The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged many organizations to shift from the traditional working environment into different office set-ups such as homebased deployment, skeleton staffing, and staggered working hours schemes. It is not easy to make this transition possible and effective. For many organizations, this change is a matter of survival.

D.M. Wenceslao and Associates, Inc. (DMW Group), master developer of Aseana City faced this unforeseen global crisis with a well-rounded and inclusive approach to ensure that their employee’s welfare, health and safety, and growth are secured. The resiliency of their employees backed by their company culture enabled them to navigate the change in the employee experience with efficiency and ease.

As the distinction between professional and personal life dissolves, DMW supported and empowered their employees by introducing technologies, disciplines, and activities that will help them thrive during the pandemic.

Establishment of a centralized digital workplace

A virtual equivalent to the physical office setting, the digital workplace dismisses any communication divide and enables employees to drive innovation, efficiency, and productivity. Even prior to the pandemic, cloud -based solutions have been an integral part of the company’s day-to-day collaborations. By integrating e-mail, instant messaging, virtual meeting tools, finance and accounting systems, virtual reality construction walkthroughs, and marketing and human resource applications, the central digital workplace platform gave a convenient access point for the employees to perform their tasks and do updates in real-time. These tools have also allowed them to connect and provide undisrupted service to the various stakeholders of DMW group particularly the residents and office tenants inside Aseana City.

Employee empowerment as business priority

When the pandemic hit, companies had to make work more flexible. The focus shifted on how the company can adapt to the needs of their workers. At DMW Group, allowing their employees to be directly involved in the decision-making process of the company is of utmost importance. Chris Frias, Associate Director of Human Resources for DMW Group explained, “By encouraging employees to speak productively and openly, we enable them to feel more valued and connected to colleagues and the leaders of the organization.” Further, despite the distance brought by the pandemic, various employee engagement activities were implemented such as a regular one-on-one mental health discussion, virtual trainings, and career growth opportunities in various level of the organization.

A socially distanced planning and design meeting held at the Studio Library of the DMW Headquarters in Aseana City.

55-year heritage of a ‘caring culture’

Paramount to the success of DMW’s projects is recognizing that each employee is at the core of the organization. Employees are given the freedom and accountability to make decisions in the tasks that they are handling and are guided and supported by a mentor who promotes growth, creates collaboration, and builds confidence in the workplace. Reflective of the legacy of service and humility by the founder of DMW Group, their leaders welcome its employees to unreservedly discuss matters through the ‘open door policy’, a communication line that literally translates to the open office doors of top-level management to hear out any grievances or concerns of their staff. This demonstration of competent and compassionate leadership makes a positive difference in the work experience of the employees.

All relationships are built on the concepts of empathy and trust. Employees are empowered to positively influence their work environments by leaders who acknowledge their ideas, celebrate their wins, and trust their convictions. And so, for a company to thrive and succeed most especially during these uncertain times, its people are its greatest investment. DMW Group remains steadfast in its commitment in improving the lives of its community and the people who are helping build and shape the Next Generation City, Aseana City.

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