Manulife Vietnam reimagines workplace for new normal

May 12, 2022 - 10:55

Manulife Vietnam continues to get the best out of our employees by fostering a more supportive culture that places humanity and compassion alongside improving an individual’s working experience.

As businesses in Việt Nam review their work-from-home practices with a view to a return to the office, Sang Lee, CEO, and Đàm Xuân Thuỷ, Chief Human Resources Officer at Manulife Vietnam share their plans for this transition and how it can be done to ensure employees’ well-being, connection and engagement remain as strong as ever.

Sang Lee, CEO of Manulife Vietnam. — Photo courtesy of Manulife Vietnam

How is Manulife Vietnam adapting its ways of working in the post-COVID environment?

Throughout the pandemic, the safety and well-being of our employees have been paramount. We’ve strived to ensure they feel safe, engaged and supported. We are also extremely proud of their resilience, drive, and ability to adapt. Our strong digital foundation allowed our employees to switch seamlessly between the office and home, enabling us to maintain service standards nationwide for customers and advisers.

With work culture never likely being the same in the post-pandemic era, companies must embrace the changes upon us. Manulife Vietnam continues to get the best out of our employees by fostering a more supportive culture that places humanity and compassion alongside improving an individual’s working experience.

As we begin to embrace the new normal, our focus is on getting employees comfortable with returning to an office environment. This includes finding ways to balance work and home needs that may have changed over two years.

One key improvement we have recently introduced is our new Hybrid Working Model, giving both employees and Manulife a strategic advantage as the world navigates one of the biggest business challenges.

Could you elaborate on how Manulife Vietnam’s Hybrid Working Model will enhance your position as one of the best places to work?

Manulife Vietnam has boldly questioned one of the long-held assumptions about how and where work should be done. With introducing our Hybrid Working Model, we are reimagining a workplace that gives employees greater flexibility.

This new arrangement is a mutually beneficial business strategy allowing employees to decide where to work while balancing business demands and personal needs. While this is not a new concept, Manulife is helping pioneer a change here in Việt Nam through our approach.

As part of the transition, we surveyed our employees to gauge opinions and help build our new model. We found that over 75 per cent are happy working from home and have the set-up to do so. Under our Hybrid approach, your work week is anchored to being in the office at least three days per week.

What’s clear is that people also make an office an attractive place to go to – offices are about human interactions. We believe culture plays an important role in our success, and as such, we want to maintain a connection for employees to experience what it means to work for Manulife. We also believe the Hybrid Working Model is a chance to conduct business healthily and sustainably for our employees.

Đàm Xuân Thuỷ, Chief Human Resources Officer of Manulife Vietnam. — Photo courtesy of Manulife Vietnam 

How is Manulife Vietnam addressing its employee’s well-being in a post-COVID world?

The whole dynamic of work changed dramatically during the pandemic. While working from home has been helpful to employees anxious about commuting amid high infection rates or who need to support their families at home, it introduced considerable new pressures.

This literal fusion of work and home life led to working longer hours without separation between work and downtime. In response, Manulife last year gave its employees five additional days off and will do so again this year – part of our effort to support employees’ wellness and thank them for helping our customers. It’s a welcomed move.

Also, last year, we launched Elevate, a series of virtual campaigns to encourage colleagues to nurture their wellbeing. The online program helps employees keep healthy, engaged and connected amid the ongoing pandemic while maximising their fulfilment in both work and life.

What is Manulife Vietnam doing regarding skills development and career growth for its people?

At Manulife, we focus on a culture of learning, recognition, and inclusion, enabling our teams to feel supported, energised and motivated.

Last year, to support this, we launched Fuel Up Friday, an initiative aligned with well-being providing a window for learning and rest. Held on the second Friday of each month, time is set aside and dedicated to “fuelling up”.

What does that mean? It means setting aside time to leverage our Pursuit Learning Hub, a training tool powered by LinkedIn Learning, to explore different topics, build new skills, and enhance creativity.

This comes back to our performance-driven culture and nurturing a “continuous learning” mindset.

The pandemic has allowed us to come together as an organisation and support each other to learn, have fun and advance everyone’s well-being.

It’s no wonder we have been named one of the best places to work in both Asia and Việt Nam. — VNS