NBK increases its human capital investment in 2019

Annual group photo

KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) conducted various training programs during 2019 as part of the Bank’s strategy to develop its human cadres, in cooperation with the most prestigious universities and educational institutions around the world. The Bank pays paramount attention to uplifting the capabilities of its human cadres by providing a unique environment in training and development area, which contributes to enhancing their skills to help build a professional career that ultimately serve to upgrade the quality of the Bank’s various banking services across the different markets in which it operates.

The Bank’s strategy for developing human cadres is based on a professional plan for career path development for the Bank’s cadres, through training programs organized by the Bank for its employees to contribute to uplifting their capabilities and knowledge acquisition as well as developing innovation skills to help achieve the Bank’s goals on one hand, and realize employees’ aspirations, on the other hand.

NBK training initiatives reflect its insight into investing in human resources. To this end, the Bank engages a group of elite banking experts who provide their expertise to these promising cadres, and these initiatives continue out of the belief in the effective impact of these programs aimed at serving the community and youth, as well as reflecting the leading role NBK has been playing in this field for long decades.

Emad Al-Ablani, GM – Group Human Resources said that NBK believes in the importance of training and development being key investments that reflect on providing the best products and services and increasing customer satisfaction. “Human Resources Group at NBK takes pride in the professional development efforts it provides to employees at all levels. It provides specialized professional training programs for management leaders which are designed to reduce the exhaustion of distinguished cadres, and at the same time, enhance cohesion of middle management. Furthermore, efforts are made to set professional development programs for executive managers with the aim of contributing to creating better coherence and cooperation between different departments”, added Al-Ablani.

Al-Ablani stated that the Bank provides the best training programs in cooperation with the best educational institutions around the world, in order to qualify the banking leaders and give them adequate experience to face various the challenges in banking business, adding that the Bank now has over 6949 employees in four continents; all of whom have the chance to join professional development training programs, which undergo annual expansion and development, with educational opportunities ranging from leadership and technical training to anti-money laundering courses.

“During the year, the Bank launched the program “Employee Value Proposition Project” which is the first of its kind on the regional level, and includes all what the Bank offers with the aim of attracting and soliciting the best cadres, and in return, what it requires from its employees to be ambassadors for its trade mark, and role models embodying the Bank’s key behaviors and values,” Al-Ablani highlighted.

“Any institution can achieve growth and development only with the development of the skills of its human cadres. Therefore, we encourage our employees to uplift their capabilities and contribute to their career development by providing professional training programs,” Al-Ablani pointed out. “NBK constantly focuses on improving work environment and evaluating employee retention strategies on annual basis. It also sets career development plan and paths, in an effort to create a distinguished work environment,” he added. Al-Ablani stressed that attracting national labor is one of the key strategies pursued by NBK, as national labor ratio in the Bank has now increased to reach 70.6 percent, which is above regulatory requirements, indicating that there are other plans to increase it even more during the coming period.

Yalla Watani
During the year 2019, the Group Human Resources graduated about 16 batches of trainees of the Yalla National program for qualifying new employees, to work in the bank’s various branches as well as in the contact center (call center) and direct sales. The concentrated and NBK-specific program focuses on training employees on the various aspects of banking. The program comprises of the main banking principles, credit cards, loans, accounts, insurance, fraud risks, money laundering, in addition to the core banking system. Throughout the program, unique sets of skills will be enhanced in order to improve performance, increase self-confidence, adapt to change and promote innovation. The program also caters for soft skills, work ethics, professional behavior and teamwork training.

Moody’s Credit Curriculum Program
The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) celebrated the graduation of 5 Cohorts of the “Moody’s Credit Curriculum Program”, which was designed and organized in partnership with the international credit rating agency, Moody’s Analytics. The Moody’s Credit Curriculum program extended over a year and a half, and introduced an array of topics including banking services, financial analysis, risk management, structure risk, credit challenges, financing, and problem credits.

Harvard Business School
The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) celebrated the graduation of participants in its “Leading the Execution of a Strategy in Financial Services” program that was held in partnership with the Harvard Business School and the Institute of Banking Studies, the program was attended by 12 managers of various departments in NBK.

The program was designed specifically for executive managers of divisions at NBK, and adopts the high educational standards of the Harvard Business School and is based on practical case studies that the School is renowned for. The program is also one of the development initiatives organized by the Institute of Banking Studies. The principal objective of these initiatives is to develop professionals and executive manager in Kuwaiti banks. The first of these programs was held in 2010 and participation was limited to the Central Bank of Kuwait and Kuwaiti banks that are members of the Institute. The success of these programs expanded the reach in 2011 to include the GCC countries.

NBK has the largest participation in the program this year. The program is held annually, each year in a GCC country, with Kuwait the most recent one which was attended by manager at the Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwaiti banks, and other Gulf banks and financial institutions.

NBK Academy
During the year 2019, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) celebrated the graduation of 26 trainees newly hired employees from “NBK Academy” program. NBK Academy aims to train and develop young graduates through providing professional skills of as part of NBK’s strategy to develop the national human resources and attract them to work in the banking industry.

Graduates concluded NBK Academy program in four months (the duration of the program) covering various banking aspects including: banking principles, risk management, teamwork, financial accounting, marketing, negotiation, and consumer and commercial lending, in addition to providing hands-on-training to all program participants at various departments in the bank through engaging international accredited trainers to enable trainees to gain top banking skills.

