The Winning Formula-Diversity & Inclusion
Oct 16, 2019
Posted By: Sudhir Agarwal
When I established Everise in 2016, I had a vision to disrupt the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry by identifying and subsequently acquiring companies which showed potential in the areas of customer experience. In the span of the previous 20 months, my team and I successfully led the monumental task of acquiring two best-in-class Customer Experience companies in the US; an Enterprise AI company in Malaysia; started a joint venture with Korean BPO giant, UBASE, in Malaysia; as well as, secured a global partnership with Microsoft. Safe to say we hit the ground running, and still have yet to slow down.
The largest challenge wasn’t the acquisitions themselves but the integration of each company’s unique culture. I understand the deep impact diversity has on the success of a company, which is why celebrating diversity is one of our three core values, encouraging all forms of diversity at all levels. To follow through on this promise, multiple programs were developed to foster and increase diversity in our workplace.
At Everise, we are truly people-first. We don’t just elevate experiences for our clients, but we do it for our employees equally. To ensure this mission permeates, a variety of employee engagement programs were enacted.
Everise Talks, or E-Talks, was started as a touring forum by our Chief People Officer, Sheena Ponnappan, to create a safe environment for employees to discuss how we can improve working conditions for all staff, thereby increasing inclusion of different groups. One immediate impact was our stand to celebrate Pride Day in our office locations.
Another immediate policy impact was to remove the traditional BPO dress code. Elevate Your Style was introduced to encourage employees to be comfortable coming to work as themselves, expressing their own unique styles, while still being respectful to fellow employees. I really don’t enjoy putting on a suit and tie every day for work, I’m more of a jeans and shirt person, so I figured there’s really no need for anyone else to have to. It’s just one thing less to worry about every day, don’t you agree?
Our Global Exchange Program (GEX) was introduced to increase cultural exchange between our 13 global locations, which curated job openings for tenured employees, giving them the opportunity to move to another location. I’m happy to report we’ve had great interest in this program across the board with amazing testimonials.
Lastly, our learning and development programs focus on improving our leadership diversity amongst the group. Everise Accelerator is an accelerated career pathing program for Team Leaders and Supervisors, while the Everise Mentorship is a one-on-one mentorship program that fosters outside-the-box thinking for our future leaders with the highest potential.
Other pro-diversity policies include rebranding our facilities to be inclusive and useable by all genders and challenging gender stereotypes to forge a more gender-balanced workplace, eliminating unconscious bias, making sure all employees have access to internal opportunities, minimizing gender pay gap, practicing social inclusion and addressing work/life balance issues.
Creating unity with the Everise family was, and is, still a major task. The culture of the four companies has flourished in the past 12 months.
Consequently, Everise has become one of the most awarded employers in the region, winning innovation awards at HR Excellence Awards, HR Asia’s Best Place to Work award, the Top 50 Employers in the US from Silicon Review, as well as other Best Innovative Use of Technology in both Human Resources and Customer Service to name a few. Recently we were recognized for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion by Human Resources Online, to which we had intense competition from titans in their industry such as Intel and Amazon Web Services.
Having diversity and inclusion in the global workplace can attract top talent and drive innovative results, but at the heart of any company is a dedication to its people. Everise does this by being people-first, celebrating diversity, and incubating innovation. These three core values are our mantra.
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