People Program of the Year (NCR-Private): E-Champ Model of Metrobank Card Corporation

Metrobank Card Corporation (MCC) believes that the most valuable asset is its human capital/resource - consistent with its vision to be committed to its people and their development, and mission to create a conducive working environment by being the employer of choice, a home for first-class talent, and the only place to work. Hence, an Employee Engagement Champion (E-Champ) Model/Strategy was established to strengthen and implement employee engagement strategies, and assist to drive talent retention initiatives, thus improving overall business performance results.

The E-Champ strategy is the selection and appointment of a point-of-contact who will act as HR collaborator in promoting employee engagement within his/her department. His/her tasks include and are not limited to: assistance in the cascade of engagement initiatives and activities of HR within the division/department, planning and execution of division's Engagement Action Plans within schedule and approved budget based on the most recent results of their engagement survey, division/department's attendance and participation to org-wide engagement activities, and monitoring and submission of required reports such as quarterly report of engagement activities, mid-year and year-end action plans, and individual and group engagement scores of their division/department among other functions. These tasks should be performed on top of his/her business as usual (BAU) activities/job responsibilities.

This strategy was established in 2006 and from then on, a significant improvement in the employee engagement as well as performance excellence indices were realised and trending upwards.

In 2018, MCC achieved a sustainable engagement score of 92%, which means that 92% of MCC employees responded favorably to the 9 Sustainable Engagement Items that support the fundamental drivers of engagement on Career Development, Corporate Values, Communication, Immediate Superior, Operating Efficiency, Rewards, Stress, Balance and Workload, Teamwork/Collaboration, and Training. MCC is proud to share that we are better across all norms - Global High Performance Companies Norm (87%), Philippine National Norm, Global Credit Card Operations Norm (83%), Global Financial Services Companies Norm (82%) and Philippine Financial Services Companies Norm - based on the comprehensive normative database for benchmarking performance of Willis Towers Watson.

In addition, the overall business performance results of MCC may also be credited to the success of the E-Champs strategy given that these engagement drivers increase positive energy, promote enablement strategies and communication, thereby, driving performance and productivity to the highest levels. As of end-December 2018, Metrobank Card Corporation remains a strong contender based on the latest data from the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP). It ranks 2nd in terms of Receivables, 3rd in terms of Total Number of Cards in Force and Merchant Acquiring Billings.

E-Champs act as line partners who are in the best position to know the sentiments and challenges of the employees in their respective divisions/departments. Given that they are on the ground and within the division/department, people issues and concerns on employee engagement are resolved immediately. It also strengthens line management functions, increasing empowerment and promoting engagement to employees.

This strategy deserves recognition because of the following reasons:

• The E-champ strategy is unique amongst local companies in the Philippines and across the banking and financial services industry. Although in some companies, there are representatives/volunteers who assist HR in engagement activities, it is in MCC that these appointees are rated based on their role as E-Champ. It is included in their Key Result Areas (KRAs) for the year to ensure that the E-Champ duties and responsibilities are met and achieved in a timely manner.

• It creates synergies and strengthens partnerships and collaborations between HR and the line, and even among the business units. The E-Champs are empowered and equipped to execute engagement initiatives in their respective BUs. With the guidance of HR, the sharing of best practices among the E-Champs provides opportunities to level up their engagement programs. The E-Champs also enjoy a sense of ownership on select org-wide programs as they are involved in the conceptualization and execution of these programs.

• The E-Champ role provides opportunities for the appointees to develop and/or advance their leadership, empowerment, communication and project management competencies.

• It promotes close coordination between HR and the business units on people issues as well as critical engagement drivers especially after engagement survey results are cascaded. Follow through discussions and strict monitoring of action plans are guaranteed at the division/department level with E-Champs ensuring that the agreed engagement initiatives will be implemented. With this structure in place, it empowers the business units in engaging employees within their scope.

• The strategy has valuable impact on both engagement and retention of talent, driving high performance, productivity and delivery of business results.

Lastly, the E-Champ strategy is reflective of MCC's principle that employee engagement is everyone's responsibility. It is a joint effort of all employees in the organization ensuring that they retain that passion and profound connection to the company, thus driving performance in every possible opportunity.

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