25 APRIL 2019, Manila, Philippines – At a time when work-life balance and personal time-off days have become strong buzzwords for employees, FWD Life Insurance (“FWD Philippines”) has gone beyond the tried-and-tested route and rewrote the employment rule book, enhancing its brand and business in the process.
Considered one of the fastest-growing insurance companies in the Philippines, FWD Philippines launched “WorksForMe” in 2018, its enhanced employee benefits program designed to help the organization’s workforce celebrate life while they work.
Through the program, FWD employees can now say, “At FWD, I can choose what works for me!”
“WorksForMe is the outcome of collaborative efforts to improve benefits for our employees, after surveying what the challenges and areas of improvement were,” said FWD Philippines Chief People and Culture Officer Rozanne Parungo. “It all boils down to providing better experiences for our employees.”
Making Brand Advocates out of FWD Employees
There is a business principle that people-oriented leaders of organizations strive to adhere to: in order to best serve customers, employees need—first and foremost—to be empowered and to be motivated. They also need to stay fit to carry out their functions.
It all starts with top leadership intent on helping promote the health and well-being of a vital component in the organizational wheel: its people. Indeed, FWD Philippines’ unique people-oriented employee benefits program WorksForMe has the solid backing of senior leadership team, headed by President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes.
Adapting to the Changing Times
“FWD pioneered the WorksForMe program to advocate work-life balance while empowering and giving our employees the flexibility to choose what works for them,” added Parungo. “Our new and improved employee benefits program is a testament to how we adapt to the changing times, strongly encouraging our people to live the brand spirit and “get ready to live” for themselves and their families.”
Part and parcel of FWD’s WorksForMe program are special leave entitlements for employees. As part of the program, employees’ vacation leaves (VL) can be rolled over during the next 12 months of the succeeding year. The longer the employee stays with the company, the more VLs they earn. Upon reaching the employee’s third year of tenure, an additional VL will be given, and one more every year thereafter up to a maximum of 24 total VLs annually, hence recognizing the employees’ loyalty.
Sick leaves, on the other hand, can be used up to the end of the year. Unused SLs can then be banked and converted to VL, as the employee elects. This benefit feature gives the employees the option to utilize their unused leaves in a way that is more suitable to them.
Pioneering Flexibility, Enhancing Productivity
The benefits do not stop there. Employees may work from anywhere (WFA) up to five (5) days for each quarter. All that is required is manager approval as well as availability of appropriate tools to perform tasks at the same productivity level offered by the office environment.
Flexible work arrangements have also received the FWD top-level management’s nod of approval. They show extra consideration for people’s mobility or commuting problems, as well as varying peak performance time. At FWD, employees can start their work day as early as 7 a.m. or as late as 10 a.m., with corresponding end of shifts at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. This flexibility is aimed at not only lessening the employees’ commute or transit time to and from the office, but most importantly enhancing their productivity level.
Parungo said, “The work schedule options allow our employees to be flexible and to be innovation-focused at the same time.”
Giving Back, Paying It Forward
FWD Philippines’ “Community Care Time-Off” serves the dual purpose of encouraging its workforce to pursue their passions through community service. Employees are given two (2) paid time-off days to give back to their communities.
In order to be entitled to the allotted paid time-off days a year, employees need to take part in FWD’s existing Community Care programs or perform charitable work/community service. Reinforced by the company’s own Community Care employee passion group (committee), employees are encouraged to take part in various efforts, internal or otherwise, supporting the community and contributing to their betterment.
Since the program’s launch, FWD employees have volunteered in the company’s host of Community Care partners Humanity & Inclusion, Special Olympics, and Tanging Tanglaw Solar Lolas Project. Beyond these initiatives, employees have likewise supported organizations that drive feeding programs, rehabilitation of the Pasig River, and even marathons whose proceeds go to charities, amongst others.
“Our values guide our actions, and so do our policies and practices,” Parungo said. “Engaging and letting people thrive and prosper is one of our key priorities. We want to constantly encourage our employees to support and take part in achieving FWD’s Community Care vision: to empower people to live fulfilled lives.”
Driving Positive Change for and with Employees
FWD employees are now as motivated as ever to go beyond their comfort zone and reach out to members of the community. “I feel my world is bigger because I get to explore and be in love with other activities outside work – like running, hiking, and volunteering for the environment,” FWD employee TJ Catapang shares.
WorksForMe gives current and future employees a better sense of what makes FWD a very good workplace to be part of. By contributing to its employees’ well-being through this program, FWD Life Insurance is not only living up to its vision of “changing the way people feel about insurance,” it also innovates employee experiences as it aims to truly become an employer of choice in the Philippines.