As a leading employer in Singapore’s banking sector, OCBC believes that attracting and retaining high quality talent is key to its organisational success. In order to achieve this, the Bank has devised a unique work-life strategy that is relevant to its diverse team, and ultimately fosters an engaged workforce that enables it to meet business goals.

Facts in a Flash

Industry Industry: Financial & Insurance Services

Employment size Employment size: Above 6,000

Employment profile Employment profile: Managers, executives and non-executives; financial, corporate and administrative personnel

Employment profile Featured work-life programmes:

Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Xplore programme (opportunity to work a short stint in another division while covering duties of an employee who is on long leave, to cross-train in another role and broaden work experience)
Leave Schemes
  • Family Leave Scheme (2 days for employees not entitled to childcare leave)
  • PSLE Leave Scheme
  • Career Break Scheme
Employee Support Schemes
  • Childcare Centres (on-site and nearby)
  • OCBC Flex Plan (use of flex-dollars to pay for health and wellness programmes)
  • Employee Resource Groups (support for specific groups of employees, such as parents with teenage children)
  • Life Refresh@OCBC (provides employees aged 50 and above with resources and training in four key areas: digital and fintech learning, financial planning, career planning and health and fitness)
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Developing an Employee-Driven Work-Life Strategy

Singapore’s workforce has evolved significantly over the years, and one important change has been the emergence of work-life harmony as a key component of business strategy as employers recognise that individuals who are empowered to effectively manage their career and personal lives are more engaged at work. For these forward-thinking companies, the main challenge is to create programmes and policies that adequately addresses the varied work-life issues faced by a diverse workforce.

OCBC, a banking leader in Singapore has successfully met this challenge by developing an employee-driven work-life strategy where all initiatives are based on staff feedback, ensuring their relevance and sustainability over time. With leadership support and a structured system to elicit authentic employee views, the Bank has devised a unique work-life strategy that fosters greater employee engagement.

Success Factors

Leadership support is a necessity in order to ensure the sustainability and longevity of organisational programmes and policies. At OCBC, the leadership has a clear understanding of how work-life strategies can support employees and ultimately help to bolster work performance and meet business goals. With leadership buy-in, refinements to the organisation’s work-life strategy are carried out in a timely and efficient manner, as it is seen as an investment in employee well-being. Having support from the top also empowers the HR team to be innovative when developing new work-life initiatives.

At OCBC, the management and HR have worked together to create a structured system to elicit employee views and feedback. These are then used to create work-life initiatives that are relevant and useful to its diverse group of employees. This has enabled the organisation to devise unique work-life initiatives such as the PSLE leave scheme, which have become part of its branding as an Employer of Choice.

Promising Outcomes

Ultimately, OCBC’s efforts to build a sustainable and relevant work-life strategy have met with positive response from employees. Over the years, the work-life satisfaction of employees has shown significant improvement, and staff have also described the organisation as a ‘caring’ employer in both internal and external employee engagement surveys.

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