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Company: Union Bank of the Philippines, Pasig City, Manila, Philippines
Nomination Category: Employer of the Year - Banking

Entry Title: Union Bank of the Philippines

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) is a publicly-listed universal bank and one of the largest banks in the Philippines. The Bank recognizes its employees as its lifeblood and is fully committed to harness their potential. Through the Bank’s DNA (Purpose, Values, Vision and Brand), UnionBankers are molded and nurtured to become dynamic and caring teams of bold, smart and engaged experts.

Thus it is no wonder that it continues to develop numerous innovative programs that will help UnionBankers expand and forge their careers in the Bank and become their best selves. These programs also provide ways for each employee to foster a sense of belongingness within the company.

Employee development

With competency development a key area of focus, HR continues to expand the UnionBank University available via a digital portal where various courses are offered through its 9 Academies.

The actual courses can be taken either classroom set-up or via e-learning. All UnionBankers were able to attend at least one training program related to their line of work last year.

Leadership development applies to all UnionBankers, not just those who manage people. The Bank has identified leadership competencies for all levels. Programs such as the quarterly Leaders Learning Circle, Executive Coaching System, Leader Executive Accelerated Development (LEAD) program, Officer Development Program (ODP), to name a few, help provide the Bank with the organizational muscle for a ready pipeline of leaders.

The MyCareer program allows UnionBankers to create their own development plans in order to reach their career goals. Coupled with this is the MyPerformance program that lets employees see their progress and monitor their career goals in the company via a system of feedback and on-going coaching conversations with their line managers.

Employee engagement

The Bank’s DNA behavior is reinforced and demonstrated through Celebrating DNA Stories where the Bank Chairman & CEO personally visits UnionBankers who have shared impactful stories that show how they live the purpose, values and brand of the Bank.

To strengthen the organization’s culture, the Bank promotes employee empowerment through the use of the Middle-Out Strategy. Through Culture Conversation (C2) and REaCh (Relevant, Expert and Challenging Convention) teams, middle management leaders group together, collaborate and initiate improvements on the Bank’s processes and systems. There are currently seven C2 cross-functional teams while REaCh recently formed new teams.

Communication platforms such as the HR internal portal, an exclusive UnionBank employees only Facebook account, printed and online monthly newsletter, were also developed and maintained to encourage employees to achieve emotional connections that in turn fosters engagement and advocacy.

Numerous social rewards and recognition programs to celebrate the success and exceptional achievements of UnionBankers are also implemented year round. Foremost of this is the Heroes and Champions Award that recognizes passion for excellence through sterling performances linked to the Bank’s DNA.

Employee involvement

The Bank is indeed highly supportive in igniting the passions of its employees as these allow UnionBankers to be more actively engaged and churn their creativity.

The UCare program provides UnionBankers holistic growth and development of their whole wellbeing - physically (Healthy U), mentally (Smart U), emotionally (Secure U), and spiritually (Happy U) - through various activities. It also aims to foster camaraderie amongst employees.

Moving this sense of community beyond the walls of the Bank, the GoBeyond Communities (GBC) program ensures that employees can spend time and resources in helping out those in need and close to their hearts all year round.

Complementing the GBC is the GoBeyond program where UnionBankers donate or offer monetary support to fellow UnionBankers and their families who have a pressing financial need.

These numerous HR programs maintain a constancy of purpose articulated by living the Bank’s shared purpose of Making Da Diff in the lives of others, from the employees to the Bank’s clients, customers, partners and communities.

Employer of the Year Summary

Union Bank of the Philippines recognizes its employees as its lifeblood and is fully committed to harness their potential. Thus it is no wonder that the Bank continues to develop numerous innovative programs that will help UnionBankers expand and forge their careers in the Bank and become their best selves.

UnionBank focuses its programs in three areas:

-Employee development - We believe in developing a “winning culture of experts.” Thus, the focus of employee development is on expertise building and leadership pipeline across all employees in all businesses.
-Employee engagement – This is achieved by enabling the organization through its leaders and managers, systems, and structures to create an environment that will foster engagement. energizing the workforce through employee relations programs
-Employee involvement – The Bank’s value of Ubuntu or sense of belongingness serves as the foundation for the Bank’s goal to pursue programs that are close to the hearts of UnionBankers.