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Union National Bank - Human Resources Department of the Year

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Company: Union National Bank, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Company Description: Union National Bank, a leading Bank in UAE, has more than 100 branches across UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait & China. It is certified to ISO 9001,ISO 14001,OHSAS 18001,ISO 20001, ISO 27001, ISO22301 and independently verified to follow the guidelines of ISO 31000, ISO 26000 & ISO 10002. UNB has won top most Business Excellence awards in UAE as well scores of other regional and international awards.
Nomination Category: Human Resources Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Human Resources Department of the Year

Nomination Title: The Human Resource & Organization Development Division of Union National Bank

Tell the story about what this nominated organization/department has achieved since 1 January 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

The Human Resource & Organization Development Division (HROD) of Union National Bank (UNB) is mandated to work with business and support units to achieve organizational objectives by putting in place right HR structure and strategy, building organizational capabilities and talent management.

Main units within HROD are:

-Resourcing and Emiratization
-Performance Management and Organizational Development
-Training & Staff Development
-Compensation and Internal Customer Services

The HR policies and practices are regularly benchmarked to ensure that they are contemporary and aligned. During 2015 and 2016, UNB has partnered with Korn Ferry Hay Group to manage its Staff Satisfaction Survey process and introduced the ‘Employee Opinion Survey (EOS)’ for added objectivity and comparisons with international and regional benchmarks.

Moreover, the effectiveness of HR practices is measured through Internal Customer Satisfaction Surveys and periodic interactions by HR team. Sound EOS results vis-à-vis the banking norms and UNB’s consistent growth prove the effectiveness of balanced HR practices (Annexure 1). Please refer Annexure 2 for HR Indicators and Annexure 3 for Employee Value Proposition at UNB.


With a view to foster a multi-cultural work ethic, UNB taps the talent pool from various avenues such as career fairs, manpower consultants, recruitment drives, job web-sites, CV data base, Employee Referral Program.

The required knowledge / functional and behavioral factors for each position in UNB are defined in the Job Descriptions.

Performance Management

UNB has an objective and scientific performance management system that was automated in 2016 to enhance its objectivity and utilization.

The bank’s business objectives and targets are aligned with the individual and team objectives and cascaded through Balanced Scorecard. The objectives are reviewed bi-annually to determine performance achievements and gaps.

Training & Development

UNB ensures that its Learning & Development objectives are aligned with the bank’s strategic goals. The bank provides employees with a blend of learning opportunities based on their preferred learning styles.

The bank wide training plan is based on a holistic analysis of business, strategic and individual training needs to address both present and future requirements of the Bank. Please refer Annexure 4 for training analysis.

The identification of training & development needs is based on:

-Business priorities
-Stakeholder needs
-Individual Development Plans
-Structured interactions with unit managers
-Feedback from training programs
-Talent Management

UNB endeavors to grow talent from within the bank and embarked on identification and grooming of high potential managers through the development planning exercise for senior and middle management positions.

Staff Development

Staff members are encouraged to acquire relevant higher professional certifications / accreditations (e.g. Diploma in Credit from Chartered Institute of Bankers, Certified Islamic Banking Professional, Chartered Financial Analyst etc). The staff members are supported with reimbursement of fees and access to Learning Resource Centre. More than 622 staff members have acquired various professional certifications so far.

During 2016, UNB trained more than 75 identified Branch staff on Marketing and selling of Mutual Fund products. UNB has also identified select staff to be trained and certified by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment in order to manage investments related business of its High Net worth and Priority Clients.

Career growth of UAE Nationals is of paramount importance. Post Orientation and Induction for fresh recruits are subject to on-the-job training. UNB also undertakes sponsorship for UAE Nationals specializing in banking, besides arranging work placements for College students and summer training for UAE Nationals wanting work experience (Annexure 5).

UNB’s commitment to growing the UAE National talent pool is aligned with its overall strategy. Therefore UNB’s primary focus is on hiring Emirati entry-level trainees, associates and support staff. All UAE National staff members falling under bands 7-11 are put through an Emirati Development Action Plan which entails nominating them for various training programs based on their current role. For certain specialized training, UAE Nationals are sent to Institutions such as Darden School of Business, University of Virginia USA.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) accomplishments of the nominated department since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-Automation of Performance Management System for better efficiency.
-Partnership with Korn Ferry Hay Group to manage Employee Opinion Survey for objectivity and benchmarks
-Accreditation Program for Retail and Corporate staff to develop internal talent
-Self Service Kiosks for HR services.
-Weekly Knowledge Workshop to inculcate a culture of learning (Annexure 6).
-Animated videos of Vision, Mission, Core values, Code of Ethics and Information Security for a fun way of assimilating key messages (Annexures 7-9).
-Bank and Employee Rights for clear understanding of expectations and duties (Annexure 10).
-Job seekers toolkit facilitating job seeking process (Annexure 11).
-Digital staff handbook for new joiners (Annexure 12).
-Smiley Coins initiative for promoting excellent internal customer service (Annexure 13)
-Smart Robot technology enabling video interviews with candidates to facilitate faster recruitment (Annexure 14 & 15, Video 1)
-HR Hotline for convenient access to HR services (Annexure 16)