Imagine interacting with your CEO on social media. Or being encouraged by your boss to create a fun video about work, and gain new skills by playing games on your mobile phone.
Employees of Smart Communications are increasingly being encouraged to do all these – to use digital tools that can improve productivity and make the highly challenging work environment more fun. At a time when a lot of companies still forbid mobile phone use at work, Smart is pushing its workforce to embrace the digital world, in line with its ongoing evolution as a digital company.
via social media
Smart was the first telco in Southeast Asia to use Workplace by Facebook, a social media platform for enterprises that enables employees to go beyond traditional means of internal communication. Having nearly identical features with Facebook, Workplace enables employees to have interactive discussions with their peers – and even with their big bosses like Smart chairman Manny V. Pangilinan – for better collaboration.
Employees can join several interest groups, share information and ideas, ask questions, get real-time company news, and get instant feedback from colleagues. They can also use Work Chat, which is similar to Facebook Messenger, to send instant messages and do voice and video calling.
As many as 5,000 employees are active in the platform every week. Liza Sichon, Smart’s Chief People and Culture Officer, said Workplace was helping break down traditional work silos and was facilitating a freer exchange of ideas among Smart’s thousands of employees.
“Our evolution as a digital company can be seen not just in our commercial offerings and network capability, but also in our people culture. As we enable more Filipinos to enhance their lives via digital technologies, we are also promoting the digital shift within our ranks,” she added.
Smart’s use of Workplace recently won a Gold Anvil at the Anvil Awards, which is considered the Oscars of public relations in the Philippines. Smart was named Company of the Year after it won a total of 24 Anvils.
Making corporate life fun
Also winning a Gold Anvil was Smart’s Gamified Mobile Learning (mLearning) Program, which was launched to build a culture of self-initiated learning beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom. The company gamified in-demand training topics – like telecommunications basics, Microsoft products, and project management – and made lessons available online.
Employees get email and Workplace updates about the lessons, and are free to decide which ones they want to take. Because the games and lessons are online, they can play and learn wherever they are and whenever they want.
“Learning does not have to be dry and boring. By making learning fun and convenient, we are encouraging Smart employees to constantly enhance their skills. A continuously improving workforce translates to better products and services for our customers,” Sichon said.
Another Gold Anvil winner was Paskong Pagsaluhan, a year-end event for employees which aimed to, among others, rally brand ambassadorship by promoting the use of the Customer Advocacy Referral App or CARA. This app enabled Smart employees to help family and friends determine which Smart postpaid plan best suited them, facilitate postpaid applications, and report subscriber concerns more quickly.
During the yearend event, employees were also encouraged to post thank you messages to colleagues on Smart’s online commendation portal, make social media posts related to the activities, and create fun Christmas videos with their work teams.
Smart’s people programs have been winning not just local, but international awards as well. The company has been cited as best employer by prestigious programs like the Asia CEO Awards and Asia Communication Awards.