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Using Cutting-edge Training Strategies, NBK Is “Ready for the Future”

Using Cutting-edge Training Strategies, NBK Is Ready for the Future
The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) Group's Human Resources, represented in its training arm's Training and Development Department, continue to work hard to raise the efficiency of the Group’s employees by creating comprehensive and continuous development.

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) Group’s Human Resources, represented in its training arm’s Training and Development Department, continue to work hard to raise the efficiency of the Group’s employees by creating comprehensive and continuous development in NBK’s training programs and system. To this end, the Training and Development Department launched a new approach titled “Ready for the Future,” denoting the striving to keep pace with the accelerating digital growth strategy implemented by the bank.

Improving the Learning Experience

The main objectives of the new approach include improving the overall employee learning experience by working on many levels and in cooperation with many parties, including the regulatory authorities, to determine the training priorities when developing the bank’s employees. It also aims to utilize technology to make e-learning more engaging, as well as plan to customize training to be more effective for the employee groups across all the bank’s local and overseas branches.

In view of the Group’s employees’ changing needs, the Training Department’s offerings are constantly evolving by introducing new educational opportunities that promote an open work culture. This involves an offering designed to empower leaders to build an atmosphere that encourages employees to innovate and create, as well as provide training opportunities with an additional focus on areas such as data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), intelligent automation, and machine learning (ML).

In addition, the training opportunities provided by the bank to its employees covered the themes of innovation, design thinking, ways to improve customer experience, methods for creating flexible work methodologies, as well as specialized entrepreneurship programs.

A broader commitment to digitization

As part of a broader commitment to digitization, the approach includes taking significant steps to ensure that our employees have a more engaging learning experience, especially when introducing intensive training offerings for the Group’s employees. Moreover, our core educational platform, “NBK Learning Hub,” enabled us to enrich the entire employee experience and helped create a more comprehensive and broad concept for the learning process, in line with the new accessibility standards, with availability in various languages and formats. We also introduced the platform’s digital library, which was developed in cooperation with CrossKnowledge, global specialists in developing training content by the faculties of universities like Stanford, Harvard, INSEAD, MIT, and IE Business.

To ensure more efficient access to the training content, the NBK Learning Hub was customized for each country within the Group’s branch network to align with all the different needs of each country separately.

Governance-related Training

In alignment with its six sustainability pillars, which include “respecting and developing people,” the bank has intensified its training courses on anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering (AML), and anti-fraud for employees. These courses are mandatory for all the bank’s employees and are repeated periodically.

The training curriculum also includes integrating most of the training and behavioral development requirements for the bank’s employees to align with the competencies of all professional cadres working in the bank through training programs that include induction training for new recruits, compliance courses, mandatory programs, key competency programs, testing tools, and a survey engine.

Manager Development Programs

The development of managers has always been a key focus for NBK, as the bank’s training model enhances leadership capabilities, stemming from a consistent vision of how we understand leadership and what we expect from leaders. It also reflects the unique needs of leaders and is supported by rigorous scientific research to identify the knowledge and skills that form the core of effective and comprehensive leadership and meet staff training needs.

NBK takes pride in having the biggest allocated training and development budget amongst all private sector entities in Kuwait.

In addition, NBK believes that leaders are the critical factor in creating the environment and culture we strive for a culture that allows our employees to realize their full potential and thrive. In addition, training programs provide the capabilities that future leaders need to be able to adapt, encourage and empower others, and be decisive in times of uncertainty, such as those seen recently during the pandemic crisis.

Reflecting on the new approach, Ahmad Darweesh, Head of Training and Development at the National Bank of Kuwait, mentioned, “In Group Human Resources, we are proud of the remarkable success of the “continuous learning culture” that we have established over the past years to help our employees develop professionally and personally and advance in their careers.” “We have made learning an essential component of our employees’ strategy, as we strive to create an engaging, personalized, and diverse learning experience accessible to all employees at every stage of their careers.”

Group Human Resources, represented in the Training and Development Department, is constantly working to bring about a comprehensive and continuous development in training programs and systems to keep pace with the accelerating digital growth strategy implemented by the bank. The Training and Development Department is also focusing on specialized programs and integrating AI into the bank’s Learning Hub to provide more targeted learning experiences.

NBK is constantly exploring new ways to deliver learning to make it more suitable for employees and to help them put the acquired knowledge into practice. Over many years, the bank has developed unique training programs in collaboration with the world’s most prestigious universities to ensure the best, high-quality training for various job levels in the Group.

Cultural Change for the Future of Work

Darweesh mentioned that what can now be called the “future of work” model will not be achieved overnight, as it requires cultural change and adaptation. To support this transformation, the bank has launched a number of training initiatives to enhance and support effective leadership and the most productive employees in accordance with this transition.

The bank has seen a phenomenal upgrade in the training infrastructure over the past few years to be prepared for this rapidly changing future.

“Our advanced training offering is available to all employees regardless of location or job title and provides learning across many behavioral and administrative topics.” Our education platform, “NBK Learning Hub,” provides access for managers to monitor their own learning activity as well as the learning dashboard for their reporting employees. Moreover, additional training materials are available to help managers support their employees’ learning, as we include complete guides on all topics, training cards, and a full suite of leader-led sessions.”

Since the launch of the platform five years ago, we have doubled the level of interaction with the training content, as more than 170 training path items were accessed directly and 8 key through our managed digital libraries.

Training at NBK has shifted to a virtual approach, which makes training easier and more cost-effective. The Training and Development Department is constantly working on developing the approach further and exploring how technology can support employees’ development across multiple approaches.

About the author

Rajesh Tamada