The last two years have been a whirlwind of challenges and opportunities for everyone, more so in the Human Capital Management (HCM) industry. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, and learn, it has compelled many to reassess their working habits and preferences.

With customer-centricity being our focus at Security Bank, we wanted to offer new ways of working to ensure that our people remain focused on our customers and are well-equipped with the skills to not just survive but thrive.

In March 2020, the Philippines was placed under an enhanced community quarantine, the most stringent lockdown in the Asia Pacific. Despite this, banks, as a lifeline of the economy, continued to work to service the financial needs of Filipinos. To ensure that there were minimal business disruptions, Security Bank immediately pivoted to a secure telecommuting setup to empower many employees to work from home.

To ensure that the needs of employees were looked after while working remotely, we pivoted our whole HumanResources (HR) framework by embedding HR Business Partners in our organization to serve as direct lines between HCM practitioners and employees. The addition of HRBPs to our workforce allowed employees to easily reach out for any kind of concerns—benefits, career goals, or other entitlements. HRBPs helped allay employee fears and emboldened leaders with their guidance. We also formed the Total Rewards Team to ensure employees are rewarded and properly compensated, aligned with industry benchmarks. We created HR Centers of Excellence, where we nurtured a pool of subject matter experts, ready to create programs for employees to hone their skills and become leaders for others.

With telecommuting in full swing, Security Bank used multiple channels, such as regular coaching, town halls, employee surveys, focus group discussions, collaboration meetings, correspondence and email, health advisories, phone calls or SMS blasts, employee engagement activities, communication apps such as Microsoft Teams and Kaizala to ensure business continuity.

Ensuring Safety and Continued Growth in the Organization

Aside from taking care of employees by addressing their physical and safety concerns, we also took steps to care for their mental health through Mind You. This wellness platform continues to assist our team with the challenges brought about by our evolving situation and these services are provided free of charge. Further, to upskill and keep employees productive we also partnered with the online learning platform LinkedIn Learning and more recently, LearnSpace.

In fact, LinkedIn Learning recognized the Bank in its 2021 LinkedIn Talent Awards by awarding us with the “Diversity Champion” and the “Best Culture of Learning” award. These citations are given to organizations that have made great strides in creating an impact on their employees through LinkedIn Talent Solutions. The “Diversity Champion” Award is given to companies who initiated and inspired meaningful conversations around Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging & Equity, while the “Best Culture of Learning” Award on other hand is awarded to companies who invested in the learning and development of their employees by connecting them to relevant and applicable skills.

Measuring Success

To determine the success of our workforce approach, we pulsed our employees on issues that mattered to them through Glint. Glint is a people-success platform that allowed the Bank to understand how employees are doing and what their views are on things that matter most to them at work. As a result, the Bank achieved an 87 per cent response rate and an overall engagement index of 81 in its November 2021 Engagement pulse. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we feel that the agile response of Security Bank in transitioning from a work-on-premise structure to a telecommuting work setup in a matter of weeks, a robust vaccination program, and continuous learning and development tools positively impacted our workforce. The data also validated how employees are satisfied with the efforts the Bank has been implementing to enhance employee engagement and camaraderie, in the evolving new future of work.

We have always known that people who are engaged and see the passion in what they do are what makes a successful company. As we provide our workforce with a very promising future of work, we will continue to invest in customers, and empower our employees with the skills and technology to succeed—as we strive to become the Employer of Choice in PH banking.