Article: Top 10 MNCs in Asia-Rank 4: American Express

Life @ Work

Top 10 MNCs in Asia-Rank 4: American Express

Creating an inspiring workplace is a top priority for every leader at American Express
Top 10 MNCs in Asia-Rank 4: American Express

Headquarters: New York, US


CEO: Kenneth I. Chenault, No. of employees: 53,500


American Express, an American multinational financial services company, envisions being the world’s most respected service company and this promise of superior products and its employees bring extraordinary service alive. According to Vishpala Reddy, Vice President -HR at American Express India, “We apply the same service ethos towards our employees as we do to our customers to en- able a winning culture.” AmEx takes great pride in fostering a work environment that encourages different backgrounds, talents and perspectives to thrive.

American Express takes great pride in fostering a work environment that encourages different backgrounds, talents and perspectives to thrive. Creating an inspiring workplace is a top priority for every leader here. One of the offerings ‘People Leader Learning Path’ has been greatly valued across levels and career stages, especially by the young leaders. This program provides prescriptive approach to their development as per their career stage and recommends learning in a sequential modular order for foundational & core essentials. In addition to this, regular people leader sessions on ‘Employee Relations fundamentals’ are organized to make them more effective in identifying workplace issues, and handling them by following a structured approach.

The Reward and Recognition programs are extremely popular with our employees and help us create a winning culture at American Express. Our company wide online Recognition platform called ‘Reward Blue’ is American Express’ one-stop shop for recognition. It is a recognition program that enables leaders and employees to recognize each other – across Business Units, Band levels and Markets – everyday, and reward great work and effort. The program was designed to recognize a broad range of achievements, from high-impact projects to smaller, everyday tasks that are no less important but are sometimes overlooked. Employees can recognize peers, team members and leaders within or even beyond their groups. There are many ways to show appreciation through RewardBlue, from non-monetary eThanks to Blue Awards that can be redeemed for monetary value. To continuously foster and encourage the behavior of recognition we run several ‘Fun’ initiatives from time to time to drive and inculcate a culture of gratitude and appreciation for each other in the organization- the most recent being the Blue Bucket Challenge akin to the recently famed viral ice bucket challenge.

Taking the commitment to Diversity & Inclusion to the next level, Amex designed and created a unique gender diversity initiative in 2014 called ‘Reach Out’. This pioneering program rolled out in collaboration with 4 other leading organizations in India (Microsoft, PepsiCo, PwC and Tata Sons) to set a partnership which enables us to leverage each other’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) intelligence and to create a structured sustainable solution. The program provided a development platform for senior women leaders to Share, Network and Learn  from leaders and peers across these organizations, to enable greater career success for the nominated cohort of 31 high potential diverse women at senior levels. The interactive format amplified the opportunity to network and facilitate experiential learning & development through a combination Workshops, Focused Peer Learning Circles and Group Coaching by executive leaders across partner organizations.

Vishpala added, “We continuously aim to be innovative with our initiatives while partnering with employees to help them find a personal – professional balance. With that philosophy in mind, in 2014, we introduced a ‘Smart Savings’ program that enhances overall financial wellness of employees. With access to online portal and onsite helpdesk, employees are educated and updated on their earnings and long term savings. The convenience of having this information made available save employees time and effort and a single stop solution to their short to long term financial needs has been extremely appreciated by our employees.”

Best way to attract talent 

Marketing organization brand, culture, results, employee practices through varied channels as well as creating sound presence in social media channels in innovative ways are some of the best ways of attracting talent. AmEx has leveraged this philosophy by creating a series of videos and interviews under the theme of ‘What will you do #foraliving?’ Through this unique initiative we were able to host and showcase some real life extraordinary employee stories on our social media platform (vide the series “What will you do #foraliving? American Express Careers”) – these  short videos exemplify the plethora of opportunities and unique work culture that AmEx has to offer. The contributions an employee makes every day and the relationships built, help open a world of opportunities and advantages for all members of the American Express community.

At American Express, we strongly foster a culture that all our employees are stewards of the brand and must strive to represent it well and strengthen our bond with our customers.  We empower our employees to support our hiring goals through a Employee Referral Program. Our referral program has helped in directing prospective candidates like themselves into the system who are acquainted with the AXP culture. American Express has continued to focus its efforts on Diversity Hiring and thus participating in different external forums and talk about our brand and the digital transformation through messages like ‘Powered by Innovation, Engineered by you’.

Being a Great Place To Work 

Being a Great Place to Work is not only a People priority for American Express but also a business imperative for American Express, in a world where quality of service, intellectual property, innovation and creativity are the key differentiators. Our people are core to our success as an organization, they are what make us a great place to work. We are developing a strong track record that will continue to make us an employer of choice. Our goal now is not only to maintain our success, but also to build on this momentum as we strive to exceed our customers' expectations, strengthen our competitive advantage, and grow our business.

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Topics: Life @ Work, #AsiasBestWorkplaces2015, #BestPractices

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