Ayala, Singtel, Globe Foster Positive Work Culture and Doing Business with Purpose
The workforce is changing. As leaders of companies further mature, younger generations of employees enter the picture, and work life is increasingly being influenced by outside factors and global events, the work environment inevitably gets reshaped.
This is why Globe and its two major shareholders, Ayala Corporation and Singtel, recognize the need for reinvention to keep up with new developments and foster a positive work culture.
In a one-of-a-kind fireside chat on Purposeful CEOs, leaders of the three well-respected institutions gathered to talk about the industry’s evolving nature in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the purpose that guides them in managing their businesses to enhance future success.
Globe Group President and CEO Ernest Cu noted that people are having different expectations, so there is no room for complacency. This prompted the company to push itself further to make it meaningful for employees to want to work in the industry.
“If you continue to do what you're used to doing, you're not going to be an exciting industry. And when it's no longer exciting, you won't attract good talent. That's the start of the downward spiral,” Cu said.
While Globe has been named the employer of choice in the Philippines, he said the market is catching up. More companies are trying to win talent over and attract new ones.
The situation drove Globe to move beyond telco and develop an exciting ecosystem around its core business. It currently offers several diverse high-growth technology driven enterprises in health tech, fintech, adtech, edutech, entertainment, and e-commerce, among others
Ayala Corporation also had the benefit of being able to bring in the best and brightest individuals throughout the company’s history and is doing its best to encourage them to have meaningful and progressive careers.
Being one of the Philippines’ most diversified conglomerates, it conducts employee performance appraisals where individuals and supervisors discuss, set, monitor and measure performance against agreed targets. Career discussions and performance improvements are also done yearly.
Ayala created two boards, the usual set of leaders and another one composed of the younger generation who discuss matters formally to come up with proposals on what they want to do for the company.
Meanwhile for Globe, aside from bringing in new people, the growing digital solutions platform is passionate about rotation, enabling employees to be moved around different areas in the organization so they can grow.
This idea is shared by Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel Group CEO, who also spent five years in Indonesia as part of his career development in Singtel.
“I think at all levels, we should start exposing and moving people around. I’ve been speaking with all the CEOs. Let’s start to identify and create opportunities for our people. This is not just for the company. It’s good when you’re in rotation. But also for individual development,” he said.
Likewise, the three companies stressed the seriousness of putting the welfare of employees first. This became most apparent during the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and the lockdowns that followed.
“I think the one thing we realized (during the pandemic) is the importance of taking care of our people. If you don't take care of your people, they will not take care of the business, your customer. So we had to do a lot more for our people,” Moon said.
Singtel, for instance, had to go the extra mile to provide accommodations for its frontliners from neighboring Malaysia who were trapped in Singapore after the government suddenly closed its borders.
Despite having the opportunity to return to their families later on, the grateful staff stayed and continued to urgently lay down fiber to hospitals and homes. As a result, Singtel was the only network in Singapore that held up during the whole period.
The same care for people espoused by Singtel and Ayala from the beginning of the crisis was carried on by Globe through its Alagang Globe program.
“I think that’s a key learning for all of us. As organizations, our health, our wellness, and our wellbeing are absolutely critical to the success of the institution as we move on,” said Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of Ayala Corporation.
Because of the critical role of telecom in the lives of the people, which the pandemic highlighted, Singtel came up with its purpose—“Empower Every Generation”—so people can achieve what they want to do. To keep empowering and being inclusive makes this new purpose very powerful.
“A company without a purpose is almost like a company without a soul. Our purpose is the North Star that guides us, why we exist. Having this Singtel Group purpose becomes a lot more meaningful to many of our stakeholders. But most importantly, it starts with our employees. With every one of us,” said Moon.
Uplifting people’s lives, obsessing about the customer, and bringing new innovations that create positive impact are also behind Globe’s purpose: “In everything we do, we treat people right to do a Globe of Good.”
Similarly, Ayala reinvents the way things work to change people's lives for the better and meet their evolving demands through practical solutions that balance quality and affordability. Most importantly, the Ayala Group is keen on consistently supporting national development.
“This broad purpose to help the country grow is something that we at the Ayala Corporation feel very strongly about. We’ve said it many times that we always wanted the goals of Ayala to be aligned with national development,” said Zobel de Ayala.