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Investing in people to drive digital future

Mashreq’s commitment to innovation and a digital future is closely aligned to its strategy of investing heavily in all its people, and further developing the Emirati talent pool, Ashfaq Bandey, Vice President, Human Resources told Gulf News in an interview.
The bank has embarked on a number of training initiatives to prepare existing and new staff for an innovation-driven digital future.

“Change involves constant self-development. As exciting as it may sound, this will also bring about fundamental transformation in the roles we perform. There will be jobs that will cease to exist, but new opportunities will present themselves and that is the exciting part,” said Bandey.
The bank believes that to make the most of the new opportunities that the future holds, a proactive adaptation by individuals and their resolve to upskill themselves is a must.
“In the next few years, ‘repetitive is out, value-added is in’. If a person keeps doing the same thing over and over again, technology will be able to do it soon, at a fraction of the cost and with higher accuracy. This has been the thrust of our message to our employees. We want technology to complement our human capital and to facilitate that, we have already undertaken reskilling and retraining of staff in various areas,” he said.

Driven by strong emphasis on internal communication, the bank keeps its staff abreast with developments and progress through town halls, smaller group meetings, weekly email updates, etc.
“We wanted all our people to lead the change and not just be consumers of it. In the past, leadership was about hierarchy — but in today’s times and even more so in the future, the word ‘leadership’ is to do with mindset. We reiterated this in various forums and asked staff to display leadership or risk falling by the wayside,” said Bandey.
The efforts seem to be paying rich dividends. In the first half of 2018 Mashreq won the Gallup Great Workplace Award for the 5th consecutive year. “We are one of the 39 organisations in the world to get this distinguished ranking for 2017-2018 and the only bank in Middle East to have ever achieved this. We have an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve by continuing to invest in improving our employee experience and engagement levels and to put these workplace initiatives at the core of our transformation strategy,” Bandey said.

Going forward, Mashreq envisages breaking down of functional hierarchies to build a nimble, networked, and team-based organisation. The bank sees a need to constantly upgrade capabilities, introduce new approaches to learning, redesign jobs, change the way they performance manage people and focus on career development.
In terms of new hires, the banks want to move away from hiring based on Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ) and embark on assessments based on Learning Quotient (LQ).
“We want to make sure candidates fit in well with our culture, of which, agility and innovation are key components. We want our prospective employees to demonstrate our organisational values,” said Bandey.

Source: Gulf News

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