Sun Life ASC launches Utopia

A critical step in the direction of being an ‘empathetic and thoughtful’ workplace, where the employee’s life is looked at holistically

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Sun Life Asia Service Centre (ASC) has launched Utopia — a unique employee-centric three-year programme—focusing on the key aspects of employee growth and development. Its initiatives revolve around wellness, people engagement, mental health, learning, and rewarding.

The key programme under Utopia is a series of parenting workshops for employees, aimed at guiding them to become better parents.

Sun life ASC has launched a unique initiative, in collaboration with Parwarish, the parenting institute. In March last year, it introduced quarterly parenting workshops to help the employees who are parents live healthier lives by managing their responsibilities better, both at the workplace and at home.

Founded in 2008, Parwarish focuses on exposing parents to education and science in the area of parenting through specially-designed workshops.

Not only have employees attended these workshops enthusiastically, but they have benefitted immensely from them too. Whether it is young parents with little children or parents of teens, these workshops cover diverse issues to equip parents. The topics range from how to help adolescent children to ways of identifying and coping with their emotions and influencing young children to cooperate willingly.

Commenting on the overwhelming response received from the employees, Rajeev Bhardwaj, ES Asia HR Business Partner, says, “Being a parent is both a joy and a great responsibility, especially in today’s environment where social media and different external factors influence our children.”

He adds, “By conducting these parenting workshops, our intent is to guide our employees through their individual parenting journeys. More importantly, we recognise the dual role individuals play in modern society, working as professionals and managing their personal lives.”

These parenting sessions help parents learn more about what to expect in the coming years and prepare for each developmental stage. Since working professionals stay very busy, they find it difficult to stay informed about research and latest scientific findings—these workshops provide nuggets of learning that help them make the right decisions as parents.

This is a critical step in the direction of Sun life ASC being an ‘empathetic and thoughtful’ workplace, where each individual’s life is looked at holistically.

Shantanu Kodesia, head-operations & enablement, says, “The children of our employees at Sun Life are like an extended family for us. And we organise the ‘parenting workshops’ to enable them to learn how to impart good parenting.”

The sessions are interactive and provide an enriching experience with a lot of great ideas for the attendees. The success of these workshops can be gauged by the fact that the employees have reached out and requested for more such sessions to be organised.

Under the Utopia programme, the Company has also identified mental health and awareness as a key element and launched many initiatives to promote mental wellbeing.

The Company has partnered with Doctor Insta to provide 24*7 counselling and support to its employees. Till date, 840 employees have registered with Doctor Insta. As a result, they now have a doctor or a counsellor on call. The entire information is confidential and does not reflect on the employee’s career graph.

While the organisation is making great strides to drive employee wellbeing holistically, it is also taking automation very seriously to keep up with the changing times.

Sun Life ASC’s unique three-year cross-functional ‘Digital First Initiative’, is a next gen employee-engagement programme, aimed at digitialising its internal processes for its 1800+ employees. Under the same, employees will have a single-user interface instead of multiple touchpoints for all their queries in the areas of compensation & benefits, performance, learning, expense management, grievance & query management, travel, leave, e learning programmes, and so on.

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