WORKPLACE platform top gun Great Place to Work (GPTW) recently honored companies in its annual Best Workplaces in the Philippines at the Hilton Hotel in Pasay City.
Remarkably, it produced the biggest number of awardees this year compared to four years ago, according to Antoinette Mendoza-Talosig, managing partner at GPTW.
“More and more Philippine companies and business leaders are committing to creating better workplace experiences for all Filipinos. We see companies from various industries coming together as a community to learn from each other on how to do it right by their people and remain steadfast and purpose-driven during these times of perennial change,” she explained in an email interview with the BusinessMirror.
She pointed out that 2023 was a breakout year, as they certified over 150 Great Place To Work companies and 35 Best Workplaces in the Philippines, divided into three categories.
‘More than a social workplace’
TWO remarkable developments emerged in the GPTW Trust Index surveys conducted last year, Mendoza-Talosig observed. “Number one, compared to previous years, we observe that employees need more than a social workplace,” she said.
“There is an increasing need for a psychologically and emotionally healthy workplace, especially as employees continue to adapt to changes such as returning to the office or shifting to a hybrid work setup,” she added.
She also commended the Best Workplaces team for an excellent job, with 92 percent of their employees saying they have established psychologically and emotionally healthy workplaces versus 79 percent of employees in typical organizations that are not list-makers.
She said the efforts of the Best Workplaces to have credible and caring leaders who prioritize their employees’ mental health results in higher productivity, with nine in every 10 employees willing to go the extra mile to get the job done, wanting to stay in the company for a long time, and saying they strongly endorse their company to family and friends as a great place to work.
How to be GPTW-certified
FOR a company to qualify for GPTW certification, it must conduct a Trust Index survey carrying 60 statements measuring the quality of relationships across the five dimensions of a great workplace: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.
Moreover, Mendoza-Talosig said companies will be given two weeks to anonymously answer the survey through Emprising, Great Place to Work’s proprietary survey platform and referred to globally as the world’s best employee satisfaction software.
If the company makes the global threshold, it is given a certification badge which the company may use to promote its award-winning culture, boost the employer brand, and attract high-caliber talent, Mendoza-Talosig said.
“There is leadership effectiveness, where values are not just clearly articulated but lived by, and where trust anchors the organization’s culture. When these are all present, companies are then able to maximize their employees’ full potential and experience financial growth,” Mendoza-Talosig said.
In the Small category, or companies with less than 100 employees, Siegen HR Solutions Inc., a local business-process outsourcing recruitment hub, emerged as the top winner. At second and third, respectively, are ECo Global Consulting Inc. and the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines Inc. (IBPAP).
Meanwhile in the Medium category, which consists of organizations with less than 1,000 employees, DHL Express (Philippines) Corp. bagged the top spot on the list. Cisco Philippines and Atlassian placed second and third, respectively.
Lastly, in the Large category, or those with 1,000 or more employees, Synchrony Global Services Philippines Inc., a subsidiary company that manages Synchrony’s call-center operations and select back-office support, has emerged as the top winner. This year Accenture Inc. (Philippines) ranked second, while PSG Global Solutions Inc. came in third.
Responses from top placers
Iriz Ann Montebon, president and CEO of Siegen Solutions, said the “award reaffirms our commitment to building a positive and inclusive work environment. We are grateful to our team members for their trust, support and contributions in making Siegen Solutions successful.”
Montebon said the award will serve as a catalyst for further enhancing their workplace policies, programs and practices to ensure that their employees feel valued, fulfilled and empowered in their roles. “We aim to build on this achievement and strive to make Siegen Solutions an even better place to work for all our team members.”
She said the company is fortunate to have a strong and supportive board of directors who share the vision and are fully committed to its employee-centric approach. “We believe that our current board is aligned with our values and goals, and we have no immediate plans to invite more investors to the company,” she said.
Montebon said Siegen Solutions will leverage its feat to attract and retain top talent and further build its reputation as a great place to work. Their present and future successes, she added, are closely tied to the satisfaction and engagement of their employees, and the company is committed to their growth and development.
She said their journey as a company has been marked by many challenges and near-death experiences, particularly during the pandemic. “As a small company, we had to make tough decisions to weather the storm and ensure the continuity of our operations,” Montebon said.
“However, one thing that has remained constant throughout our journey is our commitment to putting our people first. We recognized early on that our employees are our most valuable asset, and we made sure to prioritize their well-being and job security, even during difficult times,” Montebon added.
Logistics company DHL Philippines said the award meant a lot to the company because it “gives us confidence that we are definitely on the right track.
“The company is quite aware that the success of our business starts with a motivated workforce. It also credited their passion, can-do attitude, and mindset of doing things right the first time that have made the company even better,” a company statement said.
DHL Philippines started operations more than 50 years ago when it paved the way for the international express industry in the Philippines. It has operated even during challenging times, such as delivering vaccines for Filipinos during the pandemic. “Most of our employees were considered essential frontliners, responsible for delivering necessary medical and personal protection equipment and supplies during the pandemic. With this, we had to be agile enough to adjust our operations and ensure that we continue to observe and comply with the health requirements set forth by the Philippine government.”
As a major international express service provider, the company said it is responsible for setting an example in the industry as a sustainability leader, as it works towards reducing its carbon footprint, and setting the highest social and governance standards. Further, DHL Philippines has become the first logistics company to commit to a net-zero emissions target by 2050 by deploying 21 electric vehicles to support its operations.
For Synchrony Global Services Philippines Inc., the triumph “provided a strong sense of validation that we are doing something right and making a difference in the lives of our employees.”
Liwayway Langit, senior vice president and business leader for the Philippines of Synchrony Global Services Philippines Inc., said the company has also put a premium on employee satisfaction, which is a major component of its employee relations programs.
“Our business imperative has always been employee satisfaction, which is a component of all of our employee relations programs. Whatever the outcome is just reinforcement of our engagement groups,” she said.
“This recognition by Great Place To Work provided a strong sense of validation that we are doing something right and making a difference in the lives of our employees. We value our employees because we believe that great people make great workplaces,” she said.
Langit said the pandemic was a challenging time for the company, as it was for many businesses. “However, we made a commitment early on to prioritize the well-being and job security of our employees, no matter what.”
According to Langit, one of the key adjustments the company made was to slash budgets that did not affect the employees’ job security, such as office rentals, onsite software, and equipment. “We also made the difficult decision to stop compensating our shareholders and infused more money into the company to ensure that our employees and clients would still be with us when the pandemic was over,” she said.
In just two months, the company underwent a complete digital transformation, thanks to the tech background of its founders. This ensured that the company’s operations would not be affected, and could continue providing exceptional service to its clients and job applicants.
“Overall, our ability to navigate through the pandemic was a testament to our resilience, agility, and commitment to our employees and clients. We were able to adjust quickly to the changing circumstances and make tough decisions to ensure that we could continue operating and providing exceptional service. While the pandemic posed many challenges, we emerged from it stronger and more prepared for whatever the future may bring,” Langit explained.
Image credits: Korisbo | Dreamstime.com