Great Workplaces™ are Better Together – Canva Philippines

XYRIS TAPIA

Author

Adaptability an Asset for Business Continuity

On March 16, as soon as the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was announced, the leadership team at Canva Philippines came together to discuss how to respond to the rising challenges being brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Three days later, on March 19, they advised all employees to work from home as a pre-emptive measure and began mobilizing their business continuity plans for the organization.

The management’s guiding principles for the implementation of decisions throughout the ECQ were: primarily to ensure the team’s safety and well-being, to support their community, and to rally together with compassion. These principles ensured that they were all moving in the same direction and that everybody was cared for, even outside the workplace.

Fortunately, Canva’s products are already being delivered online, thus the transition to work-from-home was relatively smooth. Nonetheless, they increased proactive communication and context sharing, with weekly company-wide meetings and a host of new initiatives. All operations were moved to virtual platforms, from hiring and screening, to onboarding and training. They designed remote-friendly ways of working and placed extra effort on connecting team members across the business. Meetings were moved to Zoom, and Slack channels were opened so people can continue to bond socially and exchange tips and resources. A special Internal Communications Team was also assembled to ensure news and updates from local government units, the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are being cascaded in real-time and consolidated in one place for easier reference. Most importantly, the team realized their own platform’s significance at this time, and used Canva heavily to create presentations, do product mock-ups, as well as birthday and anniversary cards for colleagues.

Amidst these circumstances, they have proven among themselves that great workplace culture goes far beyond the physical space. As a high-growth start-up, their “adaptable and agile team members” are invaluable and incredibly creative, finding new ways to get the job done, and supporting each other throughout the outbreak.

Compassionate Leadership is an Imperative

Fully aware that their people are experiencing a host of challenges, the leadership team at Canva Philippines remained fully committed to making the transition easy for their team members and their respective families. As testament to this, employees who flew back to Manila from their Sydney headquarters at the height of the community quarantine, were offered 14-day hotel accommodations, so they would not need to quarantine at home and place their loved ones at risk. Leave credits were not disturbed, incoming new-hire contracts were honoured, and mobile broadband solutions through sim-powered modems were disbursed to ensure strong internet facilities. Prior to the quarantine, Canva’s Vibe team prepared daily free meals at their office, and since they moved to working remotely, this was converted into food stipends that went into the employee payroll. The extra funds were vital for employees who had family members whose salaries were affected by the recent turn of events.

To ensure that their employees remain mentally and physically fit, management has been working closely with their in-house coach and external health provider. Employees are able to access professional medical support and consultations through online channels for themselves and family members, while Canva Philippines’ in-house coach likewise remains at arm’s reach virtually.

The leadership team at Canva Philippines found it critical to foster a relationship of trust and flexibility, being mindful that everyone is experiencing rapid change. They encouraged one another to practice compassionate leadership.

Keep the Vibe Alive

The team at Canva are always looking forward to going to work. Before the quarantine, their Vibe team hosted fun activities at their workplace to promote camaraderie, well-being, creativity and fun.

The absence of the physical space posed a challenge on how to continue with these activities. Yet they managed to pull everyone together by converting these activities into virtual ones. Some examples of the Slack channels they initiated were #ggss (gandang-ganda sa sarili) – make-up tutorials on how to look good while working from home and #whatsforlunch – a cooking channel where colleagues can share recipes and promote healthy eating. They also partnered with fitness vendors to stream “Canva-fied” exercise videos for the team, personalizing and championing a healthy lifestyle experience for their team members. Furry friends may also join in the action, as colleagues may include them in zoom meetings and share how they are coping at home.with

Everyone Plays a Crucial Role

Every team across Canva Philippines made sure they gave their full support to ensure everybody’s safety and contribute to the quick transition from onsite to remote work.

The Specialty Lead for Customer Service was among the first to support the movement of all Customer Happiness Specialists to work from home. Metrics and KPIs were immediately revisited to make sure the transition will not impact vital targets or penalize anyone as they adjust to working alone and not having their support groups nearby.

The leaders of their Design team also ensured that their members remained motivated through daily check-ins, so they may continue to be creative and produce quality templates and designs. This proved fruitful, especially when they were able to deliver hundreds of templates related to COVID-19 in less than a week.

Likewise, for Product Development, they mobilized to educate and give access to more people on their product line, to answer the growing demand for work done online. This resulted in gaining more subscribers and sign-ups for free trials on Canva Pro.

The Community and Social Media team got in touch with the Department of Health, the Research Institute of Tropical Medicines (RITM), and several hospitals and local barangay units to give them free use of Canva Pro and help disseminate vital information visually across social media.

The Finance and Legal teams were quick to ensure that all allowances and stipends were afforded to employees, with the mechanisms and processes in place for employees to receive their assistance immediately.

And amidst all these, the Human Resources team provided the backbone for all these changes and established a sense of certainty and stability in an otherwise ambiguous situation. In the words of Vanson So who leads Canva Philippines’ HR team, “Fully supporting all the teams and providing people the flexibility on the basis of trust and confidence, has allowed Canva Philippines to avoid serious risks and further champion being a force of good – true to our Canva values.”

Canva Philippines has indeed exemplified how much more can be accomplished by being BETTER TOGETHER.

XYRIS TAPIA

Author

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces™ in Asia by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2022 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 130,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:
1.  The criteria we evaluate

  •  85% concerned with Trust and Maximizing Human Potential and
  • 15% concerned with everything else

2.  Where the data comes from

  • 100% Trust Index for organizations with less than 100 employees
  • 75% based on the Trust Index survey analytics and 25% based on responses to the Culture Audit for organizations with more than 100 employees.
For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees