Staff-centric initiatives make OCBC employees happier and they stay longer, says CEO

OCBC staff are happier in their jobs, and more of them are staying with the bank longer, said chief executive Samuel Tsien.

These are the fruits of a decade of pursuing progressive human resource (HR) practices, he said.

At a media conference last Friday, Mr Tsien said the bank's attrition rate has dropped by one or two percentage points each year in the past three years.

He credits this to the HR initiatives OCBC has rolled out, which have strengthened internal communications, identified and cultivated promising leaders and promoted work-life balance.

The bank has more of such initiatives planned. Sometime next year, it will launch an Asia Leadership Programme, he said.

"All over Asia, every country is changing... we need to equip (our staff) with knowledge about what is changing, what the drivers are behind the change, so that... as we become more regional and more Asian, they have the background knowledge to do that."

This is becoming ever more important as increasing numbers of OCBC's clients are doing business outside Singapore. "If we want to serve them well, we need to be able to communicate with them on the same wavelength as they know about the markets," he said.