Article: #4 American Express: Diversity & Inclusion for Talent Optimization

Employee Engagement

#4 American Express: Diversity & Inclusion for Talent Optimization

Acknowledging the diversity and inclusion (D&I) journey for over 30 years, American Express (AMEX) today has over 60 percent of its global employees as women, which makes a healthy diversity ratio. Their 73 Employee Resource Groups/Networks and 10 Diversity Councils across the globe are testimony of the company’s efforts to build an inclusive ecosystem for the 60,000+ strong employee base.
 

AMEX is recognized for being a D&I focused organization globally as well as in India

 

Employees at AMEX feel ‘respected' by the management, based on the level of support, collaboration and caring they see, expressed through the management's actions towards them

 

Acknowledging the diversity and inclusion (D&I) journey for over 30 years, American Express (AMEX) today has over 60 percent of its global employees as women, which makes a healthy diversity ratio. Their 73 Employee Resource Groups/Networks and 10 Diversity Councils across the globe are testimony of the company’s efforts to build an inclusive ecosystem for the 60,000+ strong employee base.

AMEX is recognized for being a D&I focused organization globally as well as in India. Their global D&I strategy is three pronged, that focuses on internal talent development, external market segments and workplace transformation. As an organization, they follow a ‘Glocal’ strategy, which is driven by the D&I Council, wherein global solutions are made locally relevant, and local solutions are replicated globally.

Their practices have been evolved to meet the employee needs and the focus is on leveraging on their diversity accomplishments to drive business. ‘GenNxt – workplace of the future’ is a key D&I initiative launched for India, focusing on gender and multi-generation equity. The varied policies, programs and employee network platforms aim to create an organizational eco-system that fosters a climate of inclusion. With a focus on measuring success on an ongoing basis, there are program specific metrics to track progress. Being in a people business which is operating in an increasingly intense, complex and competitive environment, their business model consists of smart, dedicated and motivated employees working together as a team to service a diverse set of customers. At AMEX, customer service is considered a competitive differentiator. To win in this complex marketplace, they are committed to building a culture where all American Express employees are fully engaged in their jobs, realize their potential, and have the opportunity to grow and develop with the company.

At AMEX, frontline leaders are required to spend at least 70 percent of their time managing talent. Leaders review various aspects of their direct reports including their goals, development plans, mid-year/year-end review (performance management), career development and succession planning (talent assessment).

‘Performance management’ and ‘talent assessment’ provide an inventory of the talent capability to meet business needs and priorities. The processes also engage employees to attain their maximum potential and foster a culture of open and honest communication and feedback. The intent is to have meaningful career discussions between leaders and employees. All performance and talent systems are supported by ‘Career Track’, an integrated software system, which enables everything to be captured and tracked online.

The three things that make AMEX a great workplace are credibility, respect and camaraderie. Giving clear directions and being accessible and approachable all the time, is what makes the organization ‘credible.’ Employees at AMEX feel ‘respected’ by the management, based on the level of support, collaboration and caring they see, expressed through the management's actions towards them. Respect is reflected through professional development and demonstrated appreciation for efforts. Also, collaboration with employees on relevant decisions and the culture of seeking and responding to suggestions and ideas makes them feel empowered. Employees at AMEX also feel a sense of ‘camaraderie’ in the workplace because of the quality of intimacy, hospitality, and community within the workplace. Employees feel they can be themselves, people care about each other and provide support when needed. Employees identify their environment as friendly, a fun place to work and feel right at home.

‘Rewards Blue’ is American Express’ one-stop shop for recognition worldwide. It is a global recognition program that enables leaders and employees to recognize each other - across business units, band levels, markets - to reward great work and effort. ‘Rewards Blue’ provides the tools to praise efforts, reward results, and celebrate milestones of great work in a whole variety of ways. ‘Blue Awards’ are the currency by which employees nominate and reward each other for significant effort and meaningful results. This has been very well received by all employee and has also generated a lot of excitement.

The focus is to create an aspirational and inspirational workplace which attracts and nurtures the best talent, who further delivers winning results for their customers and shareholders. This is strongly reflected in their slogan, ‘Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Workplace’. Thus they strive to attract, develop and retain premium talent to support their business growth.
 

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Culture, #BestPractices

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