Skills upgrading never stops for DBS service manager

Ms Ratna Manoharan said all the skills training she has received at DBS has given her "more confidence in serving customers".
Ms Ratna Manoharan said all the skills training she has received at DBS has given her "more confidence in serving customers".PHOTO: DBS BANK

The new road map for the financial services industry calls on workers at all levels within the sector to get themselves continually trained, so that their skills stay relevant into the future.

But some banking staff got a head start in their skills upgrading journey, long before the financial services Industry Transformation Map was launched.

Ms Ratna Manoharan joined DBS Bank in 1985 as a branch employee, processing more than a thousand cheques a day.

Over the years, she underwent many training courses to gain new skills and, today, she is an assistant service manager helping customers with a plethora of banking services, from account opening to applying for tuition fee loans.

"When I joined, I was not equipped with the skills that youngsters who are hired today have. Their studies cover things like digital skills. But I learnt on the job and I'm very thankful because DBS sent me for such skills training," said Ms Manoharan, 51.

Even today, she is still training on the job. "All this training has actually given me more confidence in serving customers. I feel I'm able to provide good service and the customers I serve always leave the branch happy and leave me good feedback."

Other local banks said they also have programmes in place to help staff keep their skills sharp and relevant for the future.

OCBC Bank, for example, has programmes and initiatives that cover areas including fintech-related learning.

"We have an innovation lab that allows staff to brainstorm and incubate ideas, and there are the latest gadgets for them to experiment with and explore to see how they can apply in their line of business," said human resources planning head Jacinta Low.

Citi Singapore's Asian Financial Leaders Scheme sends high-potential staff on leadership programmes that equip them with the knowledge to navigate the diverse business, regulatory and legal environment in the region.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2017, with the headline 'Skills upgrading never stops for DBS service manager'. Print Edition | Subscribe