FOR 6,500-PLUS employees at DBS Bank India, Fridays are not weekend spoilers. The 11th-hour meetings and tasks assigned in those tend to spoil weekends for employees in most firms. DBS Bank’s HR initiative, ‘Focus Fridays’, ensures there are no meetings during the second half of the day.

With an aim to strengthen the company-employee relationship, the bank has also launched two other programmes — iOK and iFit — for professional counselling and physical fitness, respectively.

“We have a multi-faceted approach covering all dimensions of employees’ well-being, including the hybrid work model, volunteering opportunities, sports clubs and social communities that facilitate conversations on aspects such as leadership, parenting and work-life balance,” says Kishore Poduri, MD and country head, human resources, DBS Bank India.

The Indian arm of the Singapore-based bank sees employees as the central force to execute its growth plans in the country. Keeping this in mind, it has introduced ‘Future of Work, Workplace and Workforce’ (F3W) — a set of cultural tenets, future-forward behaviours, and working arrangement policies. Employees can work remotely for 40% of work hours.

“We are well-positioned to build a future-ready workforce. Looking ahead, we will empower employees to strengthen their skills in design thinking, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and agile practices,” says Poduri.

The bank supports employee development through the ‘Triple E’ framework — education, exposure and experience. Its education sponsorship policy encourages employees to pursue higher education for up to ₹4 lakh, or 60% of the total course fee. It has also tied up with different institutes for management programmes.

Employees can also opt for 10,000-plus courses for upskilling and reskilling on the ‘Learning Hub’. Career planning can be done via the ‘iGrow’ platform.

Of the bank’s total employees, 30% are women. It is looking to increase it to 40% by 2026. The bank offers flexible work arrangements, mentoring and development programmes for women in early stages of their careers. Through its ‘Reimagine’ initiative, the bank supports women returning to work. The maternity leave policy ensures up to 26 weeks of leave for new mothers.

The average age of employees stands at 34. Of those, 68% are millennials and 14% Gen-Zs. “We are dialling up our focus on generational diversity,” says Poduri. Its learning initiative ‘Gurucool’ promotes cross-generational diversity.

“We follow a ‘Total Rewards Thinking’ practice that touches every aspect of the employee’s life cycle, including financial security, career growth, learning, recognition, and wellness,” says Poduri. Benefits basket — ‘DBS Cares’ — provides individual and group recognitions to help employees celebrate wins together.

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