Category Archives: May 2015

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4 Ways to Make HR More Approachable

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One of the critical roles of HR teams is to settle disputes and worries in the company, which they can’t do if no one is willing to use them as mediators. When your employees know they can turn to the HR department with problems that need to be solved, they will enlist professional help instead of trying to fix big disputes themselves. This could avoid major fallouts and extended arguments that affect employee productivity. Here are four ways that you can make HR more approachable and trustworthy.

1. Be Efficient and Effective

No one wants to turn to an HR department that can’t get anything done. For example, if HR is known to take months to fix a minor issue, whenever an issue of any size appears employees will be inclined to try and fix it themselves, sometimes causing bigger issues. However, if HR is known to be discreet and effective, employees will know the HR teams are competent and resourceful. By making sure HR is consistently efficient, employees will be encouraged to trust them with important problems and issues.

2. Be Available

Employees won’t approach an HR department that is hidden away, or who treats complaints as nuisances. Being available means being available both physically (in the office) and mentally (in your attitude while addressing concerns) to solve problems and gain results. For example, you could have an office directory where employees can easily find the office phone numbers of HR team members. The directory could also list the specialties and responsibilities so employees will know exactly who to call with their particular concerns.

3. Be Knowledgeable

Being knowledgeable does more than just make HR more approachable, it also ensure problems are handled expertly and accurately. In addition to demonstrating knowledge gained through education and experience, which will earn trust and faith with employees, your HR teams must understand rules and regulations when it comes to compliance. For example, when working through a workplace harassment complaint, HR should be trusted to handle confidentiality and proper protocol. Being knowledgeable also ensures trust in their decisions and recommendations for next steps.

4. Use Multiple Forms of Communication

Just like your customers are available on different platforms (social media, website, in-person, calls), so are your employees. Some of your employees may prefer to speak to HR in person, others might prefer emails or even SMS. The key to making HR more approachable is to allow employees to speak on their terms. First, provide multiple ways an employee can contact HR with a concern, and then be just as responsive and helpful in each communication channel.

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Public Seminar: Strategic Planning

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Business success

If you and the people who work with you don’t understand where the company is going, they may all develop their own priorities and actually prevent you from getting where you need to be. Part of getting everyone on board is creating a strategic plan complete with the organization’s values, vision, and mission. Then, there’s the challenge of bringing these principles to life in a meaningful way that people can relate to.

Strategic Planning is a two-day course that will help you determine direction and how to get your organization and talent where you want to go. The workshop will be held June 16 to 17 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the OMM Citra building along San Miguel Avenue. Click here for more details.

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Participants will be able to identify the values that support their company, define their company vision, write a mission statement, complete a meaningful SWOT analysis, and use tools such as a strategy map and balanced scorecard to develop strategic plans. The course will also cover how to implement, evaluate and review a strategic plan.

Course Outline

  • Understanding strategic planning
  • Identifying our values
  • Designing our vision
  • Writing mission statements
  • Performing a SWOT analysis
  • Setting goals
  • Assigning roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities
  • Gathering support
  • Making the change
  • Presentation options (infographics, reports, etc.)
  • Getting there successfully
  • Plenty of case studies and practice opportunities

The course fee is P8,500 plus VAT and includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops, a specialized student workbook, snacks and lunch, a personalized certificate of participation and a complementary eBook on Thinking Strategically and Strategic Management.

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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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How to Map the Employee Journey

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Happy employees

Mapping the employee journey is difficult, but will provide valuable insight to your business models, brand and overall company effectiveness. You gain knowledge about strengths and weaknesses that may have been completely overlooked, including information that could increase employee retention and drive sales. When you map the employee journey, you are taking an inside look at your organization from a completely new perspective. You are looking at a company, not as a manager, a leader, or a customer, but as an employee who is crucial to the team.