NBK Academy program is designed in accordance with the highest international training techniques with the aim to provide participants with both theoretical and technical skills that cover key areas of the banking sector. Participants also receive a wealth of knowledge about NBK work structure and culture in order to further enhance their career development opportunities in the future.

In 2008, NBK launched “NBK Academy”, the first initiative of its kind in the private sector in Kuwait aimed at developing highly qualified national banking leaders with the highest international skill set and experience level in all banking disciplines. The initiative aims at fulfilling the bank’s aspirations to continuously improve its services and expand its activities and growth plans, both locally and regionally.

Trade Finance
The year 2019 hosted a ceremony to honor employees who have completed the specialized “Trade Finance” training program which is designed and organized in cooperation with Euromoney Learning for banking and financial training.

Extending over six months, the 32 employees enrolled had to pass several professional examinations to complete the requirements of the intensive training program. These requirements covered the basics of trade finance, collections, letters of guarantee, letters of credit, trade products structure, compliance in letters of credit and guarantees, as well as other operational aspects of trade finance.

NBK launched the “Trade Finance” program as the first of its kind program in the banking sector in Kuwait that aims to develop the skills of its employees working in the Trade Finance Department. It is accredited by the London Institute of Banking and Finance, which is one of the oldest international institutions specialized in vocational education, banking and financial services.

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) partnered with one of the leading international business schools, INSEAD, in an intensive training program specifically designed for the Bank’s executive management team. Since the banking industry worldwide is facing significant challenges. Digital disruption and FinTechs challenge existing banking models. Digital has fundamentally changed our lives. Adapting to the ongoing digitization of the economy, and of society in general, is arguably the most challenging transformation every business is currently facing. Due to competition from local and regional players, strategies are reassessed in various parts of the world (GCC, ASEAN, LATAM, EU).

National Bank of Kuwait – INSEAD program – Creating Value in a Fast Changing Banking World has two main objectives. First, a discussion of the fast changing banking world, including digital disruption with identification by NBK senior executives of key-strategic actions to undertake. Second, the further development of senior NBK executives to lead the strategy execution and changes, both in terms of personal and organizational skills.

Design Thinking
The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) organized the 3rd module of the Collective Executive Development Program, titled “Design Thinking for Executives” as an intensive and full-fledged workshop. The overall objective of this two days’ workshop is to on-board NBK executives on a new approach to product and service experience design.

The workshop, conducted in coordination with “Frog Design”, addressed a number of significantly important perspectives including: How to change the way you gather insights on your customers; discover new ways of uncovering product/service opportunities; learn to prototype your product / service to test your assumptions and embrace new processes for a human-centered approach to innovation.

High Fliers Program
During the year National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), in cooperation with IE Business School, Madrid, launched its sixth edition of the Leadership Development Program, The “High Fliers Program”, targeting high potential employees with a proven record of high performance and leadership potential.

The training program extends over a period of 6 months and covers various modules including among others: developing new and unconventional thinking, building a culture of excellence, managing change and innovation, measuring and managing performance, effective communication, high performance teamwork, customer centricity, design thinking and effective guidance and training.

The program is primarily designed to enable trainees to unlock their full potential, encouraging them to combine technical and leadership skills to attain strategic leadership thinking qualities upon successful completion.

KPC training program
Human Resources, in cooperation with Foreign Corporate, Oil and Trade Finance Group, has launched the second phase of the training program held for employees of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries. The training program, which was launched last year, comprises two phases of both practical and theoretical training and will extend for four weeks. The program is aimed at developing the technical skills of KPC employees. It covered several business divisions including Treasury, Finance and Accounting.

As part of its ongoing support to programs that aim to introduce knowledge and experience among professionals and the society as a whole, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) sponsored “The Dynamics of Disruption in Digital Business Transformation” forum that was organized by the Institute of Banking Studies and presented by IMD Professor of Innovation and Strategy, Michael Wade.

Also (NBK) is the main sponsor for the upcoming seminar “Digital Leader” by the international speaker, Erik Qualman. The seminar focuses on Digital Leadership and how to focus in a Digitally Unfocused World.

Summer Internship
For more than 18 years in a row, NBK organized its Summer Internship Program for school and college students. “This program is the beginning if a long road ahead to empower youth and provide them with valuable insight into real business scenarios. A total of 124 students between the ages 14 and 21 years participated in the 2019 program.

Career Fair
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) sponsored many of Careers Fair in an aim to provide young Kuwaiti talents with recruitment opportunities in the private sector by creating a direct exchange platform between companies from the sector and those looking for employment.

The career fair seeks to open channels of direct communication between private sector companies and job seekers and to provide suitable job opportunities for students and fresh graduates. NBK human resources personnel were available at its booths and provided their advice and guidance to students seeking assistance with future career choices, in addition to educating them on the nature of joining the banking industry and guiding them through the required procedure to join NBK.

485 Fresh Graduates Are Welcomed To Join NBK Family in 2019
(NBK) welcomed more than 485 fresh university graduates to join the NBK family and start their career on one of the top recruiters in the private sector.
NBK is amongst the top job providers in Kuwait, thanks to having a specialized talent-management department tailored to recruit, hire, retain, train and develop the most talented and superior employees.

NBK provides his staff with various training courses in several business segments including products, systems, personal skills, and leadership capabilities in a bid to boost the bank’s products and offer the highest and best-inclass services to its clientele.

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