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Using Technology to Put People First: Sutherland

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Great Place to Work-Certified™ digital transformation company Sutherland may have a technology driven service portfolio, but they remain at their very core a ‘people-first’ company – this was clearly evident in the manner they exceeded expectations in providing support and care to employees during the pandemic.

Sutherland Philippines fully utilized their two biggest assets in responding quickly to the pandemic. By innovatively bringing together their core people practices with their advanced technology solutions, they were able to continue delivering to customers the same level of service, while protecting the health and wellbeing of their employees.

As employees were forced to transition into working from home, Sutherland rapidly deployed their proprietary W@H platform that provided immense functionality to meet the needs of clients and employees. The platform afforded many tools to augment and support business teams such as prescriptive analytics, live feedback loops and MiniBots.

Sutherland Global Services Philippines Inc Great Place to Work Certified
Sutherland Global Services Philippines Inc Great Place to Work Certified

One such bot was Joe, the Virtual HR Assistant set up on Sutherland’s People Portal that instantly answered the most frequently asked HR-related queries and had the ability to raise HR & IT cases on the behalf of employees. By gathering feedback through such initiatives and using embedded analytics to gain real-time insights, Sutherland was able to capture the work needs of employees with empathy and meticulous detail before undertaking appropriate action to ensure their peoples’ continued satisfaction.

As the pandemic persisted, the company continued to add benefits for employees working from home, despite having incurred financial losses in the preceding months. These included an Internet allowance for those using personal internet connections and establishing a “pandemic coverage” with their HMO provider for employees as well as their dependents.

Sutherland also made sure that medical assistance was available online and virtually, so employees and their dependents could avoid going to clinics and hospitals as much as possible. Employees were provided with frequent health and wellness e newsletters and had access to a Telemedicine App and a Virtual Health Assistant by MEDGATE.

At the same time, the company made the most of their Sutherland Mobile application to keep their workforce safe, updated and connected, with functions including a Daily Health Check, an intranet called Frontpage that provided updates and company news, as well as an in-built E-Learning program.

Their focus on empowering their people’s careers, even during the pandemic, is further enhanced through their “ENRICH” program that offered flexible schedule and support to employees who wished to earn their degrees while working. In alignment with their Employee Value Propositions of “Be Yourself” and “Grow Your Own Way”, the company further allowed employees to rotate jobs via a “Job Rotation” program that provided employees with new growth opportunities and served to reduce job monotony.

Sutherland values promotion from within the organization and has in place a modular leader development curriculum that aims to engage, develop and retain the best industry talent by providing an established track for internal career progress from managership all the way to Vice- and Senior Vice-Presidency.

Sutherland’s commitment to caring also extends towards enhancing the lives of people in the communities and countries where they operate. In the Philippines, their social impact projects include extending job opportunities to countryside provinces where employment is most needed.

In acknowledging the importance of keeping their fingers on the pulse on employee experiences, Sutherland Philippines formed an Employee Council (Eouncil) that was empowered to implement ideas put forward by employees runs employee satisfaction surveys twice a year. In their recent June 2020 survey, the gratitude from employees for the manner in which Sutherland approached their wellbeing during the pandemic was evident in the high scores received (55 points above average).

At the same time, a survey run to gain client feedback also received scores far higher than average, displaying the incredible motivation that Sutherland’s workforce continued to display in their work and in dealing with customers despite the extraordinary circumstances.

Account Manager Ruben Sanchez Jr. shares his thoughts on the team spirit and family-like
togetherness Sutherland has instilled in their people:

I have been a Sutherland employee for twelve years now. Through those years, I managed four programs and got the pleasure of interacting with a diverse workforce. But what I love about my job is how people treat each other like family, and that is with utmost care and respect. I am proud to be part of Sutherland.

Ruben Sanchez Jr., Account Manager

With their personal and thoughtful initiatives, comprehensive personal development
programs as well as innovative use of digital tools to bring their people together, Sutherland
has raised the bar on employee workplace satisfaction and is a truly worthy addition to our
stable of Philippines’ Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies.

Download the 2021 Insights Report for more stories of Heroism in Philippine Workplaces

APAC Sutherland’s Vice President of Human Resources, Anil Joseph guests in Episode 3 of our Employer Branding from the Inside-Out webcast series. Watch his interview with our Sales Manager, Karissa Huyong-Manankil, as he shares the values that are taking him and the Sutherland Leadership team, through the pandemic.

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