Companies must never forget that their internal audiences, such as employees, are audiences nonetheless, and their journey is important. In order to get the experience right from day one, be sure to map the employee journey from the first day to their full induction into the company.

Finally, employees are a crucial player in customer service and satisfaction, so it’s important to make sure their journey is satisfactory as well. Below are a few tips on how to map the employee journey and some questions to ask along the way.

First Impressions

First impressions of your company begin far before the interview process. Your job candidate may have heard of you at a party, or from one of your current employees. He or she could have seen your company at a job fair, use your product or service as a customer, or know your brand from an advertisement.

After their initial impression, it’s likely your candidates did some research on your company before deciding to apply. They may have visited your website, checked out your social media profiles, looked up reviews or reached out to a current employee. Consider what the impressions of working for your company were from their research.

  • Does your website have a “careers” section? Is it easy to navigate?
  • Is your application process simple? Or do candidates have to fill out tedious forms that take more than 30 minutes? (Tip: Consider allowing candidates to apply with their LinkedIn profiles to make the process easier.)
  • Do your online profiles and presence let people know what it’s like to work with your company? Are current employees approachable for questions?
  • If you are using a recruiter to handle your application process, does that company understand your company culture and values? Do they convey it effectively to the job applicants?

Onboarding Process

Onboarding consists of the application process a candidate has to go through. Take a good look at each step of this journey as if you were the candidate. Although they may have researched your company, this is the first time they will be interacting directly (unless they reached out to a current employee for an informational interview). How they are treated as job applicants gives insight into how they will be treated as employees.

  • How quickly are job applications acknowledged? Do candidates have to sit and wait around for a response, or are their submissions confirmed immediately?
  • Are they given assessments that effectively and efficiently test the skills they need to be proficient in to do the job? Or are they being given standardized tests that generalize all applicants, whether they are applying for a position in HR or marketing?
  • Are interviews scheduled efficiently, or haphazardly?
  • Is the candidate treated as an intelligent individual? Or just another expendable candidate in a sea of job applicants?
  • Are they treated well by your HR representatives? Are the interview questions appropriate and insightful? Or are your representatives unfriendly with invasive questions?
  • Do your employees dress and behave appropriately and respectably? Will job candidates see anything improper as they are being interviewed, such as employees who are smoking inside or slacking off?
  • Are candidates shown a complete picture of what their job and responsibilities will be like?
  • Once you’ve decided on a job candidate, do you inform him or her right away? Or make them wait in anticipation? Do you send an email or make a phone call to congratulate them?


As a new hire integrates into the company, he or she needs to learn handle responsibilities while working with the company culture. Employees who integrate into both the company and their position successfully are more likely to provide a better customer experience to the clients they interact with, be happier with their jobs and work harder and more productively than a disengaged employee.

  • Do your employees have a clear picture of what is expected of them in their jobs?
  • Does your new hire have the proper guidance and mentorship needed to acclimate to his or her position?
  • Does the organization show an investment in employees with things such as company outings, occasional celebrations, results-based rewards, free employee parking or other things?


New jobs may be exciting for a while, but there comes a point where your employees plateau and feel they have learned all they can in their positions. This is where succession planning and employee growth and development come in.

  • Does your company provide regular growth and development opportunities that are relevant to your employees’ positions?
  • When positions in senior management open up, do you hire from within the company? Or do you always bring in outsiders?
  • Do managers discuss growth opportunities with employees, or are employees left to believe the position they are in now is their only opportunity with the company?


There are times when things just don’t work out, and for one reason or another an employee leaves or is asked to leave a company. When this happens, it should still be seen as an opportunity to find out how to do better next time. When you map the employee journey, you should be thorough in order to continue to improve your employee experience.

  • Do you conduct exit interviews to find out why the employee is leaving? Was it a bad fit from the beginning or did something go wrong along the employee journey? If so, what particular step?
  • Does your company allow him or her to leave graciously, or do you have a security guard escort him or her out the door?
  • Does your company provide a severance package, especially for employees who have stayed the longest?
  • Are employees treated respectfully once it’s known they will leave the company, or do their coworkers and managers treat them disdainfully?

