Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
Winning Secrets: How EPAM Systems helps employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to excel

Winning Secrets: How EPAM Systems helps employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to excel

EPAM Systems firmly believes that investing in its leaders is an investment in its employees and, ultimately, its collective success.

Founded in 1993, EPAM Systems is a global digital transformation services provider with teams working across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). 

At the Employee Experience Awards 2023, Singapore, EPAM Systems was the proud winner of two awards: Gold for Best In-House Certification Programmes, and Silver for Best Recruitment Referral System.

Andrea Molnar, Talent Development Manager and Olga Barrett Head of Talent Acquisition APAC at EPAM Systems tell HRO all about the strategies and programmes the company has in place to make these wins possible – one that allows employees flexibility in their learning path, a referral system which saw referrals increasing by 51.2% from 2021 to 2022, thus accounting for nearly 25% of total hires in APAC last year; and more. 

Q How do you ensure your employee experience initiatives are aligned with your business objectives?

EPAM Systems Inc. has always been a people-first company that helps our employees thrive professionally. Our employees are critical pillars to our success, and we invest in their growth and development accordingly.

We start by identifying our business objectives and then determine the employee experience initiatives that will help us achieve those objectives. We prioritise creating a learning-inspired employee experience based on their potential impact and cost to our business objectives. We ensure that they are integrated into our overall employee experience strategy.

By doing so, we can create a continuous learning and development culture that benefits our employees and business.

Q Can you provide examples of how the organisation has invested in the employee experience?

Since participating in the awards, we have won in various categories, including learning, engagement, leadership, and, most recently, talent acquisition. We have won the Best In-House Certification Programme category for three consecutive years, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to enhancing the employee experience.

Our gold-winning Cloud Excellence (CloudX) Programme allows employees flexibility in their learning path from the most prominent cloud platforms. This tailors their learning experience to their specific needs and interests, and they gain valuable skills in high demand in the industry.

Another remarkable programme is our employee referral programme which acknowledges employees for recommending qualified candidates and grants them the freedom to select their preferred working companions. This programme has yielded impressive results, with referrals increasing by 51.2% from 2021 to 2022, accounting for nearly 25% of total hires in APAC last year. This is just one of many programmes we implement to help employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to excel.

Q What are some key challenges that you faced in implementing your EX initiatives, and how did you overcome them?

Implementing employee experience initiatives is crucial, but challenges arise, especially in the linguistically and culturally diverse APAC region. Balancing consistency in our programmes and policies with sensitivity to local nuances is paramount. We strive to maintain a unified global structure while customising programmes to fit each regional market's unique needs.

That said, some of the best engagement of people is not always through company-driven initiatives but the horizontal engagement of employees through various communities. People are eager to share their knowledge and experience through communities of practice.

We actively support ground-up initiatives where people from different parts of the organisation unite with the common goal of knowledge-sharing.

This creates an environment that empowers employees to innovate and develop better client solutions. For instance, our community-building movement saw nearly four-fold participant growth, and our engineering communities were finalists in the Best Remote Learning Initiative category.

Q Do you have processes to measure the effectiveness of your EX initiatives, and what metrics do you use to evaluate success?

We use an effectiveness evaluation programme inspired by Kirkpatrick, Phillips and Kaufman. Through this evaluation model, we gather feedback from our participants to understand their perceptions of our initiatives, perform outcome-level evaluations, and calculate ROI to understand the business value of our solutions. It allows us to improve in a very agile way and build an employee-centered culture of growth and continuous learning.

Additionally, employee engagement surveys are crucial in our evaluation process, providing valuable insights into employee attitudes and satisfaction levels. We monitor metrics such as retention and turnover rates, productivity levels, and burnout risks as they serve as indicators of the effectiveness of our EX initiatives. We also ensure that our metrics prioritise diversity and equity to create an inclusive people experience through our people management programs.

Q Finally, what role do leaders and managers play in driving a beautiful employee experience, and how are they held accountable for the success of these initiatives?

Leaders and managers are pivotal in driving an exceptional employee experience. Creating a growth-oriented culture and providing learning opportunities fosters a positive and engaging workplace, benefiting employees and the organisation. They can provide the necessary resources, support, and guidance to empower employees to thrive and unleash their full potential.

At EPAM, all leaders and managers undergo specialised training to enhance their coaching, mentoring, and advocacy skills for employee experience. Our leadership development programmes align with our organisation's mission and values, fostering a culture that aligns with our employee experience goals.

Our leaders and managers actively collect feedback, track performance indicators, and make data-driven decisions that support employees. They are regularly assessed through surveys, evaluations, and performance reviews to ensure they are actively promoting a positive employee experience. We firmly believe that investing in our leaders is an investment in our employees and, ultimately, our collective success.

Lead image / Provided (Featuring the EPAM team)

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