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Sunday, October 17, 2021

UnionBank Chief Human Resource Officer: Digital transformation starts with investing in People

“This is because industries, societies and economies are evolving. The people who enable this must evolve, too. [They must] keep up with new knowledge and capabilities through life-long learning. We have decided to go agile to drive innovation everywhere. To future-proof ourselves and compete in an environment of increasing complexity and disruption required us to continuously learn by retooling and upskilling our people.” ~Michelle Rubio, Union Bank of the Philippines Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer in a virtual job fair entitled ‘Future Careers and Learning Expo 2021.’
Digital Transformation starts with Investing in People

UnionBank’s People Strategy continues to be a key enabler to radically reshape the bank into a digital organization. Human Resources played an important role in building the foundation to propel UnionBank to be digital to the core. Employees were encouraged to grow and evolve from their current roles. We believe the UnionBanker of today should be ready to be the UnionBanker of the future. This means enhancing one's current expertise to be functionally flexible, while adding another domain expertise that will enable them to effectively adopt to the new ways of working and successfully interact in diverse teams and in an aerodynamic work environment.

Constant innovation is not only a need for the growth of companies, it is also a requisite for the development of your personal career. According to a Deloitte study, after four and a half years, the skills you learn today could face obsolescence. 

Digital Transformation starts with Investing in People

In her speech, Rubio highlighted the importance of life-long learning, essentially a self-initiated education that focuses on personal development and growth. It is about leveraging one’s experiences and gaining insights from these. Life-long learning is not merely reading books, it’s about picking up valuable lessons and applying these in real life situations. Life-long learning entails constantly finding the time, energy and resources to absorb and use this acquired knowledge in the real world.

When you incorporate lifelong learning in your daily living, it offers many long-term benefits such as renewed self-motivation, recognition of interest and goals, improvement of personal and professional skills, and increasing self-confidence. 

When UnionBank was embarking on its digital transformation, the Bank likewise focused on transforming its employees, the UnionBankers, by encouraging life-long learning to future-proof their careers.  “About four years ago we realized that we were faced with the threat of new competition, and it's not from banks but from fintechs or non-banks. Fintechs offered financial services with greater ease for people to avail of such services. Customers' pain points were being addressed by the use of technology.

Coming from this, we decided that we had to transform and be fintech-like, but still be a bank. We should digitize or else perish. The move required us to work on technology and processes to improve our customer experience journey. But more importantly, this transformation required a focus on people,” shared Rubio.

UnionBank’s People Strategy continues to be a key enabler to radically reshape the bank into a digital organization. Human Resources played an important role in building the foundation to propel UnionBank to be digital to the core.

Employees were encouraged to grow and evolve from their current roles. We believe the UnionBanker of today should be ready to be the UnionBanker of the future. This means enhancing one's current expertise to be functionally flexible, while adding another domain expertise that will enable them to effectively adopt to the new ways of working and successfully interact in diverse teams and in an aerodynamic work environment.

For UnionBank, the workforce must be equipped with skills critical to support current and recovery business models not just to survive but to thrive and remain competitive. Given opportunities to constantly learn and develop, UnionBankers contribute to the transformation of the bank. 

Addressing current job hunters, Rubio emphasized the need to brand themselves positively. Showcase oneself as a person who made the most out of your time (in quarantine) by gaining new skills, knowing where you should improve, and taking online classes. Brand oneself as a person committed to life-long learning –to show that you are capable of adapting in the fast-paced work environment.

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