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Building an Effective Talent Management Strategy

Bricks - talent management strategy

Businesses have overarching strategies to drive growth and marketing teams develop campaigns that implement strategies and tactics to get results. Likewise, HR should have a talent management strategy on hand to make sure they keep their top talent and attract even more to the company. Below are a few actionable tips that can help your company hire the right people, increase retention, attract ideal candidates and improve employee satisfaction.

  • Write out clear job descriptions. This will help both internal employees and job candidates understand exactly what skills and abilities are needed for the role. List out qualifications, experience and responsibilities.
  • Provide an effective onboarding program to help new employees to acclimate and learn the ropes. This program can also ensure the employee is a good fit for the company culture.
  • Identify high potential talent by assessing who has superior talent and ideal company fit with the culture. This will help with succession planning and ensuring the company’s leaders are a good fit.
  • Standardize your review and feedback process, then stick to it. Don’t give one employee an in-person review and another an email review. It causes confusion and could demonstrate favoritism. Likewise, employees in similar positions should be reviewed on similar terms. Don’t hold one employee up to a much higher standard.
  • Negotiate and define all job requirements, such as desired outcomes, results measurement, and performance standards. Then, make sure you keep track of whether employees meet these requirements.
  • Instate a performance-based learning and development plan. This way, you continue to offer employees training and a way to further their skills while making sure the company sees the results.
  • Provide ongoing training and development opportunities that are beneficial for both the employee’s professional development and the company’s needs.
  • Make sure your talent management strategy has support from top management. Having them see the benefits of the plan will make it easier to push through with specific tactics with minimal resistance when the time comes.
  • Increase visibility of talent management initiatives so that both internal and external audiences can see the effort and investment the organization puts into employees.
  • Design recognition systems that reward employees for positive contributions. Learn more about why praise is an effective motivator here.
  • Hold exit interviews to learn why employees decide to leave the organization. This way you understand what is driving talent away, and improve from there.
  • Conduct regular and consistent performance reviews and development planning that focuses on employee’s career development. Help employees see they have a future with the organization by showing potential for growth and internal promotions.
  • Provide sufficient and effective compensation packages. The bottom line for employees is they work to make a living, so companies must pay top talent at least a comfortable living wage. Many companies pay above market for talented employees.

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Public Seminar: Dealing with Change and Change Management

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Change Management

Join our Change Management seminar and learn how to handle change in business. This workshop will be held June 4 to 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the OMM Citra Building on San Miguel Avenue. It’s ideal for managers and business professionals who want to understand the dynamics of change and equip themselves to analyze the factors at play in their own particular circumstances. Participants will learn how to adopt practical strategies to deal with resistance.

Managers traditionally have had the task of contributing to the effectiveness of their organization while maintaining high morale. Today, these roles often have to be balanced off with the reality of implementing changes imposed by senior management. This one-day workshop will help you deal with change and will give you strategies to bring back to your employees.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to see change as a positive element, identify the stages of change and develop strategies for dealing with and accepting changes in an organization.

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Course Outline

  • The change process
  • The human response to change
  • The pace of change and the pace at which people adopt change
  • The pyramid response to change
  • Resisting and welcoming change
  • The Four-Room Apartment of change and how to use it
  • How to increase your resiliency to change
  • Managing anger
  • Dealing with stress
  • An action plan for success

The course fee is P8,500 + VAT, and includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning,” a specialized student manual, a free eBook on Change Management, a personalized certificate of participation, snacks and lunch. You will also receive a complimentary ProfilesXT Assessment.

The ProfilesXT Assessment is a multi-purpose, total person employee assessment used for pre-employment screening, selection, development, training, managing, and succession planning. This employee assessment measures how well an individual fits specific jobs in your organization, and the results can be used during the training or succession planning stages. PROFILEXT is customizable, and peak job performance models can be developed by company, position, manager or geography.

