Last April 21, 2021, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) held its 10th E-TalkTales media event that highlights its people-centric digital transformation and how this has helped enable inclusive prosperity in the country.
UnionBank Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer Michelle Rubio opened the discussion by talking about the Bank's successful digital transformation, which she attributed to its people. She shared that for digital transformation to succeed, organizations must focus more on equipping their workforce with the right skills and helping them become more agile. Digital agility can give them more mileage than just investing in the latest software and equipment.
"Contrary to popular belief, digital transformation is less about technology and more about people. You can pretty much buy any technology but our ability to adapt to an even more digital future depends on developing the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand, and future-proofing your own and others’ potential," Rubio said.
Rubio underscored the importance of future-proofing the workforce. Preparing the workforce for the future means making sure digital natives are versed in business fundamentals. There is a need to continuously upskill employees because of the possibility of skill sets becoming obsolete in a few years as a result of the rapid advance of technology. She cited a recent study by multi-national advisory firm Deloitte that revealed many skills are expected to continue to shrink, moreso become obsolete in five years times as the world becomes increasingly more digital.
"UnionBank continuously upskills employees true to its commitment of growing and developing its talents and the talent community," Rubio said. "Holding on to its purpose of co-creating innovations for a better world, UnionBank was able to forge a strategy that could accelerate talent at any point of interaction with the Bank. This is called People Tech: people at the core, technology at the fore. Aligned to the Bank's purpose of co-creating innovations for a better world, UnionBank focused on People to make the transformation happen."
"People Tech advocates digital delivery to build capabilities and bring it to hyperspeed, allowing accelerated talent development and capability building inside and outside the organization," Rubio added.
In line with its People Tech advocacy, UnionBank has been successfully implementing various programs aimed at equipping people with the necessary skills for them to thrive in the digital workplace. One of these programs is the Xcellerator series, which offers accessible education not only to UnionBank employees, but also to anyone outside the Bank who wishes to learn more about topics that are relevant in the digital world. Since introducing the Xcellerator series, the Bank has helped thousands of learners become more knowledgeable in different topics related to digitization, including blockchain, application programming interface, project management, digital marketing, data privacy, coding, and fintech, among others.
"Through Xcellerator, we advocate digital delivery through capability building, so that innovations may happen ensuring no one gets left behind. We 'tech-up' the Philippines by educating and mentoring our community members in emerging technologies, contributing to the higher purpose of co-creating innovations for a better world, possibly opening up opportunities for Filipino tech talents," said Special Projects Head for UnionBank's Fintech Group and Xcellerator Program Lead, Nix Syjuco.
Another highlight of the discussion were UnionBank's numerous initiatives aligned with the People Tech advocacy that have benefitted various external stakeholders especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these are the GoBeyond Communities initiative, which encourages UnionBank employees to join community-centric activities that are in line with their personal advocacies; the HEROES 2021 initiative in partnership with Thames International School that aims to train educators on how to conduct classes online; and the Climathon Online Ideation initiative which encourages people to help in the creation of solutions that address the most pressing issues today.
Speaking about the Bank's efforts to help enable inclusive prosperity in the country, UnionBank Vice President for Sustainability Dave Devilles said that the goal is to continuously change the way people see technology, and help them realize its potential to create lasting positive impact and how it can be used for the greater good.
"It's really about changing the mindset and moving the behavior, and we have witnessed how UnionBank has evolved from our desire to build capabilities internally, to share these, and to help communities and ultimately our country," Devilles said.