Category Archives: April 2015

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Public Seminar: Behavioral Event Interviewing

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Behavioral Event Interviewing

From May 14 to 15, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the next installment in our HR optimization series will cover Behavioral Event Interviewing, a hiring technique wherein the interviewee is asked to describe an experience from a previous job. The expectation is for a job candidate to talk about his or herself in a way that is unrehearsed and authentic. Our public seminar will help you analyze behaviors and responses in a way that provides insight into job fit, ideal work culture, skills, knowledge, behaviors and more.

Register Now

The workshop will concentrate on pre-interview preparation, developing valuable questions, strategies and communication techniques. Participants will learn about costs incurred with wrong hiring decisions, develop a fair and consistent interviewing process, and prepare job advertisements for different markets. Attendees will also learn how to interview difficult applicants and effectively check references.

Course Outline

  • The cost of hiring errors
  • Why use behavioral interview techniques
  • How to get the information you need
  • Advertising guidelines
  • Communication skills
  • Writing the interview questions
  • Defensible resume screening
  • Developing an effective interview format
  • Ethical and legal issues
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Asking questions and listening for answers
  • Reference checks

The Behavioral Event Interviewing workshop is recommended for managers, especially those in HR, anyone involved in interviewing applicants, and recruitment agencies. The investment for attending is P9,520 including VAT.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management namely “Psychological Assessment: Theory and Practice”, “Uses of Psychological Tests”, and “Human Resource Management” and was a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities.

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Reboot Your Work Drive: Improve Focus at Work

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Improve Focus at Work

Improve focus at work with a few simple tips

Rediscovering a passion for what you do can increase your focus at work simply because you care about what you’re doing. Often, gaining back that internal motivation is just what you and your employees need to increase concentration and job satisfaction. It isn’t easy to find meaning in your work once you’ve grown bored or “burned out,” but it isn’t impossible. Below are a few tips on how you can reboot your work drive to improve focus at work.

Identify hobbies you enjoy to balance your personal and professional life

It’s easy to get tired of work when it’s all you do. Pick one or two non-work-related things you like doing and incorporate them into your schedule to make sure you have enough time away from work. For example, you could choose to go to the gym three times a week after work and visit friends every Saturday. That way, when it’s time to get back to work on Monday you can walk into the office refreshed.

Stay away from emails the first and last hour of the day

It’s easy to wake up and immediately jump into work by checking your inbox. If you succumb to this urge and check your emails from when you wake up to when you go to sleep, you’re never unplugged from work. This can wear you down and keep you frazzled with an unending barrage of emails. Instead, use the first and last hour of your day for yourself. Take time to make yourself breakfast or do some yoga, and in the evenings let yourself read a book or spend time with family.

Keep a to-do list (in one place)

Writing a to-do list can help make your goals more tangible. You have a physical list to focus on each day, with actual tasks you can check off the list once you complete. It’s a great way to improve focus at work because it puts all your responsibilities in one place. However, make sure you keep your list in one place, or you might end up forgetting a few to-dos. For example, if you have a list of tasks in your phone, on your fridge and saved as a Word doc in your computer, it’s more likely some tasks will slip by. Having too many to-do lists also means each time you think of a new task, you have to write it down in each list.

Try a new environment

If you’re stuck in a rut, sometimes switching up your surroundings will help your focus and creativity. It’s easy for our surroundings to affect our work habits. A messy desk or noisy coworker can be distracting. If you want to refocus yourself and view your work with fresh eyes, try seeking out a new place. For example, if you work at an office ask your boss if you can take a virtual day one Friday a month to work at home or at a park.

How do you maintain your focus on work with all the distractions around you? Let us know in the comments.

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Beware These Motivation Killers in the Office

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Motivation Killers in the Office

Motivation killers in the office can lower productivity, employee satisfaction, the quality of your product or service, and your ability to attract top talent. Keep an eye out for these motivation killers that could keeping your business and talent from peak performance.

Inadequate Tools

If you are asking your employees to do a job, give them the tools to do it well. This means having good office equipment, a clean space to work, access to a restroom and whatever else they need to perform. For example, if you hire a graphic designer, provide image editing software and a computer with plenty of memory.

Poor Communication

Not understanding what you’re supposed to do can be a huge motivation killer in the office. Poor communication leads to misunderstandings, oversights, duplicate work and overall decreased productivity. Being able to communicate effectively and efficiently is the mark of a good leader and the backbone of a functioning office. Make sure your teams understand what they’re supposed to be doing and why.

