SYKES upholds sustainability in achieving global economic and social development

Award-winning call center SYKES continuously strengthens its global commitment towards sustainable economic and social development through various initiatives. Designed to leave a worthwhile impact in the communities it serves, the company also makes sure that all efforts begin within its own workforce. 

“We understand the impact that we leave as a company, so we take sustainability as a serious responsibility. Our sustainability vision is a multi-pronged approach where business prosperity and economic growth become enablers of environmental protection and social well-being, driving social mobility that contributes to the reduction of poverty and inequality. The values that we instill on our employees and which have brought us to the forefront of the BPO industry globally are the same values that we hinge upon in helping build a more equitable and sustainable world,” said Cecile Venancio, Senior Director, Branding & Communications, APAC. 

Sustainable economic development 

In every country that it serves, SYKES dedicates efforts to sustainable economic development through job creation, skill enhancement, and language proficiency. The company works closely with local governments, education institutions, and community leaders to ensure opportunities for growth for all. 

One of its strongest programs for sustainable economic development is impact sourcing. Also known as socially responsible sourcing, it is the arm of the BPO industry that provides employment and career development opportunities to communities that have limited access to the global marketplace. Through this, SYKES is able to offer livable wages and lifelong professional developments, thus providing sustainable means for the economic development of these communities. This effort essentially enables SYKES to contribute to the progress of the global economy, one caring interaction at a time. The BPO employer began impact sourcing in the United States in the 1990s and had since helped millions across different regions of the world in expanding the potential for professional growth. 

To support sustainable economic development in the Philippines particularly, it established programs such as SYKES EXCEL and SYKES Academy that help individuals gain personal development. SYKES EXCEL, short for Exceptional Circle of Learners, is an on-the-job internship program that allows college students to apply at the organization based on the courses they are taking up. The program offers students with world-class training opportunities in Human Resources, Information Technology, Learning and Development, Graphic Design, Marketing, and more. Apart from enriching knowledge and experience in their respective fields to prepare them for the corporate world, on-the-job trainees under the program also receive allowance for their hard work. 

Meanwhile, SYKES Academy helps aspiring contact center professionals to improve their skills in customer service, including communication and customer sales proficiency. Top performers are given cash incentives and the opportunity to become a part of its growing workforce. 

These efforts towards sustainable economic development also involve partnerships with charitable and humanitarian foundations like Gawad Kalinga, World Vision, Make-A-Wish Philippines, and the Philippine Red Cross to foster social mobility and provide support in various outreach programs dedicated to rebuilding communities. 

Sustainable social development 

Similarly committed to social progress, the top BPO employer created a supportive work environment that fosters an equal, diverse, and connected community where every employee is valued and able to work, learn, and grow. It strives towards global social sustainability through initiatives that are for human rights, diversity and inclusion, employee relations, and local communities. 

Recent efforts include the creation of SYKES Women in Technology (SWIT) in Latin America, which focuses on the inclusion of women in technical accounts and empowers them to pursue technology growth options within the organization. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the BPO leader has also established several programs aimed at social development. 

SYKES Choices(for Manila) and SYKES Involve(for Cebu) are employee engagement programs that promote work-life balance through interest clubs inside the workplace. These clubs were created to immerse employees in non-work-related activities and hobbies to fuel their passions and make them well-rounded individuals. Clubs also initiate corporate social responsibility programs that push for social development through SYKES Cares, its philanthropic arm. 

Supporting the company’s vision of beginning development from within, it established SPARK, ALPHA (Accelerated Leadership Program for High Achievers), and Career Selfie, which are talent development programs designed to help employees enhance their skills and open opportunities for career growth. These go hand-in-hand with its initiatives towards quality education, namely, EDGE (Educational Grant for Employees’ Dependents) and Adopt-a-School, aimed at bringing education to more Filipino students by extending much-needed financial support to SYKESers’ dependents and deserving schools, respectively. 

Yet among the more important efforts in its push for social progress is promoting gender equality and celebrating diversity within its workforces across the globe. This is accomplished by giving prime importance to people’s talents and potential above all, recognizing that it is the differences that will strengthen and expand the capabilities of its business. 

“We continuously work hard to be the best global corporate citizen we can be. If anything, our sustainability vision shows our yearning to put in the work to be able to leave the world better than we found it. It has not been more pronounced than with the recent disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein we’re able to sustain 100% operations because of the agility of our systems, processes, and people. This brings us great pride to do more for the communities we serve, while we work towards helping people one caring interaction at a time,” said Shane Baetz, Vice President, Regional Support Services,APAC. 

Deeply committed to its goals to global progress, the BPO company aligns its efforts in making the world a better place as employees volunteer for sustainability initiatives under its global vision of “SYKES Gives Back.” Under this principle, SYKESers around the world develop programs to put their best foot forward in continually improving the organization’s people, operations, and communities. This ultimately helps SYKES hold true its promise to be the best place to work, learn, and grow.

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