Creating ‘togetherness’ for employees amidst remote work

Societe Generale has been awarded Employee Engagement of the Year - Banking at the SBR Management Excellence Awards 2021.

The onset of COVID-19 in 2020 led the majority of Societe Generale’s Corporate and Investment bank employees, along with a large population of Singapore’s workforce, to switch to working remotely to curb the spread of the virus and prevent operational disruption.

As the employees adapted to their new modes of working, the challenge of keeping employees engaged and connected to the company and their colleagues had to be addressed.

Joy Lim, Head of Human Resources, South East Asia, Societe Generale said: “As a people-oriented organisation, maintaining the wellbeing of our employees and continuing to foster our culture of team spirit is a key priority for us. Thinking differently about our approach to employee engagement has been central to our efforts in supporting our employees’ wellbeing while creating an environment where they can continue to work well together and stay connected with the bank.” 

The bank’s senior leaders and various Employee Resource Groups (ERG) spearheaded a range of initiatives and worked closely with the local communications team to keep employees updated regularly to ensure they stay engaged as a team and connected to the Bank.

Communication & Recognition

To maintain open communication on a regular basis, Societe Generale hosts virtual town halls on a bi-monthly basis, covering all employees across its South East Asian footprint which includes Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. These sessions are designed to enable employees to hear from different speakers within the bank covering topics ranging from the latest business updates, initiatives, successes as well as crucial COVID-19 updates and HR matters. An online Q&A segment at the end of each session helps enable two-way communications by giving employees a channel for asking questions and sharing their views anonymously.

Fostering a strong ‘recognition’ culture is an on-going focus for the bank and Societe Generale has placed a strong emphasis on recognising those who have gone above and beyond to deliver excellence and to make a difference. Employees who have gone the extra mile outside of their job scope are celebrated and acknowledged for their commitment through our annual Commitment Awards.   

Staying connected virtually even while apart

During pre-pandemic times, the bank’s Recreation Club would host physical team-building events such as Laser Tag and Cooking Class to bring employees together. Given current circumstances, the bank has had to adapt its employee engagement activities and host virtual events that support the health and wellbeing of employees while keeping them connected as a team. Some examples include an Eat Well & Drink Well campaign which encouraged employees to adopt healthy lifestyle habits by sharing their own healthy food or drink recipes with each other, and a range of recreational workshops on areas like floral design, plant care and art to support mental wellbeing by encouraging them to take breaks from work and express themselves creatively.

Going the extra mile for the community

Societe Generale employees have also stepped up as a team as part of their continued efforts to support the education and social insertion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through the bank’s Asia Pacific Extra Mile Challenge, a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative which combined a virtual steps challenge with a fundraising campaign, employees from all across the region got involved and covered over 93,600km in steps over a period of a week. Collectively they were able to raise nearly $500,000 (EUR316,208) in funds which were donated to the bank’s local charity partners in Asia Pacific to support youth education programmes in the region.  

For its efforts to create an environment of ‘togetherness’ for its employees, Societe Generale has been awarded Employee Engagement of the Year - Banking at the SBR Management Excellence Awards 2021. 

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