“Keeping Employees Enthusiastic At Work“
Led by a vision to make a positive impact in the lives of its people, SYKES fosters a workplace culture that listens to, engages with, and builds up employees.
Founded in Tampa, Florida in 1977, SYKES, now part of Sitel Group®, is a leading global provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) and customer engagement services. In 1997, the company ventured into the Philippines to set up the first multinational contact center in the country. SYKES takes pride in exceptional customer care and support, servicing Global 2000 companies through multichannel platforms such as voice, email, chat, and social media.
Globally, SYKES has more than 55,000 employees. Of this number, 17,000 are based across seven sites in the Philippines, including five in Metro Manila and two in Cebu. To ensure that the company’s greatest assets—its employees—can work, learn, and grow in their respective roles, SYKES implements various strategies to meet their individual goals and needs.
SYKES adopts a Talent Retention Strategy that comprises six facets including work-life balance, training and mentorship programs, educational support, open communications, engagement activities, and compensation and benefits. This comprehensive strategy is designed to promote an amicable workplace culture where employees feel empowered to perform well at work while succeeding at their personal goals in life. As company founder John Sykes once said, “helping people is in our DNA.” Help here doesn’t only apply to SYKES’ customers and clients, but also its workforce.
Despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, SYKES spared no expense to ensure the continuous productivity, growth, and well-being of its employees. Among the key initiatives that they rolled out included the deployment of work-from-home set up, virtual training sessions, online support platforms, mental health seminars, and financial assistance. These initiatives allowed the company to carry on its operations amid unpredictable government-mandated lockdowns, as well as maintain the employees’ well-being.
Diversity, equity, and inclusivity are of utmost importance to SYKES. The company adheres strictly to laws and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities, accountable through the annual SYKES Gender Gap Report and SYKES Human Rights Policy which is guided by international human rights principles. Every step of an employee’s journey at the company, from hiring to compensation and benefits to career advancement, is based on qualifications, job performance, and professional experience, irrespective of age, sex, gender, or race.
To further foster unity and inclusion, there are also company-funded employee engagement clubs and interest groups such as a dance club, an outdoors club, a motorcycle club, and mobile gamers, to name a few. While embracing and celebrating the unique backgrounds and personalities of every employee, the company culture is such that it underscores how these differences strengthen and expand the perspectives and collective experiences of the company.
Further, SYKES actively engages with its employees and provides various channels for them to voice any issues or feedback. One example is Voices, a series of town hall meetings for all levels of employees to discuss completed and upcoming projects to promote transparency and alignments towards unified goals. Meanwhile, they also have the Voices Online platform, providing a channel for employees to provide feedback with ease.
On top of that, the company’s headquarters rolls out an annual Global Employee Survey (GES) to understand employee job satisfaction on various touchpoints. Employee feedback, suggestions, reviews, and testimonials are welcome at every juncture in order to continuously improve company practices.
Looking ahead, SYKES has set a five-year sustainability plan which includes adding KPIs to the social sub-pillar, expanding social programs to all regions, and further developing the SYKES Diversity & Inclusion Global Program to retain and develop its talents. A subcommittee under the SYKES Global Governance Council is tasked with seeing this plan to fruition, and the Top Workplaces in Asia award is one of the first fruits of the journey for the company.
“ It’s one thing to train your employees to excel professionally, it’s another to help them achieve their personal goals. SYKES is interested in both, which says a lot about its values as a leading global employer.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group