Saturday, December 2, 2023

Engagement has always been a key pillar of our culture at White & Case Global Operations Center (GOC) Manila. Over the past ten years, the approach and desired outcome has evolved along with the organization. From being just about having an image of being a fun place to work, we have taken on a more balanced approach to engagement; touching on personal and career development, health and wellness, motivation, diversity and inclusion, corporate branding and contributing to the community. Corporate social responsibility is something that we strongly believe in and is firmly ingrained in our identity as an organization. We have taken it a step further and aligned with the Firm’s global citizenship initiatives to find solutions to the biggest challenges facing the world today.

Our projects focus on helping disadvantaged children and the rehabilitation of the environment. Two of our biggest initiatives are done in collaboration with organizations that have extensive experience in both fields. The first is our sponsorship with World Vision and the other is the Ipo Watershed Reforestation Program with Green is Good.

Our people’s enthusiasm for these programs and initiatives is something that we are incredibly proud of. It is a reflection of our own commitment as an organization to making a positive impact to the lives of others.

We also have the WISH (Work Incentive Sa Holiday) program, wherein employees who report for work during Filipino holidays are given treats. Free meals are also served in the office on these days as there are limited places where they can eat outside. On their birthdays, employees are given Php 500.00 GCs from a bakeshop so that they can choose a sweet treat that they can share with their coworkers or families.

Our HMO and insurance packages for our employees are above market standards as previous surveys have shown that these are the benefits that they consider to be essentials. We place high importance on the overall wellbeing of our people, we employ the services of in-house doctors, nurses and a physical therapist at our onsite clinic to ensure that immediate medical assistance is easily accessible for them. There are also a number of sponsored special interest groups (SIGs) that help our people connect with those that have similar interests while staying fit and healthy—there are groups for running, badminton, basketball and bowling. An innovative new service, MedGate allows our people to get consultations from doctors via their smartphones, so that they won’t have to spend hours traveling to and then waiting for their turn at clinics and hospitals. Nutritious and tasty meals are available at our pantry and is subsidized by the company, giving our people access to affordable and healthy food. As advocates of work-life balance, the organization puts together activities that allow our employees to treat their families at our annual events—one of
these is our Family Fun Day, which was held at Manila Ocean Park this year. In 2018, we decided to celebrate Customer Service Week in a different way by providing activities that supported our thrust towards building a learning culture in the Manila office. A series of learning workshops from Breakthrough Leadership was launched last year as the organization’s way to show support to our people’s growth. The specialized courses focused on topics that would help the development of our future and existing leaders, sharing best practices and being able to lead with purpose and passion.

We aim to create a happy and diverse workplace that provides equal opportunities for growth and development. Our policies are put in place to allow employees the means to become more productive and engaged and not just to police or restrict actions. An example of this is our Social Media Policy; the aim is not to restrict the use of this tool, but to educate and provide guidelines for our employees in order for them to become responsible users who can effectively utilize the power of this platform.

We also have the Anti-Discriminatory and Diversity Policy. Differences in perspectives, habits and core assumptions are not discouraged so long as these do not bring about abusive and inappropriate behavior. Diversity helps form a colorful culture that leverages on these differences that allow us to innovate and consistently deliver excellent service.

At the core of everything is the genuine concern that our leaders have for our people. While we draw very clear lines and policies, it is done for clarity but does not take away the environment of being a professional family. Our people want to do good work, to be able to feel that they matter in an organization that makes a difference. They want to work for someone that can magnify their strengths instead of their weaknesses. Keeping all of this in mind, we ensure that there is autonomy and structure to provide guidance. We also provide an environment that is coherent, honest and open.

Our goal of achieving an authentic organization that fully realizes human potential at work may be lofty to others, but we do not back down from this challenge.

To make sure that our message as an organization and as a brand would be consistent, it had to be short and easy to remember. World Class for White & Case; with this simple statement, we are able to convey what White & Case GOC Manila is all about. It champions a culture of excellence that is not singularly built on skills, but on attitude. Being world class is not just about being the best, it is about the constant push to become better at what we do and making a difference in the world around us. We are an organization of people who are inspired by the success of others and find ways to contribute to the bigger picture.