Bank sets competency standards for each role

Swiss banking giant UBS AG has introduced an integrated HR strategy which
links the competencies of all staff to the organisation’s business needs.

Mark Wardle, global head of strategic solutions for UBS AG, told delegates
at Richmond Events’ HR Forum, on board the luxury liner Aurora, that the
company’s board decided it needed to improve the core competencies of all staff
in 1999 following its merger with SBC, the Swiss Banking Corporation.

"We were aware that other companies were coming into the private
banking marketplace and concerned that some of our people were not as competent
as they could be," he said.

In response, Wardle created a role and competency profile for all positions,
directly linked to business strategy through key performance indicators. These
include areas such as total new money being deposited and assets under

He explained, for example, that competencies for someone working in client
acquisition would cover areas such as influencing people and understanding the
financial industry. "We defined three to five value drivers and
competencies for every role and output we expect."

Wardle said the competency profile helped the company identify training and
development gaps. It also helps UBS AG recruit the right people by highlighting
the strengths and skills needed to make a success of each role.

Performance management is another area where the integrated HR strategy is
beneficial. "You can define objectives for each individual based on key
contribution areas. The performance management process is assessed against
competencies," he said.

"What we have built is an integrated HR model."

By Ben Willmott

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