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In PH, happy employees lead to profitable companies

By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 05:03 AM October 29, 2018

Aon’s Best Employer 2018 program recognizes firms operating in the Philippines that scored high in critical areas of talent management: employee engagement, leadership, performance and branding. Aon is represented by Prasant Chadha, Aon Malayasia and Philippines’ managing director of talent, rewards and performance (front, left), and Andrew Minnitt, Aon Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers Philippines CEO (front, right).

Engagement and recognition.

These are two key factors which companies in the Philippines should focus on, as the “happiness factor” is highly important to Filipino employees, said executives of global professional services firm Aon plc at the recently concluded Aon Best Employers Philippines 2018 awarding ceremony and learning conference.

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“Philippine levels of engagement are really high in the general context of the [Southeast Asian] region. Recognition is also very, very important to society here—it cannot be overstated,” said Aon Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers Philippines CEO Andrew Minnitt. “We have some statistics on how people believe they are being fairly paid or unfairly paid versus recognition, and how that balance works out; quite often, we find that simple recognition is almost as important as the money that goes with [the job]. The happiness factor is important.”

Prashant Chadha, Aon managing director for Malaysia and Philippines, defined engagement as “employees’ high regard for a firm that results in strong individual performance at work and low turnover rates.”

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“It is the strongest measure of employee experience. Moreover, according to Aon’s research, a 5-percent increase in employee engagement scores is linked to a 3-percent increase in revenues the following year,” he added.

High employee engagement is one of the four critical areas of talent management which Best Employers judges look at when choosing winners. The other three are effective leadership, compelling employer brand, and high-performance culture.

Four companies were named by Aon as this year’s Best Employers in the Philippines: American Express International, Inc.; DHL Express Philippines Corp.; Teletech Customer Care Management Philippines, Inc.; and Telus International Philippines, Inc.

These companies achieved engagement scores of 88 percent, compared to a market average of 72 percent.

On average, they also scored 12 points higher than market average across the other three Best Employer indices.

As a tip to aspiring Best Employers, Minnitt made an example of gamification as a means to improve employee engagement.

“[Think of] flexible benefits. People now want to be able to decide how they want to use these credits. [Perhaps you offer] life insurance, but a millennial probably doesn’t want to think about what he wants to do at 60. Instead he could take some of those benefits, and game-ify that and use it for other things like to see a movie, spend it on Spotify or other things useful to him,” Minnitt said.

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Special awards were also handed out to companies which had exceptional scores in specific Best Employer indices: HSBC Electronic Data Processing (Philippines), Inc. (Special Recognition for Commitment to Employer Brand; Novartis Healthcare Philippines, Inc. (Special Recognition for Commitment to Leadership); and The Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company (Special Recognition for Commitment to Engagement).

Aon’s Prashant Chadha

Aon Best Employers is the company’s flagship program designed to improve employee engagement, leadership effectiveness, employer brand, and culture to drive high performance.

It studies companies from a variety of industries across 10 markets in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East: Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Middle East, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

This year, 460 companies—equivalent to 730,000 employees—participated in the program.

Moving forward, Minnitt said Aon would expand its judging criteria to include health care for Best Employers 2019.

“Clients’ data tell us that if we don’t make positive interventions toward improving health, we will end up with a significantly unwell society. Clearly if you’re going to spend time unwell, physically or mentally, you’re going to be less motivated to be in the workspace,” said Minnitt. “It’s going to contribute to absenteeism, which has a direct correlation on productivity, which has a direct impact on the top and bottom line. So that’s something we’re taking a first step into for Best Employers 2019.”

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