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Customer Stories – SPDB

Customer Stories – SPDB

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co, Ltd.

The self-service functionality has been very successful—it replaced the previous practice of printing and manually distributing reports by HR, which has helped a lot in terms of confidentiality and ensuring data privacy.

Belinda Ngan
Head of Human Resources and Administration Department

Nurturing a culture for innovative change

Business Profile

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPD Bank), based in Shanghai, is a joint-stock commercial bank employing over 48,000 staff, operating a national network of 41 branches over 1,700 banking outlets across China. As a listed company, SPD Bank is highly regarded within China’s security market and continues to expand its capital base and strengthen its business through financial innovation. In May 2016, SPD Bank ranked 57th on the list of Forbes Global 2000, being 12th among Chinese companies and 7th among Chinese banks.

Key Challenges

For Belinda Ngan, Head of Human Resources and Administration Department, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co, Ltd., innovation plays a vital role in her organisation’s culture. Creating a working environment that continually cultivates and facilitates innovation is a huge task for the HR team. In any organisation there are often numerous obstacles to overcome in terms of staff motivation. Employees need to feel valued in order to embrace change; therefore it is essential to listen to their ideas and opinions whilst providing beneficial feedback. Ngan explained, “Having a receptive attitude is key, and then demonstrating that you are actually listening by building on those ideas and giving constructive feedback.” There must also be a platform for career advancement and a willingness to help staff grow—in the absence of this, it can be very difficult to create a thriving workforce capable of generating fresh and cutting-edge ideas.
The bank’s HR team recently implemented a new digital centralised FlexSystem FESA Human Resource Information System. When rolling out any new HRIS, HR needs to budget carefully—both in terms of finances and the time required to get users up to speed with the new interface. With due diligence, HRIS can significantly enhance efficiency and lower overall operating costs. One of the first tasks for Ngan when attempting to implement the new system, was pitching it to the management team and demonstrating the ROI in addition to other value-added benefits. She said. “The management needed to be convinced that the new system would bring tangible improvements in terms of both data security and productivity. Objectively measuring the impact and improvements that the new HRIS would bring to the organisation was another key consideration.”
Staff members may be, understandably, worried about adopting a new HRIS and HR plays a critical role in managing this change and allaying such concerns. Ngan recognised the need to carefully handle changes to HRIS platforms and tasked HR directors with reassuring staff that although the new HRIS would bring change to work habits, ultimately it was being implemented to make life easier for everyone—saving time and enhancing efficiency. It is critical for HR to fully involve staff during the conception period and Ngan explained, “Changes to HRIS platforms must be handled delicately— provision of briefings and training to staff during testing and trial runs is critical. HR should also budget sufficient time to ‘prove’ that a centralised HR system is beneficial in terms of streamlining procedures and raising staff satisfaction levels.” To this end, a well-planned, realistic timeline is key to facilitating a smooth and systematic rollout of the HRIS.


At the end of the day, any new HRIS should enhance the working environment and efficiency as well as encourage and facilitate innovation. The new FlexSystem FESA Human Resource Management System achieves this by facilitating an employee self-service platform where members can log on and perform a large number of functions including generating staff profiles, pay slips and manage their annual leave. All of this frees up transactional time for HR, which can then be put to better use on more strategic tasks. In addition to reducing operational costs the system has also further strengthened data security. Ngan explained, “The self-service functionality has been very successful—it replaced the previous practice of printing and manually distributing reports by HR, which has helped a lot in terms of confidentiality and ensuring data privacy.”
To encourage staff to embrace change, it is important for HR to demonstrate its own commitment and the management team’s dedication to any new work projects and HRIS. SPD Bank fosters this by organising off-site management retreats to collectively develop the company vision, set new goals to achieve this vision, build team spirit and help inculcate core values. The bank further increases motivation by championing staff mobility throughout the organisation, with new positions always being available internally—both upwards and laterally. Ngan explained, “Showing your staff that there is room for career advancement and that you are actually willing to help them develop is a fantastic motivator.”

Team Building Activity – Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co, Ltd.


The new HRIS provides HR with more time to focus on strategic tasks such as finding and retaining core talent, talent development and succession planning. It has also allowed the bank to further streamline administrative procedures by offering self-service options for talent throughout the organisation. This shift from traditional administrative operations—such as printing and distributing reports—towards the FESA HR system, combined with offering employees easy and immediate access to relevant records has dramatically increased cost effectiveness. Digital transfer of personal staff data has also increased confidentiality and data privacy for employees. Moreover, the HRIS implementation—coupled with enhanced staff benefits and employee relations—has had a positive impact on staff turnover.

Run for Charity – Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co, Ltd.


The adoption of the FESA HR system has brought several key advantages for the bank:
  1. 10% cost saving in terms of manpower;
  2. 50% reduction in 2016 staff turnover, compared to 2015;
  3. Time and cost savings with shift from traditional administrative practices to self-service functions; and
  4. Enhanced confidentiality and data privacy.
Within a year SPD Bank is already reaping the benefits associated with the new HRIS:
  • Employees benefit from streamlined procedures, which has led to increased job satisfaction, which in turn has a positive knock-on effect throughout the entire organisation.
  • HR has seen work processes become much better standardised in keeping with the models of today’s more progressive and strategic approach to HR. The HRIS also provides a much more cost-effective means of managing HR which in turn frees up time for HR to focus on more strategic functions that help drive future success.
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