Saturday, January 18, 2014

UOB Day - January 2014 - SHINE

UOB Day is a day when all UOB staff gather together from all over the country. UOB Day has been held twice a year, in January and July.

In uniform, all staff feel the unity immediately. As we gather together, we praise God Almighty with all our hearts and minds. UOB Gospel Singers lead the praise time and soon many others with musical talents join them. The entire staff rock the place. Unity then is apparently in spirit as well as in appearance.

We also listen to the Word spoken through an invited speaker. This time, Laurent MBanda, Anglical Bishop of Shyrah Diocese in Musanze was the speaker. He is a scholar and used to be a senior leader at Compassion International. He was Vice President responsible for Africa. He knows, therefore, business, management, leadership as well as mission. He was a perfect fit to speak to us who are running a Kingdom enterprise of UOB.

UOB is not just a bank, but a bank as mission. UOB is mandated by its shareholders not to maximize the profit, but to pursue holistic transformation of the clients based on biblical principles while UOB staff is being transformed in the process together with clients.

UOB Gospel Singers Leading the Praise
UOB has a theme every year. This theme is for both the spiritual and management purposes. For the past four years, the themes have been ARISE (2010), SHALOM (2011), IN CHRIST (2012) and TRANSFORM (2013). For 2014, we have chosen SHINE as the theme.

God is the light. Jesus is the light. Jesus followers have been called to be the light of the world while Jesus is away and until He returns. As the light of the world, Jesus followers are called to shine their lights before men. (Matthew 5:14-16) As a Jesus-following enterprise, UOB should also be the light of the world and so are all UOB staff. Throughout the year, this theme will be analyzed and studied in depth to make sure all staff will understand what it means and how they may apply it to their work and personal life.

Bishop Mbanda Preaching
At the same time, this theme signifies what the bank is pursuing as major goals and objectives. It is used as an acronym. SHINE stands for:

  • Stabilize and sustain operations
  • Scale up agricultural finance and education finance
  • Secure sufficient resources
  • Succeed in T24 R12 model bank migration
  • Help reduce PAR, write-off and frauds
  • Increase loan disbursements, outreach and recoveries
  • Expand the CSPs to remove cash-handling
We also honored four clients who have been selected as recipients of UOB Transformation Awards. We have four of them: Economic, Social, Spiritual and Holistic. I will write a separate blog post on this.

After the UOB T-Awards ceremony, we reviewed how the bank performed overall in all areas. Also we reviewed the major business KPIs to remember and implement in 2014. Key senior officers gave a presentation about their teams' highlights.

We also honor our staff who has newly joined for the past six months, who has worked for UOB for five, 10 and 15 years, and who has been promoted as of January 2014. It is a celebration to officially welcome new staff to UOB, thank the staff of long service and congratulate the staff who have been promoted. 

Help Association is the staff's voluntary savings and loans program. They collect savings and lend the money to staff, and distribute interest income to the savers. It is a mini bank for staff within the bank. The treasurer for Help Association also reported the performance.

At the end, we all knelt down and dedicated ourselves to the Lord to do our best in serving the people whom He has called us to serve for the next six months. 

Lunch is a great time of fellowship among our staff. For many staff who is living and working in rural areas, this lunch outing is a big treat and a valuable opportunity to meet colleagues whom they know only by names. We had to run the entire schedule very tightly because many traveled early in the morning to attend the UOB Day and had to travel again to return to where they live. So by 2PM, all programs were over. Very intense, but also very productive. It is remarkable that all programs run almost right on the clock. It is very unusual in the Rwandan context. That much our staff has been trained to be conscious of the time and punctual. 

This UOB Day was my last one at UOB. I was asked if I would say farewell to staff. I declined because I would be still working through April 3oth, and I did not want to distract their attention that has to be focused on SHINE. I prayed on my knees that God will continue to be gracious to UOB in the years to come. 

Kristin also joined us in the program along with Dr. Yong Woo Lee and his wife Jong Ran. - Jeffrey

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