The View From Taft

Shopee is a Singaporean e-commerce platform under the Sea Group, which was founded in 2009 by Forrest Li. Shopee was first launched in Singapore in 2015, and has since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In May this year, ASEAN UP ranked Shopee Philippines as second among the Top 10 e-commerce sites in the Philippines, with monthly traffic estimated at 14,400,000.

I work at Shopee.

Anchored on Shopee’s belief that “Our people define us,” the People Team at Shopee strive to make our stay in this organization fun, memorable, and worthwhile. They have come up with engaging and rewarding activities that all employees love. We have celebrated “Orange Day,” where we mark employees’ birthdays and work anniversaries with overflowing food and drinks; “Healthy Friday,” where scrumptious yet healthy snacks are served; and ”Fitness Wednesday,” where the People Team encourages colleagues to be fit through Muay Thai or Zumba classes. Recently, they have put up “Artsy August” where employees can unleash their artistic side. There is a wide array of classes to choose from: mobile photography, painting, as well as sushi-making. These are just some of the activities that have been planned for Shopee’s employees. Arguably, other companies might consider employee engagement too costly, thus, make it the least priority on their checklist. Shopee has a different perspective — they see employee engagement as an investment; an investment to increase employees’ morale, build connections, and reduce stress levels.

Employee engagement highlights the company’s belief that collaborative activities result in an increase in employees’ morale. When employees feel empowered and valued, they tend to increase their productivity. Additionally, these simple activities prove that the welfare of their employees is of high importance, which may result in more engaged employees who find purpose in what they do. These employees reciprocate by delivering impeccable performance. They increase efficiency and productivity that yield fewer errors and dynamic outputs. Indeed, happy employees are highly productive employees.

Employee activities like these also break down barriers and results in a friendly and collaborative environment. And this collaboration can spark fresh ideas for possible projects or process improvements. Furthermore, this can also be a good time for management to practice downward communication and get to know their employees and their insights or suggestions that might be helpful to some company projects. And for the employees, this could be a better opportunity for them to discuss their elevator pitch with the management, which they think might be valuable for the firm.

These activities provide connections too, not just for work-related purposes but for personal needs as well. The possibilities of building new connections for the good of the company and personal matters are endless. So better start engaging in a meaningful conversation with others during these employee engagement events, because, who knows, employees from other departments can become your friends, future business partners, or maybe your long-time partner in life.

Highly engaging activities can serve as a break time for employees who feel exhausted from the monotony of their work. These activities might result in reduced stress levels among employees and stimulate creativity which can serve as a good start for the day. Leveraging stress with highly collaborative activities keeps the employee motivated while having fun as well. Moreover, the People Team always puts in extra effort to provide employees with activities that are coherent with the company’s beliefs. With this, the employee not only appreciate the company’s virtues, but are also bounded by applying these principles to their daily lives.


Jerold Angelo Vizconde is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business. This essay was written as part of the requirement in his Strategic Human Resource Management class.