Business As Usual

Inside Sun Life Global Solutions: How a culture of care propels growth from within and beyond

Jap Tobias - Philstar.com
for Sun Life Global Solutions
Inside Sun Life Global Solutions: How a culture of care propels growth from within and beyond
Formerly called the Sun Life Asia Service Center, Sun Life Global Solutions has been repositioned to better capture its role in furthering Sun Life’s digital strategy: to help shape the business, drive digital transformation and offer superior client experience.

MANILA, Philippines —  Not too long ago, the term “quiet quitting,” took the corporate world by storm and brought attention to a situation that has been silently eroding workforce productivity and employee morale.

The modern workplace is constantly changing, and it could indeed be difficult to navigate its complexities. Amid this backdrop, Sun Life Global Solutions, a microcosm of Sun Life, has gained a deep understanding and realization that fostering a strong culture of care is the foundation for achieving remarkable outcomes.

Tarun Sareen, Sun Life Global Solutions managing director, in an exclusive interview with Philstar.com, shared insights on how to transform workplaces and bring positive impacts to people.

Care at the core of Sun Life Global Solutions

Formerly called the Sun Life Asia Service Center, Sun Life Global Solutions has been repositioned to better capture its role in furthering Sun Life’s digital strategy: to help shape the business, drive digital transformation and offer superior client experience.

Being an organization deeply rooted in the interconnected realms of health and finance, Sun Life Global Solutions recognizes the inherent human elements within these domains. They understand that beyond the numbers and policies, a genuine concept of care is essential in delivering the best services for its clients. 

Sun Life Global Solutions Managing Director Tarun Sareen
Photo Release

Sareen elaborated this by sharing the example of their team in Manila which annually handles five million calls from clients during the most critical moments of their lives. 

“When we receive a call at our Client Care Center, the aim is to answer each of those calls and properly resolve the query with speed, agility and quality. And that to me is adding value and bringing our purpose to life with every client touchpoint,” he said. 

This perspective also applies internally. Sun Life Global Solutions embraces the notion that true success lies in fostering a culture of care not only for their external clients but also an important foundation within their organization.

According to Sareen, the company’s caring culture can be defined as a confluence of two major things: one, leaders consistently acting in ways to help team members thrive and helping them do the best work of their careers; and two, team members showing genuine concern for the organization’s goals and success, thereby, putting purpose and clients in the forefront.

“There is harmony and synchronization as all of us work towards creating a great client experience, a meaningful employee interface and ultimately, drive success for the company,”

A sense of belonging

One of Sun Life Global Solutions' approach to care is putting a premium on employee well-being, and this is achieved through various initiatives that keep employees happy, engaged and make them feel belonged. 

“We put employee well-being at the forefront and make certain that there is work-life balance in the organization,” Sareen said. “We’ve appointed our Chief Fun Officers to lead and guide us on the various fun activities, as the title suggests,” 

They also have interest clubs, focusing on film, food, music and photography to create a safe space for employees to pursue their personal passions and interests at work. 

Sun Life Global Solutions believes that fostering a strong culture of care is the foundation for achieving remarkable outcomes.
Philstar.com/Nuel Manaligod

The company continues to achieve high engagement scores across its offices in India and the Philippines. Just recently it earned an engagement score of 94%. Additionally, it also got “Great Place To Work” certificate, which further solidifies its reputation as a company that truly embraces care. 

In addition, Sun Life Global Solutions also puts Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I)  at the forefront. “I am very proud to share that we have 50% diversity when it comes to the Sun Life Leadership Board. This speaks volumes about our focus on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within our workplace,” Sareen enthused. 

The company has expanded the definition of diversity beyond gender—generational diversity, acquired diversity and hiring persons with disabilities in the Philippines. 

It has launched the DE&I Network in the country, which also translated into revisiting some of its policies and included same-gender partners in the HMO benefits to further support inclusivity amongst its LGBTQ+ employees. 

Other initiatives include Bright Women to help advance the careers of talented women, Working Families to help nurture a highly effective hybrid work-home environment, and Diversability to help integrate diversity with disability. 

Caring for growth and innovation

Sun Life Global Solutions leaders during the ArawUday 2.0, an annual event that cultivates a culture of bolder leadership and a stronger culture within the organization.
Photo Release

Part of keeping employees happy is also ensuring that they feel that they are pursuing a meaningful career. Sun Life Global Solutions places a strong emphasis on professional growth and development and firmly believes that investing in their employees' continuous learning is essential.

Through tailored training programs and career advancement initiatives, like educational assistance, MBA programs, leadership development programs and sandboxes like “Employee Verse,” the organization equips their workforce with the tools and resources they need to thrive in their roles. 

An example Sareen is extremely proud of is their Innovation Hub, which operates like a startup to build an intrapreneurial culture with a problem-solving, disruptive, transformative mindset. 

Through this, Sun Life Global Solutions is collaborating with startups, accelerators, and the academic ecosystem to solve some complex challenges for Sun Life Enterprise businesses, intending to create innovations that will significantly improve client experience and its product offerings. 

Architecting the future 

From left: Rajeev Bhardwaj, SLGS VP & chief human resources officer; Chandan Barve, SLGS VP and chief administrative officer; Shiva Subramony, Asia IT and SLGS head of governance, Risk and Compliance; Tony Alonzo, SLGS head of EI services; Eillen Lopez, SLGS head of HR and communications; Ada Mae David, SLGS head of portfolio management; Hannah Anonuevo, SLGS head of legal attorney; Tarun Sareen, SLGS managing director; Kshitij Kohli, SLGS head of operations; Shiv Ranjan, SLGS head of technology management and transformation and Dennis Bocoy, SLGS head of finance and administration officer.

It takes great leadership to navigate through the complexities of the modern workforce. For Sareen, leading Sun Life Global Solutions also means maximizing client impact through developing digital capabilities, creating best-in-class digital experiences, nurturing a strong talent pool and scaling innovation.

“For the future we are envisioning, it is imperative that we spawn more and more leaders, and we made significant headway in this direction by revisiting our leadership structure to broaden and deepen empowerment and build a stronger owner’s mindset.” Sareen expressed.

A huge part of achieving this is the culture of care it has cultivated, as well as the BOLDER mindset that it has continuously embraced: 

B – Biased for Action
O – Open to listen
L – Learn all the time
D - Drive outcomes
E – Empowered 
R – Resilient 

Lastly, asked what makes him a successful leader, Sareen answered, “helping nurture new leaders.” 

“When we make a difference, we create a lasting impact on the entire organization, its goals, targets, the employees, and your colleagues. You leave a legacy of meaningful work,” he said. 

“This kind of thinking is a good jumping board for creating more leaders. Leaders that will carry on your torch and advance positive culture in the organization act like pillars. The aim is to nurture leaders with a shared passion and commitment to carry our mission, vision and execute our purpose. And that to me will mark the success of my leadership vision,” Sareen concluded. 


Editor’s Note: #BrandSpace story is created with Sun Life Global Solutions. It is produced by the Advertising Content Team that is independent from our Editorial Newsroom. 

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