In 2nd place on the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2021 list is Synchrony Global Services Philippines, a premier consumer financial services company delivering customized financing programs across key industries including retail, health, auto, travel and home, along with award-winning consumer banking products.
Employee safety was their key priority when the lockdown began, especially since Synchrony’s services were deemed essential and their office had to continue operations.
Staying open with a skeletal workforce of 1,000 employees that had volunteered to hold down the fort, Synchrony put into place stringent measures and special benefits above and beyond what regulations called for, such as housing staff in world-class hotels to ensure their comfort and restricted room capacity to a maximum of two employees per room, along with transportation services, free on-site meals, and a generous on-site work allowance.
Employees who worked from home also enjoyed full financial support, such as monthly communication stipends, extended deadlines for reimbursement of benefits, expansion of monthly wellness program to include online yoga or gym classes and a one-time wellness assistance for them to purchase isopropyl rubbing alcohol, vitamins, masks and other provisions for their health.
In recognition of potential financial concerns, a special one-time CEO monetary award was given to ALL employees, from rank and file to senior management, along with the advancement of a proration of their 13th month pay. In light of the extenuating circumstances of the year, a Funeral Assistance Benefit was established for close family member deaths during 2020 (whether COVID-related or not).
With close to 2700 employees in the Philippines, a holistic and comprehensive approach to physical and mental wellness was quickly adopted to ensure all employees’ and their families’ wellbeing via a 24/7 Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Of course, those that were afflicted by Covid-19 were thoughtfully taken care of with 100% coverage of sick days, health insurance coverage for employees and dependents along with swab tests for employees with symptoms.
Understanding the psychological strain the pandemic may cause, the company also launched monthly mental health webinars with a mental health professional that covered important topics like stress management techniques, mental resilience, working from home effectively and smart parenting during this pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, Synchrony kept their channels of communication with employees open. They implemented pulse surveys for the first time and organized a special Virtual Benefits Festival so that all employees were aware of the support they could avail.
Leadership was thoroughly empowered to care for employees, themselves and the company. Activities included a Virtual Talakayan, Roundtable sessions with employees, various Virtual Training programs, an engagement playbook, Virtual Frontline Leadership Conference, BISIG Online Celebration and Toastmasters International.
Synchrony has always believed that caring for their employees also means caring for their families, and these are the values that shone through every activity they implemented to thrive during the pandemic.
Along with special activities for kids such as Synchrony After School and Summer Camp, last year’s Family Day was celebrated virtually with 9,115 viewers, featuring virtual fun activities, the performance of local guest artists and rewards & recognitions to show appreciation for the great work of their employees. Synchrony’s propensity for meaningful action to support diversity continued unabated in 2020 with the Virtual Diversity Experience themed “Diversity is Not Enough. Be the Difference.” Synchrony’s CEO and Chief Diversity Officer kicked off the event that included keynotes and talks from the author of “White Fragility,” Juju Chang of ABC News, the attendance of basketball star Dwyane Wade and lively roundtables to discuss issues.