Chinabank was named as the 2023 Employer of the Year in the Philippines by the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP).

The only bank to win this coveted award in the last 30 years, Chinabank was recognized during the 60th PMAP Annual Conference Awards Night on October 26, 2023 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu.

“The whole Chinabank team takes pride in being named ‘Employer of the Year’,” President & CEO Romeo D. Uyan, Jr. said. “Our legacy isn’t just about banking, it’s about people. This achievement reflects our commitment to the wellbeing of our employees and to creating an empowered and inclusive workplace.”

The Employer of the Year (EOY) award represents a standard for excellence in people management.  It recognizes a purpose-driven organization that operates beyond profits and nurtures passion and a sense of personal growth in its people. The criteria for the EOY award covered strategic business management and HR partnership, performance focus, HR competence and credibility, leadership focus and approaches, people engagement, and risk management and sustainability.

PMAP received a total of 77 nominations from all over the country for the three award categories—Employer of the Year, People Manager of the Year, and People Program of the Year, with 33 nominations for the EOY category. Each nominee underwent competitive paper screening and was evaluated on-site and via panel interviews by a seven-member panel of PMAP Assessors who are experienced HR Leaders. Further assessment of the Board of Judges, composed of renowned People Management leaders in business, labor, and the academe, narrowed down the list to seven finalists or Regional Exemplars for the national awards, including only four Exemplar Employers who vied for the Employee of the Year award.

After a grueling showcase presentation of the Exemplar Employers to the nearly 2,000 PMAP delegates, Chinabank was announced as the 2023 Employer of the Year. 

PMAP is the premier group of companies and professional management executives engaged or interested in Human Resource Management (HRM) and Industrial Relations (IR) work in the Philippines. It has been recognizing excellent companies and organizations since 1977. Now on its 47th year, the PMAP Awards program continues the tradition of recognizing the best practices in the people management profession for others to emulate.

People at its core

One of the oldest companies in the Philippines, Chinabank has thrived for over a century by innovating and adapting to the challenges of the different eras, guided by one of its Core Values, Concern for People.

“For Chinabank, it is all about remaining true to who we are—an institution that believes in its concern for people. This value serves as our compass in how we do our business, including our people practices,” Uyan noted.

Chinabank lives by this value, always prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of employees, especially during the pandemic.  The bank spent P445 million in employee health and wellness programs which included expenses on testing, extra paid leaves, hospitalization/home care expenses on top of the healthcare coverage, free shuttle service, and vaccination.

Up to now, the bank still provides free shuttle service for staff members in the National Capital Region using buses equipped with free Wifi.

A mix of old and new

Chinabank believes that diversity makes for a stronger workforce. The bank has around 10,500 employees nationwide, 80% of which are Millennials and Gen Z, with different backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas. With diversity comes a melding of old ways and new perspectives, of tried and tested methods and fresh approaches.

One of the ways the bank embraces the “old” and the “new” is in its unique way of managing the succession of key talents.  Beyond ensuring business continuity, the bank’s Succession Management Program recognizes the contributions of long-tenured incumbents.

The usual succession programs focus on simply preparing a successor for higher responsibility.  At Chinabank, by also being mindful of the incumbent’s wellbeing and dignity, the wealth of wisdom is graciously and more thoroughly handed over to the successor.  While still employed on regular status, incumbent officers take on an advisory role until such time when the successor assumes the key role.

Engaging and connecting with employees

Chinabank values its employees.  The bank anchors its actions on employee feedback, developing programs to engage them, listen to what they say, and make them feel they truly belong to the Chinabank family.

“We make a deliberate effort in encouraging our people to stay with Chinabank not only through compensation but by providing progression opportunities, work-life integration and relevant benefits,” Human Resources Group Head Tani Michelle Cruz said.

The bank has various employee engagement programs in place—programs for internal conversations and discuss suggestions, surveys to measure employee satisfaction, learning platforms for professional growth and development, communication platforms for easier collaboration, volunteerism and community building opportunities, internal recognition programs, as well as sports, health and wellness programs, and a variety of other employee-centric initiatives.

Purposeful innovation

Chinabank leverages technology to serve customers well and to create a more engaged and motivated workforce.

By adopting innovative technology like Learning Edge, Viva Engage, and CHIB GPT to develop employees, improve the exchange of information, and enhance productivity, the bank is able to foster higher morale and job satisfaction and promote a culture of learning and collaboration. 

“Chinabank’s innovation goals are about enhancing both customer and Chinabankers’ experience. We’re creating a modern workplace where our employees have easy access to new and innovative ways to communicate, collaborate, work, and learn,” Chief Innovation & Transformation Officer Delfin Jay Sabido said.