to transform banking even in a challenging and uncertain environment, and for our employees to have a fulfilling career in DBS. In September 2020, DBS was recognised as ‘Best Bank in the World’ by New York-based financial publication Global Finance for the second time in three years in its World’s Best Global Banks 2020 Awards, underscoring the bank’s leadership and standing in the global financial community in defining the future of banking, and its commitment to delivering a purpose beyond banking to create a more sustainable future.