Sparkbay clients

How Tokio Marine successfully transitioned to remote work with Sparkbay

Based in Singapore, Tokio Marine Asia (TM Asia) is an established regional headquarters and intermediate holding company, located at the Tokio Marine Centre in Singapore. Their organization oversees 8 P&C Insurance companies and 5 Life Insurance companies in 8 countries, which employs over 5,000 people across the region.

Introducing: Tokio Marine Asia

TM Asia introduced Sparkbay in 2020. The goal was to collect employee feedback regarding their experience during remote transition, so that TM Asia could implement initiatives that are important to them.

They particularly appreciated the quality of Sparkbay’s surveys and the rating system that reduces the likelihood of any bias.

The questions were thought through and customized to meet the company’s specific needs, and to gather insights that reflect TM Asia’s company culture.

Sparkbay’s reporting functionality enabled TM Asia to make data-driven decisions as much as possible. Additionally, the support of Sparkbay’s people scientists helped the company better understand the opportunities being faced and the options available to address these.

Challenge: Keep connected in a crisis

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Sparkbay played a crucial role at TM Asia. Despite the unprecedented situation, Sparkbay gave the HR team the data and inspiration to come up with a quicker action plan to support people as much as possible.

The company wanted to understand how everyone was feeling during this difficult period so that any means of supporting them better could be identified. TM Asia had started to use Sparkbay for engagement purposes so people were familiar with the platform and trusted it to provide the space and opportunity to express their feelings honestly. Additionally, the wording of the survey questions was particularly compassionate and mindful of the situations many of the respondents may be facing.

Solution: A means of structured response

In April 2020, TM Asia ran its ‘transition to remote’ survey. The survey had a high level of participation, with 74% response rate.

This provided benchmark data that the company can use to see how sentiment changes over time. TM Asia was also able to slice the data by department to understand how sentiment varies.

The three areas identified as having the most positive ratings were:

1)remote autonomy: knowing what the goals and objectives are for the week

2)remote interaction with colleagues: ease to which employees can reach their colleagues

3)remote wellbeing: feeling that the overall experience during WFH has been positive

They’ve been able to support employees more effectively through productive conversations. For instance, with the remote workforce, the boundaries between work and personal time have become blurred. The company has uncovered that some employees feel that although they are motivated, they have workload challenges.

Addressing initial concerns

Implementing hot desking was a way to enhance collaboration. Other measures included moving to a more structured WFH model (formalizing the hybrid arrangement) and putting measures in place to optimize work efficiency.

The HR team shared the findings and associated actions with the wider organization. This helps demonstrate to the entire team that their voices are being listened to and helps ensure more participation and engagement on future surveys.

Embracing the new normal

As the situation started to normalize, TM Asia was keen to explore what employees needed to move forward and identify any aspects of their working life which may be holding them back.

The company wanted to strike a balance between understanding what might be stopping people from returning to the workplace, without making them feel pressured that they had to come back if they didn’t want to. Sparkbay’s flexible approach also meant that TM Asia could explore how the company was or was not meeting their needs and address previous concerns around connection, workload and mental health.

Sparkbay not only helped identify the key areas to focus on during the peak of the pandemic but also how the company could evolve their strategy moving forward and measure the effectiveness of the changes.

TM Asia leverages engagement data from Sparkbay to understand how employees are feeling. The data enables the company to strategize, rather than just checking the box. It also supports the talent management efforts, as they can coach and develop employees based on the insights.