No Learning and Development Opportunities

Show your employees that you are as invested in their development as they are in the company growth. Motivate employees by offering them a chance to learn how to do their jobs better and further their careers. Since businesses and industries are always changing, it’s also important to train your teams to stay on top of trends, new developments, and discoveries.

Lack of Positive Reinforcement

Praise is a powerful motivator, and a great way to show employees what you expect. Instead of getting angry when an employee does something wrong, offer praise when he or she does something right. This not only teaches your workforce about high standards, but shows them that their best efforts don’t go unnoticed.

Read more about encouraging your way to motivated employees.

Vertical Management

Vertical management refers to a top to bottom management style that leaves little to no room for collaboration. Top management makes the decisions that their employees have no choice but to carry out. With this type of leadership style, it’s hard for employees to invest themselves at work because their insights and ideas aren’t valued.

Be on the lookout for these motivation killers in the office, and make sure they don’t stop your employees from getting work done efficiently and effectively.

Want more? Check out what Life Coach Tony Robbins does to inspire and motivate people. Originally found on INC.

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Working With Colds and the Flu

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Working with Colds and the Flu

Continuous and sustained productivity in the work place is difficult to maintain, especially when your health isn’t cooperating. Sometimes it’s hard to decide how to proceed when you aren’t feeling well, so here’s a guide on how to handle sick days professionally and learn to work with colds.

Be Honest: When you feel you’re starting to get sick, inform your supervisor or manager. Your office policy may require you to stay home if sick to avoid spreading any contagious diseases. One sick employee taking a sick day is better than 20 sick employees.

Learn more about cold and flu safety.

Be Responsible: Find someone who can cover your shifts, or handle your workload while you’re out of the office. For example, if you have a scheduled client coming, make sure someone else is available to meet the client.

Be Proactive: Consult a doctor or physician to make sure your cold is nothing serious. You can also ask about what you can do in the future to prevent illnesses.

Be Creative: There are many ways you can continue to be productive, even when suffering from a cold. For example, you can bring work home with you to stay on top of deadlines, or take the time to rest up and plan your comeback.

Be Conscious: Understand your body and what it needs to recover. Sometimes you all you need is a lot of rest and fluids to feel 100% again. Pushing yourself even harder when you have a cold will just exhaust your body.

Read more about when you’re too sick to work here.

Be Careful: If you have to come in to work while sick, take steps to protect your coworkers and clients. Try to work in a private space, carry hand sanitizer, disinfect surfaces you come in contact with, and wash your hands often.

Last, but not least, always remember to take care of yourself. Even the brightest career in the world is difficult to enjoy with poor health.

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How to Hire and Retain Highly Engaged Employees

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Highly engaged employees are a valuable resource, since they also tend to be reliable and successful. Every company should try to stack its roster with such people, since successful employees make for a successful business. By attracting and retaining employees who are engaged and motivated, companies are more likely to secure a solid future for themselves as well as their employees. It’s a cycle that benefits all who are involved.

There are a lot of ways to increase your chances of hiring high-caliber, engaged employees. Once you’ve signed these kinds of employees, though, you must do your part to maintain that engagement. Engagement is a two way street. It requires your efforts as well as the employee’s, so that you can create a partnership together that is mutually beneficial. But getting there isn’t always an easy task. A 2014 Gallup study showed that less than 32% of the U.S. workforce was engaged, 51% were just plain not engaged, and 18% were considered to be actively disengaged. That’s three different ways of saying there are a bunch of people out there who are not engaged in their work.

Going Beyond HR

When it comes to attracting and retaining highly engaged employees, the retaining aspect is not only the responsibility of HR, but of the company as a whole. It could also be argued that highly engaged employees aren’t hired; they are made. While a candidate might show some characteristics that would imply a higher likelihood of engagement, it’s the company’s responsibility to go beyond that. A company that fosters a culture and environment that encourages and enables higher levels of engagement is going to keep these types of employees around. If it’s left only up to HR, a company may be able to attract these types of employees, but retaining them might be an entirely different story.


Throughout the recruitment process, there are specific questions you can ask and different ways to assess or evaluate candidates, in order to determine whether or not they are likely to be engaged individuals. Being conscious of these processes and proactively using such strategies will help get the ball rolling.


Motivation is going to look different at different points in the process. The motivation a candidate may show while trying to get a position might be very different from the motivation you see once he or she is hired. Unfortunately, for many, once the job is obtained, they are less motivated because they already have what they were going for. That is where incentives or recognition can play a big part in motivating employees as well as keeping them around.


