American Express Malaysia on building a culture of transparency and trust through colleague experience

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KUALA LUMPUR,
MALAYSIA – Media OutReach – 13 January 2021 – In a new normal that is constantly
changing and transforming, people are at the heart of an organization’s
continuity and success more than ever before. Events of the past year have
shown how critical engaging employee experiences are in driving performance as
organizations dug deep to draw strength, inspiration and ideas. 

American Express Malaysia on building a culture of transparency and trust through colleague experience

 

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Helping organizations to
put their people at the center of performance is Kincentric, a Spencer Stuart
company with a unique approach to human capital. With decades of expertise in
culture and engagement, leadership assessment and development, and HR and talent
advisory services, Kincentric helps organizations to be the best in the
business through the Kincentric Best
Employers program
.

 

Kincentric Best Employers
is a leading employer benchmarking program which measures and recognizes
extraordinary employers who demonstrate workplace excellence. For 20 years, the
Kincentric Best Employers program has recognized leading employers across the
world who are committed to realizing great workplace experiences with the
Kincentric Best Employers certification, backed by over 50 years of employee
research and a global database of over 15 million employees. Selected by an
independent panel of judges, these organizations are leading the way in aspects
that are crucial for success — employee engagement, agility, engaging
leadership and talent focus.  

 

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This year, five
organizations were awarded the Kincentric Best Employers in Malaysia, selected
by a 3-person judging panel composed of industry-leading HR professionals.

 

Reflecting on Kincentric
Best Employers in Malaysia 2020, judge Dato’ Tharuma Rajah who is also founder
and CEO of Garage Analytics commented how “the recent pandemic has proven with
empirical evidence that employee engagement is critical during tough times. The
‘X’ factor is senior leadership and people managers who create the motivational
energy that compels employees to action even when they are working remotely. We
have seen how various companies have done engagement practices in a very
innovative and creative manner which had a positive impact on their business
results.”  

 

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Standing ‘head and
shoulders’ above the rest in this year’s program is Kincentric Best of the Best
Employer in Malaysia 2020, American Express Malaysia. The global services company
was also inducted into Kincentric Best Employers in Malaysia Hall of Fame, after
winning the Best Employer in Malaysia for the 10th consecutive year.

 

“We first joined
Kincentric Best Employers program in 2005 as we were interested in the program
structure and learnings it could offer. Through the years, this program has not
only helped us gain valuable insight into how colleagues feel about our people
practices, it has also helped us acquire external perspective through knowledge
sharing and best practices. Being included in Kincentric Best Employers in
Malaysia Hall of Fame is an incredible validation of our relationship with our
colleagues,” said Ryan Lai, Vice President and General Manager of American
Express Malaysia.

 

American Express won
Kincentric Best of the Best Employer in Malaysia 2020 by delivering an
exceptional people-centric experience through three key areas — trust, open
communication and top team alignment.

 

Lai says, “Our first focus
and priority was ensuring our colleagues felt safe and had the flexibility and
resources they needed at home to continue delivering world class services to
our customers.”

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When we moved to work from home
arrangements, we introduced an initiative called business leave, to allow
colleagues to take paid time off without having to use their annual leave when they
had valid reasons at home that prevented time from being able to work, such as
needing to care for their children or parents’ needs until end of 2020. For
colleagues who had their work or job scope impacted by the pandemic, we
reallocated them to other business areas to keep them motivated, engaged and invested
in delivering their best,” said Anjum Ghaffar, Director Human Resources, Market
Head Malaysia.

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Recognizing the
importance of a health and wellness culture from the start of the pandemic,
American Express Malaysia embarked on three key initiatives beginning with the
launch of a telehealth service called CareClix
for colleagues and their immediate family members. Available 24 hours a day, 7
days a week for free, colleagues and their loved ones could consult doctors and
access expert medical care via phone, video chat or a mobile app from the
comfort of their homes.

 

The company also provided
a one-year complimentary subscription for Calm,
a mental fitness app that provides motivational podcasts, stories and soothing
music designed to help manage stress, experience better sleep and reduce
anxiety. The app completed other dedicated wellbeing activities such as mental
wellbeing sessions, virtual meditation and virtual yoga. Helping to alleviate
medical concerns, colleagues and their enrolled dependents were also provided
with enhanced Covid-19 medical coverage covering testing, hospitalization and
death benefits at no additional cost to them. 
 

 

With a young workforce
composed of mostly millennials, American Express also found many of them faced
difficulties especially during the lockdown and with transition to working from
home. Having never experienced a crisis in their professional life, inherent
stresses and anxiety from being isolated had a greater impact on younger
colleagues.

 

“We recognized that we
needed to support each other, so we quickly mobilized ourselves into action.
Communication was a key part of our support and wellbeing strategy, and we knew
we had to do so not only frequently but meaningfully,” explained Lai.

 

Despite having achieved
so much the past 10 years, American Express is not resting on its laurels. The
company expects a hybrid working model will be the next big change for employee
engagement and is already looking at how to better connect colleagues with
corporate culture in a virtual world.

 

Lai concludes, “We are
beyond honored to be recognized as the ‘Best of the Best’ by Kincentric Best
Employers 2020, particularly in a year of unpredicted changes that tested our
ability to adapt and brave new ways of working together. As a company that
believes in the powerful backing of our people for progress, we believe that
this success is a true testament of the positive work culture and a holistic
employee experience that we continuously strive to build upon. We dedicate this
win to all Amex colleagues in Malaysia — which motivates us to continue
building a great, diverse place to work and thrive in with opportunities to
learn and grow both professionally and personally. I truly believe that when we
strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

American Express Malaysia on building a culture of transparency and trust through colleague experience

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American Express Malaysia on building a culture of transparency and trust through colleague experience - Brand SpurAmerican Express Malaysia on building a culture of transparency and trust through colleague experience - Brand Spur

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American Express Malaysia on building a culture of transparency and trust through colleague experience - Brand SpurAmerican Express Malaysia on building a culture of transparency and trust through colleague experience - Brand Spur

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