• Our mission is to build professional and dynamic human resources at all levels
  • Group Human Resources is the beating heart of NBK’s system
  • The private sector is more agile and dynamic and gives you more room for creativity and innovation
  • The one-team spirit is a key characteristic of work environment in NBK
  • Choosing the right job requires research and study to make the right decision in deciding your path
  • NBK’s work environment promotes learning and development, and always motivates employees and appreciate their efforts
  • Attracting and retaining high-caliber talent is crucial to achieve the bank’s long-term ambitions
  • NBK boasts an ideal work environment offering excellent opportunities for continuous career development

In the program’s sixth panel discussion, “Tamakan” hosted Mr. Emad Al-Ablani, GM – Head of Group Human Resources at National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), who shared his extensive experience gained through a long career, highlighting the key milestones in his journey until assuming this leading position at the largest banking institution in Kuwait.

In a highly engaging open discussion with “Tamakan” trainees, Al-Ablani shared the key challenges he faced throughout his long journey. He also gave them some tips to help them navigate their way towards a thriving career, and the best ways to develop personal skills and capabilities to successfully make their way into the labor market and ensure career development. At the end of the discussion, he answered participants’ questions about various aspects of work inside NBK.

The keys to success

Al-Ablani started his speech by urging “Tamakan” trainees to be patient and work hard to achieve their desired career development, and to cooperate with co-workers, as working in one-team spirit is a key success factor for large institutions, and this is a main characteristic of the work environment in a reputable organization like NBK, as everyone has different qualities and abilities, which makes success a guaranteed result of integration between the members of one team.

“Attaining a leading position in a prestigious institution like NBK requires three basic skills: passion, perseverance and patience, which are the keys to success and moving forward in achieving a thriving and sustainable career and rising to the highest positions,” he mentioned.

 “It takes careful research and sufficient study to make the right decision in choosing your job, whether regarding the sector or even the workplace, as building a career requires ambitious young people who have unwavering desire and passion. Therefore, I always advise the youth to join the private sector because it is more agile and dynamic, and there is more room for innovation, development and creativity,” he added.

The beating heart

In response to a question from one of the participants about the role of GHR, Al-Ablani said, “GHR is the beating heart of NBK’s system through its various arms including Training and Development, Talent Management, and Business Partners. Our mission is to attract and build professional and dynamic human resources at all levels, from new recruits joining the organization until reaching the highest positions, as well as providing an atmosphere that ensures utmost employee well-being.”

“NBK’s strategy is to build an agile and dynamic workforce by focusing on 4 pillars: First: placing the right competencies in the right roles at the right time; Second: preparing future leaders by developing leaders inspiring and driving employees towards innovation; Third: acquisition of high-caliber talent by attracting, retaining and developing qualified employees; Fourth: creating a sustainable performance environment and a culture promoting diversity, inclusion, clear results management principles, and protection of employees,” he explained.

Calculated risk

On a question by one of the participants about choosing the ideal job and work environment, Al-Ablani said, “First, you have to set your goals according to your desires and skills, then work to develop clear plans to implement these goals, but the key factors are passion, perseverance, and patience, and developing the skills to help you achieve your goals.”

Al-Ablani called on the young people to develop and learn by addressing questions all the time and benefiting from the work team and their expertise. Every question is important, and you must get a sufficient answer when you ask so that you have a broad knowledge of your job duties and the function of your department, especially that NBK’s work environment encourages learning and development and always seeks to motivate employees and appreciate their efforts and contributions.

Al-Ablani went on to advise the youth saying, “Always make sure to know the negative comments from your managers, and work to address them to improve your performance, and do not think about moving from one department to another or one job to another just because of some negative comments or poor appraisal. Every employee must calculate the risks in every step he takes, as there is no “zero risk,” but there are calculated and uncalculated risk. So, I advise all employees at the beginning of their career to always talk to their manager and discuss with him their performance and what aspects that can be developed and learned to avoid negative comments and obtain a higher appraisal going forward.”

“NBK’s work environment always encourages discussion and exchange of ideas and opinions. There are also other communication channels that help all employees express their opinions, and the bank listens to their feedback and suggestions, and their satisfaction with the work environment,” he noted.

Don’t fear job interviews

Al-Ablani touched on job interviews saying, “When we conduct job interviews, we always look for young people who are capable of learning, innovating, and communicating, by addressing some questions and evaluating the answers, reactions, and extent of response. The best answers during job interviews are honest ones, even if they do not serve the job applied for, so do not try to beautify or provide incorrect information as this may backfire.”

“At NBK, we believe that attracting, retaining and developing high-caliber talent is instrumental to achieving our long-term ambitions, as well as advance the bank’s efforts to build sustainable human resources, especially that we always seek to attract young talent that have the passion, ambition and desire for continued development and building a thriving career,” he added.

Al-Ablani called on new graduates not to fear job interviews, because fear may be an obstacle to highlighting all your skills during the interview, advising them to be responsive with the interviewer and not just give brief answers. He also called on the interviewers to stay away from personal matters that may embarrass applicants, such as social and political questions, as well as to simplify the interview and not touch on complicated topics to display their experience, as most applicants are fresh graduates who do not have that broad experience, and the tasks of the jobs they are applying for may not require such deep knowledge.

Employee development

Continuing his responses to participants’ questions, Al-Ablani answered a question about employee development: “Once employees join the bank, they receive training courses relevant to each stage of their career, as learning is a deeply rooted culture in NBK that contributes to developing and increasing the efficiency of our human resources, which translates in improving our service quality.”

“NBK training programs do not end at a certain level and are not limited to a specific stage in the career, stressing that all employees in the bank receive training programs to develop their skills, starting from new recruits to leaders, and from day one in the job and continuing throughout their career with the bank. After an employee is promoted and transferred from one job level to another, they receive specific training programs commensurate with the skills required for the new job and qualifying him for the next level until they reach the highest leadership roles in the bank. There is also monitoring to follow up the training and development process to see the results of employee development,” he elaborated.

Al-Ablani mentioned that all the training programs provided by NBK are carefully designed by specialized experts to suit all job levels, noting that “Tamakan” program provides an exceptional opportunity to enhance the skills necessary to navigate the labor market in general, not only working at NBK,” he mentioned.

“NBK is firmly committed to investing in human capital with the support of the executive management, by attracting training and upskilling national talent. We boast an ideal and unique work environment providing exceptional opportunities for continuous career development through high-quality training programs delivered to its employees as well as fresh graduates, which helps them build a sustainable career,” he added.

Golden tips

Al-Ablani shared with the trainees the following important tips to help them navigate their way towards a thriving career:

  • Search for the jobs that suit your skills and ambitions
  • Always seek to benefit from the expertise of your team members
  • Always ask questions and ensure you get adequate answers to develop your expertise
  • Work hard and be patient to achieve your desired career development