PRWeek Asia's Best Places to Work Winners in their own words: American Express

The credit card and finance company was named one of PRWeek Asia's Best Places to Work in the in-house category.

Answers from Luisa Megale, vice president for international public affairs and communications, pictured below.

Number of APAC employees: 16,941

Number of APAC offices: 21

How do you ensure your company is competitive in terms of salary and other financial benefits?

Attracting and retaining great talent isn’t just about the money. It’s also about providing a culture people want to work for and where there is opportunity for growth, innovation and recognition. As a global company, American Express offers unique career and networking opportunities to its employees, and salary packages commensurate with their evolving skills. We also provide highly competitive health benefits, performance incentives and a global reward programme.

How do you ensure your teams receive the required training?

Every training programme, from entry level to senior leadership, ensures a culture of continuous learning and uses a unique mix of traditional classroom, self-paced online learning and practical on the job activities relevant to their particular career stage.

Our training structure also includes opportunities for employees to work across different lines of business as part of their career progression, learn more about their personal ‘brand’ and management style and gain further leadership, diversity and change management skills.

How do you ensure your staff have a clear career path and help them achieve their personal goals?

Employees map out their personal/career goals with their team leader who then helps tailor the right training and leadership programme to get them there. Opportunities are also provided for employees to collaborate and work across different business areas, markets and countries, to expand their knowledge and networks and develop a clear career progression within the company both locally and globally.

We also provide programmes help young employees to understand their career prospects and partner with other leading organisations within APAC to provide sessions around leadership, growth and learning.

How does your company maintain a good work/life balance?

Our work/life balance programme includes flexible working hours, technology solutions that support working from any environment, a range of subsidised child care, health insurance benefits, and regular health assessments and screening to help us identify new initiatives to create a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.

We also offer onsite exercise classes and gym facilities, nutritional education and counselling support as part of our Move More, Stress Less and Eat Well Healthy Living programme and Healthy Living initiative.

How does your company effectively communicate with employees?

Our communications include global quarterly face-to-face town halls, which are broadcast around the world, as well as local in-market town halls, and digital platforms such as Chatter. Informal and formal feedback channels and annual surveys are also used to gauge how well we communicating with our employees.

Most importantly, we ensure that all communications are two-way, and that messages and tools resonate with our diverse workforce, and are nuanced to reflect the different cultural needs for each market and country.

How do you ensure diversity at all levels of the organisation?

As an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality, we partner with our women, parents and LGBTI employee networks and rollout a programme of events and initiatives as part of our diversity and inclusion strategy. These include workshops to explore and manage potential bias in decision-making, leadership and development workshops, and guest speaker and mentoring programmes.

For example, our Women Interests Network provides forums for women to network, access and share career development opportunities and learn from successful female leaders the art of maintaining a work/life balance while ensuring we have a gender-balanced workforce.

If you had to pick the one most important factor for how your company minimises turnover, what would it be?

Understanding our business and values, and ensuring a strongly aligned fit between our organisational culture and our people at the outset is key to minimising turnover. However, equally important is ensuring we provide the right incentives, training, rewards, career paths and work/life balance opportunities to support our employees and help them realise both their own and the company’s potential.

In three words, describe what it is like to work at your company?

Challenging, Rewarding, Diverse.

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