Change management is an important part of realising DBS' vision. Apart from building a distinctive brand, service, products and processes, we know we need to attract, retain and motivate people to be the best at all levels and in every function, and to motivate our people to operate one integrated platform for offering financial services throughout the region.

Shaping the Corporate Culture

A friendly voice greets customers at the new centralised Call Centre set up to handle customer enquiries.
In line with these objectives, human resource efforts in 1999 aimed at instilling a greater sense of collective ownership of DBS' vision. A bank-wide survey was carried out to engage employees' participation in defining the cultural traits needed to propel DBS forward to world-class standards.

A Change Leadership Workshop held in September 1999 involved management staff in discussions of the survey results, identifying challenges to achieving our goals and recommending ways of overcoming them. In the months that followed, business units held interactive meetings and dialogue sessions with employees to help align their thinking with our strategic vision.

The results stimulated a number of management initiatives, including the establishment of a new change communication group. Working closely with a network of business unit communications leaders, this group is driving an effort to share corporate information more broadly, monitor change processes and manage a variety of internal communications channels designed to educate and inform staff of progress on change issues. In addition, Change Management Action Plans were developed within individual business and support groups to accelerate initiatives and drive them deeper within the organisation.

Attracting World-Class Talent
A key challenge in achieving the corporate vision is the ability to attract high performers. Organisational re-alignments have led to a combination of internal re-assignments and external hires to ensure that the breadth of skills and experience required to take DBS forward is available. DBS today searches worldwide for Singaporean and foreign talent. A total of 38 professionals with international experience joined DBS in senior positions in 1999.

Rewarding Performance
Another key challenge lies in the ability to energise and motivate employees to take initiatives while balancing risk. We believe that performance-based compensation plays a central role in motivating appropriate behaviour. In 1998, DBS began overhauling its appraisal processes and this was followed in 1999 with a new approach to compensation based on incentives to ensure competitiveness. Industry benchmarking was done to establish compensation parameters, to guide efforts to keep compensation in line with industry standards. Stock plans were also implemented, motivating employees to achieve strategic business targets and align their interests with shareholders'.

A new Personal Performance Management Programme will be implemented in 2000 to increase fairness and transparency in employee evaluations and performance ranking. Replacing appraisal systems, this programme involves employees in setting individual targets and rewards them according to established metrics. Apart from technical knowledge, ranking is based on leadership qualities, job commitment, communications and problem-solving skills.

DBS compensation programmes in the future will be significantly more performance driven, with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) established for departments as well as individuals. Work continues on re-vamping management and staff compensation, with the goal of better balancing short-and-long-term compensation and incentive pay to better align employee behaviour with shareholder expectations.

Training & Development
Today, a wider range of training and development programmes supports our overall business objectives in areas such as financial skills, targeted selling and customer service. DBS has also invested significantly in training former POSBank employees to ease the integration process. In 1999, S$5.8 million was invested in employee training programmes, resulting in an average of four training days per employee. We expect both numbers to increase as we move forward.

Plans are in place to augment existing training efforts by expanding industry-specific professional education in an aggressive effort to create a new generation of bank executives prepared to deal effectively with the new financial landscape in Asia as it responds to global forces.