How Prudential Is Delivering a World-Class Employee Experience

By prioritizing the wellbeing of its customers and employees, Prudential plc helps people get the most out of life. Jolene Chen, group head of HR, shares how the company is able to deliver on its value and purpose through a time of change and disruption.

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For more than 170 years, Prudential has been caring for people by making healthcare accessible and affordable, protecting their wealth and growing assets, and helping them reach their goals. Today, Prudential serves 20 million customers through 600,000 agents and partners. Prudential accomplishes this by putting the wellbeing of customers, employees, and communities at the center of all they do.

At this year’s Workday Elevate Digital Experience, Jolene Chen, group head of HR at Prudential plc, discussed how the company continues to fulfill its promise with a renewed brand purpose: to help people get the most out of life.

Through this period of constant change and disruption, how does Prudential ensure it’s staying true to its purpose?

We always aim to help people get the most out of life. We do this for our customers and our employees alike. We believe our purpose begins from the inside out. It starts with the work we do daily, and we seek to create the right environment for our employees—one that empowers our people to excel and contribute to our collective success. We embed our purpose in a three-prong approach:

  • From the top down by setting a framework and enabling our leaders to be role models.

  • From the bottom up by establishing a baseline for our culture and engagement across the whole organization.

  • From the middle out by engaging our senior leaders to start a culture movement and to use culture as a driver of performance.

This three-pronged approach seems like it ensures that every level of the company embraces the same culture. What qualities do you look for in new employees?

We make sure that whoever we bring in shares our purpose, and we expect our employees to abide by our principles. And perhaps most importantly, we look for people who demonstrate these fundamental human attributes: ambition, curiosity, empathy, courage, and agility. We believe that if we can get all these qualities and align it to our purpose, we can then look at the various technical capabilities that are needed.

"We acknowledge and honor the trust our employees place in us to provide them with an environment to connect, grow, and succeed." 

Jolene Chen Group Head of HR Prudential plc

Nimbleness and agility are qualities a lot of employers are looking for in this period of disruption. How do you bring out the best in your talent and use technology to support changes in the way your people live and work?

We embed digital capabilities into our business model to anticipate and respond to evolving customer needs. We also continue to increase the automation of our operations to improve business efficiency and customer satisfaction. Our efforts are manifested in Pulse by Prudential, which we built to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for all. Since its launch in August, it has been downloaded over eight million times.

But perhaps the most important investment we have made is to equip our employees with the best digital tools to provide a much more flexible working environment. At the peak of COVID-19, almost 90% of our employees across the world were working from home. Our investment in technology has enabled us to have a much smoother transition. People can now collaborate and deliver business as usual. We did a recent employee survey that showed that almost 90% of our employees have said we handled the COVID situation quite well.

People give us their time, their talent and passion, and their authentic selves at work. We acknowledge and honor the trust our employees place in us to provide them with an environment to connect, grow, and to succeed. Technology plays a huge part in enabling us to do that.

One of the key technologies we provide to our employees is Workday. We have implemented Workday Human Capital Management in all markets that we operate in, and we are able to provide managers with team-based information and analysis to help ensure they’re providing the right environment for their teams.

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