Megan Fuente, Wellness Head, Security Bank, on how the People strategy has helped to improve employee wellbeing, and enhance the organisation's competitive advantage.
Security Bank Corporation is one of the Philippines' leading universal banks serving retail, commercial, corporate and institutional clients.
At the 2nd annual edition of the HR Excellence Awards - Philippines in 2023, Security Bank Philippines won a number of awards, namely:
- Silver for 'Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing'
- Gold for 'HR Leader of the Year' - Nerissa Gloria C. Berba
- Gold for 'HR Manager of the Year' - Eileen D. Reyes
To celebrate this milestone, we catch up with Megan Fuente, Wellness Head, Security Bank, on the importance of understanding the needs of and providing support to employees in order to maintain morale, engagement, and productivity.
Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?
Security Bank is grateful for this recognition. Our People strategy is aligned with our organisational vision and values, enabling us to create a culture of belongingness, trust, engagement, and empowerment. Our people are our greatest asset; we invest in their growth and wellbeing.
Our employee value proposition (EVP) is operationalised through People programmes that earn positive feedback from employees. “YOU matter” is a statement of how we value our employees and what Security Bank offers: we listen, we enable, we care, we reward and recognise, we offer flexibility, and we share the same purpose.
These pillars reflect our commitment to provide a supportive, rewarding, and challenging work environment where our employees can thrive and contribute to our shared vision.
Our EVP is a way of living our values and culture.
Overall, our People strategy has helped to attract and retain talent, improve employee wellbeing, and enhance the organisation's competitive advantage.
Q Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why?
Our fulfilment comes from knowing that our employees know and feel that they matter.
Initiatives such as the 'Future of Work' (FoW) hybrid work arrangement and People programs have been well-received and appreciated by our employees as highlighted in results of various employee surveys:
- GLINT Employee Engagement Survey: Security Bank’s engagement score increased to 81% as of November 2022, up from 79% in June 2021. This is six points above the global finance benchmark, an objective indicator that employees are highly engaged, happy, and will recommend the company as a great place to work.
- November 2022 'Employee Engagement Survey': FoW was cited among the strongest reasons why employees stay with Security Bank. In the same survey, 76% of our employees responded favourably about their experience of being cared for.
- 'Working in the New Normal' Surveys: 'The Distress Index', representing how employees are doing overall, improved from 73 in 2021 to 79 in 2022. In the rating scale that is used globally, a score between 76 to 80 is 'very good'. The same survey asked employees how satisfied they were with the implementation of the hybrid work arrangement where 86% responded favourably.
- 2023 HCM EVP pulse survey: The 'We CARE for you' statement ranked highest among the six banner statements.
Q During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence?
As experienced globally by employers, Security Bank also faced several challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic including adapting to remote work and managing a remote workforce, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees, maintaining business continuity and productivity, adapting to changing regulations and guidelines, and managing employee morale and engagement.
Staying true to our core values of putting people first—understanding their needs and providing support where it matters—is crucial to maintaining employee morale, engagement, and productivity.
Security Bank is an embodiment of a company that has successfully navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our vision to become the most customer-centric bank in the Philippines kept us focused on making employees feel they matter. We are driven to think clearly and act quickly to implement measures that ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees while maintaining business continuity.
This included implementing a hybrid work arrangement, providing support for remote work, and ensuring that employees had access to best-in-class medical and mental health services, which proved instrumental as we overcame the pandemic challenges and emerged stronger as an organisation.
Q How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives?
Employee surveys are among the tools we use to measure the success and impact of our People programmes. These surveys provide insights on how satisfied, motivated, and committed our employees are to their work and the organisation. These also help us identify areas for improvement and best practices that can enhance employee experience.
Employee testimonials from various channels are another measure that determines the impact of our initiatives. Testimonials are voluntary, authentic expressions of appreciation from our employees, reflecting the positive experiences and outcomes they have because of our programmes.
Continued trust from the management is a key factor that influences organisational performance, innovation, and collaboration. We build trust with our leaders by delivering high-quality results, demonstrating accountability, and communicating transparently. We seek feedback from our leaders regularly and involve them in the design and implementation of our initiatives. By doing so, we show them that we value their input and perspective, and that we are aligned with the strategic goals and vision of the organisation.
Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?
HCM’s role in the Bank continues to evolve to keep pace with the rapidly changing business landscape and the increasing importance of sustainable development. As such, Security Bank has been investing in technology to future-proof our HR solutions and enhance our ability to attract, retain, and develop talent.
Some of the ways in which we leverage technology include the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate routine tasks, adoption of cloud-based HR systems to improve data management and analytics, and the implementation of virtual tools to enhance learning and development.
To fully support the organisation’s strategic goals, HCM will continue to take steps towards improving the efficiency and responsiveness of HR functions, championing overall wellness, providing equal employment opportunities, and advocating the responsible use of natural resources.
Lead photo / Provided by Security Bank