IT services company Cognizant strives to offer its employees a flexible workplace where they are able to pursue their own passions and career goals. Whether this involves working across different geographies, trying out new roles or updating their skills, Cognizant aims to support its talents in meeting their aspirations.
Linda Zhong, Director of HR at Cognizant, says: “I have been working for Cognizant for nearly 13 years, and for me the biggest benefits are the platform the company has given me to grow as a professional, and the flexibility to do the things I’m really passionate about.”
Richard Dennis, Director of Administration at Cognizant, echoes these sentiments, saying he also appreciates the flexibility and the autonomy Cognizant offers its staff. “I am allowed to choose special initiatives that I want to do. I have the flexibility to relocate and work globally. Cognizant also supports those who wish to move sideways and into other roles,” he says. Cognizant puts a lot of emphasis on helping its employees develop their careers.
Paromita Ghosh, Associate Director of Learning and Development at Cognizant, explains that the company places a strong focus on talent acquisition, management and development. “We give our employees a lot of opportunities to learn and develop,” she says. “You don’t get stuck in one job. There are multiple opportunities to change your role and the type of work you are doing.”
Cognizant’s employees can count on Cognizant Academy, the company’s own in-house training and learning institution, to facilitate continuous learning and development. The company also supports employees to fulfil their career aspirations by identifying development opportunities for them at both local and regional levels.
Linda says, “There is a culture of empowerment. You are encouraged to speak out when you feel there is something you want to try.” Cognizant is not only focused on helping employees meet their goals, it also promotes collaboration and strives to create a work environment that is friendly and open.
Richard says, “Our work environment is very open and collaborative, you can go to anybody to talk about your ideas. “We are creating workspaces that are fun and interactive. We want it to be an exciting, productive environment.”
He adds that Cognizant’s technology also gives its employees the chance to work remotely anywhere across the globe if they want to. “Our work style is very flexible, especially when we are not with clients. Culturally, it is a very cool company,” he says.
Given its ethos, Cognizant also places a high value on communication with its employees. Linda explains, “An important aspect of the Cognizant’s culture is being open, and we reinforce this by maintaining consistent communication with our employees through various channels.”
These channels range from regular engagement sessions to keep a pulse of what’s happening on the ground, to town hall meetings where employees directly interact with leadership to understand the company’s direction and strategy. They are encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts and opinions, which Cognizant considers as significant input that directly affects decision-making in the company. Through these channels, Cognizant remains in touch with its employees consistently, making it easy to facilitate information dissemination and feedback collection.
Linda adds that Cognizant also has different communication approaches for different populations of employees, such as new joiners, management teams and senior leaders. This personalization makes the process efficient, and the information shared relevant and applicable.
Cognizant puts significant emphasis on employee engagement. Linda says, “Our engagement programme involves multiple channels. Just as each project is different from the other, each approach is modified and catered accordingly for every specific group. From induction training to quarterly feedback sessions, our talent managers have a platform to get on-the-ground feedback from our employees. This means that we are able to respond very quickly to issues that affects our employees’ productivity at work.”
Employee engagement at Cognizant goes beyond improving work productivity. The company runs frequent workshops on health and wellness, as well as social activities to keep in touch with employees. “The workforce is constantly changing; Millennials are the largest demographic within Cognizant, which means our engagement programmes have to adapt to their needs,” Linda says.
Cognizant also prides itself on the comprehensive insurance coverage it offers their employees. Employees are given the option to decide between plans that would suit their personal needs better, and coverage is extended to the employee’s dependents as well.
To enhance this further, the company is planning to launch an employee assistance programme, with consulting services that will also be open to both employees and their family members.
Richard says, “We group-buy for 300,000 associates, so the leverage is pretty good. Our medical insurance is one of the best programmes I have seen. There are also lots of flexible benefits around general health and wellness, and we try to maximize our cover on the whole spectrum of health.”
Paromita, who has worked for Cognizant for more than 20 years, adds that the company also has initiatives to promote the mental wellbeing of its employees. “We have partnerships, as well as a round-the-clock helpline for associates to talk about their problems and get advice, be it family matters, personal problems or professional issues.”
Cognizant is also a strong advocate of giving back to the community, providing numerous opportunities for employees to contribute, and also encouraging more employees to be involved. The organization channels its philanthropic efforts through Cognizant Outreach, the company’s employee-led volunteering program.
Outreach is Cognizant’s employee volunteering program. Since inception, the grassroots program provides an integrated platform for Cognizant employees to volunteer for causes dear to them. These include education, environment and sustainability, and community welfare. It is open to all employees, and its projects aimed at helping out different segments of society. “Every employee who wants to can volunteer to do community service in various forms,” Paromita says.
“It could be as simple as a beach clean-up, or something that aligns with the organization’s technology capabilities, such as teaching elderly people tech skills. In Singapore, there is a strong emphasis on digital literacy for everyone. We have a huge number of volunteers who are eager to give their time to the community, and share their knowledge,” elaborates Paromita.
But it is not just its emphasis on its employees and the community that makes Cognizant a good place to work. Paromita says she also gets huge job satisfaction from the company’s strong customer focus. “We always try to deliver what is best for our clients, and that means getting deeper and more involved so that we can develop the right solution to address our clients’ business, technology and digital objectives. Our clients really appreciate that, and it is especially rewarding to know that we’ve contributed to their success,” she says.
“Cognizant is a great place to work. Come and experience it for yourself,” signs off Richard.