Making sure that communication is efficient, accurate, and concise throughout the recruiting process, and also once an employee is hired. Not only does this show respect for individual employees, it’s a way to let them know exactly what is expected of them. On the front end, you need to be able to communicate job expectations and environmental factors. On the back end, you need to be able to work with an employee and make sure that everyone is consistently on the same page. When communication is effective, problems can often been dealt with before they become bigger problems, everyone stays happier, and employees feel respected. That goes a long way towards encouraging them to stay engaged for a long time.

Eric FriedmanEric Friedman, Author

Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of online skills testing for pre-employment assessment and benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they’re best at, and that they enjoy.

A company built on exceptional talent from Internet technology, test development, and iterative product development, eSkill leads as an independent assessment company helping HR departments with relevant and accurate job-based tests.

To learn more about Eric and eSkill, visit the company website at, or contact him on LinkedIn.

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Public Seminar: Basic and Advanced Balanced Scorecard

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The Balanced Scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. It is used to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals. Moreover, it transforms the organization’s strategic plan to action plans, linking and aligning organizational to individual action plans.

The Balanced Scorecard provides feedback around both the internal business processes and external outcomes in order to continuously improve strategic performance and results. Learn how to use this innovative system in your business at our Balanced Scorecard public workshop on April 28 to 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The training program is expected to have the following outcomes:

  1. Core Factors that give ‘life’ (success/peak moments) to the implementation of the performance management systems in the different organizations where the participants belong;
  2. Shared Best Practices in performance management of the different participants;
  3. Draft of the Balanced Scorecard developed by each participant for his/her own organization/division/department;
  4. Action Plans and Individual Commitments on how to develop, enhance and sustain the strategic and performance management system within the organization.

Course Outline

  • Define what a BSC is and identify its benefits
  • Discuss the ingredients of success in the BSC Management System
  • Describe the key elements of the BSC Process
  • Create a Vision Statement for the BSC
  • Understand what corporate values, mission and vision statements are and how they link to the BSC
  • Develop project, communications and training plans for BSC Implementation
  • Identify and define the perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard
  • Discuss and describe the performance objectives and measures
  • Understand the cause-and-effect linkages in the BSC
  • Develop strategy map and strategic initiatives
  • Set targets and prioritize initiatives
  • Understand organizational alignment and linkages of performance with other organizational systems

This course is recommended for executives, managers, planners and analysts who are part of a Balanced Scorecard development team, and are seeking the best practical ideas for improving organizational performance.

Register online here.

The course fee is P10,500 and includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning” (known to be the most effective method for adult learners), a specialized student manual, personalized certificate of participation, snacks and lunch.

About the Facilitator

Dr. Alzona holds a Master’s Degree in Statistics and Ph.D in Organizational Development. She is an accomplished Organizational Development professional with almost 20 years of experience in diverse workplace environments. She has varied experiences in organizational assessment, OD intervention design and implementation, learning and development and process/procedure design and development. Dr. Alzona has taken various Information Technology and OD Consultancy projects with several Consulting firms and has taught for ten years in the Graduate School of several universities and colleges in diverse topics of management and leadership. She is a frequent speaker at various seminars and workshops with topics on Leadership, Team Building, Organizational Assessment, Strategic Planning, Change Management and Appreciative Inquiry. She is a High-energy Trainer and Creative Facilitator, skilled in guiding learners through engaging breakthrough learning opportunities.

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Public Seminar: Critical Thinking – Competency and Action

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Critical Thinking

Join a Critical Thinking: Competency and Action seminar on April 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and learn how to clearly reason through problems and present arguments in logical, compelling ways.

In today’s society, many people experience information overload. We are bombarded with messages to believe various ideas, purchase things, support causes, and lead our lifestyle in a particular way. How do you know what to believe? How do you separate the truth from the myths? The answer lies in critical thinking skills, which have become key for survival in today’s world. This two-day workshop will give you some practical tools and hands-on experience with critical thinking and problem solving.

Participants will define critical and non-critical thinking, identify your critical thinking style(s), including areas of strength and improvement, describe other thinking styles, including left/right brain thinking and whole-brain thinking, work through the critical thinking process to build or analyze arguments, develop and evaluate explanations, improve key critical thinking skills, use analytical thought systems and creative thinking techniques and prepare and present powerful arguments.

This course is encouraged for professionals who want to enhance their thinking processes to achieve better results in business and individuals who desire to develop critical thinking and problem solving as a core competency.

Register for this course here.

