Angee Chan, Head of People & Culture, Hong Kong & Macau, Philip Morris International
Today, according to the World Health Organization, there are more than one billion smokers in the world and despite health warnings, campaigns to quit smoking, and increasing tobacco control measures, this figure will not significantly decrease in the coming years.
We want to build a world without cigarettes as we believe that smokers who choose to continue to smoke should have the choice to switch to alternatives that are less harmful than cigarettes.
Communicating with our external and internal stakeholders about the different aspects of the transformation is not an easy task. On the external transformation, we continue to explain why offering adult smokers, who would otherwise continue to smoke, less harmful alternatives to cigarettes would best serve the interest of society as a whole.
In carrying out our internal transformation, we generate a healthy and caring workplace to continuously engage and listen to our employees’ voices by running programs for their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. For example, we have launched meditation, massage, stretching and yoga classes to help employees manage stress and improve physical fitness. We share healthy tips every week and invite external professional consultants to give health talks to promote healthy eating and raise awareness of a healthy lifestyle.
Listening to employee feedback in a diverse workplace
Keeping employees motivated and engaged is always the biggest challenge in any organization. We are therefore committed to creating an inclusive, innovative and energizing workplace for our employees who can in turn drive our transformation. In our Hong Kong office, our colleagues come from all walks of life, comprising more than 30 nationalities and four generations, working side-by-side. Diversity and inclusiveness are critically important in making the workplace comfortable for everyone. We apply the principle of consumer-centricity to our employees, putting employees at the core, to drive our goal to become the employer of choice for all.
Consumer centricity is the secret to building and delivering what consumers truly want, while internally, we treat our employees as our customers
Externally consumer-centricity is the key to building and delivering what consumers truly want, while internally, we treat our employees as our customers. We cannot create a smoke-free future on our own, just as we cannot build an inclusive and diverse workplace alone. We must activate our employees and co-create their ideal workplace through employee-centricity.
The bold transformation of Philip Morris International has led to the creation of a new corporate culture that highlights an open-minded environment, innovative development, and collaborative working partnerships. Instead of using a top-down approach, our company conduct large-scale surveys from time to time that cover employees around the world to better understand what they think the expected behaviors for peers and management would be in different scenarios. Based on these survey results, we wish to create a culture that is employee-driven.
Many of our policies are based on genuine employee feedback. One example was when we implemented a 4.5-day work week policy. Before execution, we conducted face-to-face interviews to understand employees’ needs; considered how flexible working could complement the company culture; identified employees that needed more communications; and examined ways to run a smooth transition (what do you mean? A smooth transition from what to what?) within our diverse workforce.
Closing the gender pay gap – Equal Salary certification
There is no good reason why women should not be paid the same as men for equal work. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many women in the world today. At Philip Morris International, we are committed to make this a reality for our employees. We wholeheartedly believe gender balance and closing the gender pay gap are essential ingredients for our business transformation to create a smoke-free world and that “Companies don’t change industries. People do.”
With this as our goal, we have subjected ourselves to both to a quantitative comparison of salary data and a qualitative audit of management commitment to equal pay principles and of our people policies, practices and processes to identify any potential gender blind spots.
To put our progress on inclusion and diversity to test, we have sought credible, independent third-party verification of our effort in equal salary and closing the gender pay gap. Philip Morris Asia Limited has obtained EQUAL-SALARY certification since 2018. In March 2019, Philip Morris International became the first and only organization to date with the global EQUAL-SALARY certification.
The global EQUAL-SALARY certification demonstrates the great amount of work our colleagues across the world have accomplished in confirming equal pay for equal work in our entire organization. We celebrate this recognition but will continue to focus our efforts in building an inclusive, gender-balanced organization as a priority and key to realize our vision of a smoke-free future.
Employee centricity at the core of our strategies
Our effort in driving our internal transformation does not stop here,employees’ needs are changing rapidly, and responsible employers must stay ahead of these changes. To do this, we constantly listen to employee feedback and design our policies around solving their pain points. An inclusive workplace is the basis for employees to openly and honestly tell us their needs, our obsession with employee centricity is how we shaped an inclusive culture. Employee centricity has always been and will continue to be at the core of our strategies, as we believe that an inclusive and diverse workforce is the most valuable asset to any company.