Course Outline

  • Understanding critical thinking
  • Where do other types of thinking fit in? (including whole-brain and left and right brain)
  • Pitfalls to reasoned decision making
  • The critical thinking process
  • A critical thinker’s skill set
  • Creating explanations
  • Dealing with assumptions
  • Common sense
  • Critical and creative thought systems
  • Hands-on case studies

The course fee for this seminar is P8,500 and includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning” which is known to be the most effective method for adult learners, a specialized student workbook, a free eBook on Thinking Skills: Using Your Brain in the Information Age, a personalized certificate of participation, snacks and lunch, and a complimentary Profiles Critical Thinking, Logic, Comprehension and Perception Assessment (CTA). This assessment provides raw scores and percentile ranking for each of the areas measured.

Areas Covered by Your Free Assessment

  • Evaluative, analytic and inferential reasoning
  • Deductive and inductive reasoning
  • Logical reasoning
  • Reasoning and comprehension

Register online here.

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management and was a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities.

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Public Seminar: Emotional Intelligence Management in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence, also called EQ, is the ability to be aware of and to manage emotions and relationships. It’s a pivotal factor in personal and professional success. IQ will get you in the door, but it is your EQ, your ability to connect with others and manage the emotions of yourself and others, that will determine how successful you are in life. Our EQ course will be held on April 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We have all worked with and listened to brilliant people. Some of them were great and… well, some were not so great. The mean and the meek and all those in between can teach us more than they realize. When we look at the truly extraordinary people who inspire and make a difference you will see that they do this by connecting with people at a personal and emotional level. What differentiated them was not their IQ but their EQ – their emotional intelligence. This one-day workshop will help you develop your emotional intelligence.

Workshop participants will go over the meaning of emotional intelligence, recognize how emotional health and physical health are related and study techniques to understand, use, and appreciate EQ in the workplace. The class will also cover how to handle different emotions, understand the difference between optimism and pessimism, and validate emotions in others.

Course Outline

  • History of emotional intelligence
  • Emotional intelligence defined
  • EI blueprint
  • Optimism
  • Validating emotions in others
  • Understanding emotions
  • Setting your personal vision

The course fee is P4,500 and includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning” (known to be the most effective method for adult learners), a specialized student manual, snacks and lunch, a free eBook on Emotional Intelligence Secrets and a complimentary Emotional Stability EQ Profiler.

The EQ Profile assessment covers seven dimensions of interest to examine an individual’s emotional stability-instability. These include self-esteem, happiness, anxiety, obsessiveness, autonomy, hypochondriasis and guilt.

About the Facilitator

Dr. Caparas holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management namely “Psychological Assessment: Theory and Practice”, “Uses of Psychological Tests”, and “Human Resource Management” and was a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities.

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Public Seminar: Personal Financial Management

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Personal Finance

Learn how to set personal financial goals at a financial management public seminar. These two 4-hr workshops on April 18 and 25 will help participants understand the economic market today and outlook for 2015, have readily available Financial instruments for beginners, and match financial goals with the right financial product. The workshop will last from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.each day.

Course Outline

  • Setting Financial goals
  • Philippine Market Overview and outlook for the rest of 2015
  • Deciding on a Personal Budget
    – Setting up a cash fund
    – determining the cash fund to set aside before they start investing
    – cashflow mangement
  • Cost of money
    – managing debt – credit cards, loans, using loan sharks
    – when is it okay to borrow money?
    – time value of money
  • Easiest financial instruments to understand
    -short term – TD, money market instruments
    -medium term – stock market , IPO’s, mutual funds; fund riders
    -long term – real estate, bonds, commodities, mutual funds, trust funds, capital market instruments
    – advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Obtaining financial freedom
    – making your money work for you as opposed to working for money

The course fee is P3,500 and includes instruction by an expert facilitator, specialized student workbook and course materials, personalized certificate of completion and a free eBook on Strategic Financial Management Part 1 and 2.

About the Facilitator

Ms. Victoria Estacio holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the Ateneo de Manila University. She earned a Certificate of Authority for Insurance Commission, and is a Registered Financial Planner. She has worked in the field of Sales and Marketing and Operations in the following roles: Assistant Vice President of Sales and Marketing Department with Philam Life, Manager, Bancassurance with Grepalife, Senior Sales Manager with Yapster, and Unit Head of Front End Acquisitions with Citibank, N.A. Ms. Estacio is a recipient of various awards including the Philam Life Annual Fast Start award for both Credit and Group Life (an award that has never been given to Group Life), and the “Exceptional Performance Award” from Ciribank N.A. for participation in the credit card launch in Guam, USA. She also conducts personal financial coaching and training, and has received numerous trainings on strategic management, financial planning, and sales.

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