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About the Facilitator

Dr. Rosario Alzona holds a Master’s Degree in Statistics and Ph.D in Organization Development. She is an accomplished Organization 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.

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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Imrpove Employee Engagement: 7 Reasons Your Employees are Disengaged

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Disengaged employee

Employee engagement is a hot topic in HR, and for good reason. Studies show that engaged employees are more productive, happier with their jobs and more loyal to their companies, which leads to better service and sales. That being said, company leaders must be aware of any reason employees may be disengaged. Make it a priority to stamp out these 7 reasons employees are disengaged in your company.

They don’t respect their colleagues or feel respected

A lack of respect damages relationships. It could be a lack of respect for coworkers, managers, or for employees in general. This can happen when an employee doesn’t see the people they work with as competent. This issue needs to be addressed immediately with good communication in order to get to the root of the problem. For example, if employees don’t respect their manager, they won’t listen to instructions and will end up making mistakes or wasting company time. To remedy this, first find out why they don’t respect their manager and work from there.

They don’t understand your mission, vision and values

When employees are given orders to follow mindlessly, it creates mistrust. Encourage employee engagement by helping them see the overarching goals of the company, and how their jobs and responsibilities contribute to bringing those goals to fruition.

They aren’t appreciated

Employees who feel unappreciated are more likely to do the bare minimum at work just to get by. They may feel that no one notices their efforts, or that their job doesn’t really matter. Remedy this issue by using praise and encouragement when an employee does something right. This not only teaches employees the employee and his or her colleagues the high standards you are looking for from them, but that you notice when they do something well.

Read more about the power of positivity for employee engagement.

They don’t get along with their peers

Good workplace relationships can make a job more enjoyable, more collaborative and more fun. On the other hand, if your employees don’t get along well with each other they may focus on their negative feelings towards coworkers rather than concentrate on doing their jobs. Bad coworker relationships cause low employee engagement simply because the office will become a place they don’t want to be. If an employee associates a job with a group of people he or she doesn’t like being around, then the job itself will eventually become associated with an undesirable culture.

They lack work/life balance

Do your employees often have to work overtime, or stay at the office late? Do they end up missing family gatherings, important moments in their child’s lives, or parties with their friends? Requiring too much of a commitment at the office could cause employee disengagement because they see that the company doesn’t value their personal lives. Fix this source of disengagement by respecting your employees’ time and personal obligations. For example, don’t make an employee stay late at work after a busy day in order to finish up menial tasks that can be done later.

They don’t feel their potential is being fully utilized

When employees feel that they’re “stuck” in a dead-end job with no growth, development, or room for advancement, they are more likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs. Tap into their skills and use employee training and development in order to show the company’s investment in employees. Consider hiring for open positions from within the company, and allow current employees to apply for positions they like and feel is a step up. Finally,

They don’t match their position or the company

There was a mismatch in job fit that slipped by and now you may have an employee who isn’t necessarily a good candidate for the company or current position. It’s not likely that this is an engaged employee because he or she doesn’t have the skills, personality and behaviors needed to do the job well.

This is easily avoidable with the use of employee assessments in the recruitment process. Make job matching easy and efficient for both the company and job applicants. Utilizing assessments as part of your hiring process helps companies hire the right person the first time, instead of having to deal with unhappy employees who aren’t the best fit for their jobs.

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Create a Valuable OJT Program

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Having an on-the-job training (OJT) program is a mutually beneficial way for future young professionals to learn real-life skills and for companies to gain fresh new talent and find high-potential employees. Internships are meant to be educational for both parties; the company and the interns, so it’s important to focus on ways to add value in your OJT program.

How an OJT Program Benefits Companies

  • Companies can learn a lot from interns; pick their brains about industry trends, listen to their views on current events in their field, and watch how they apply what they’ve learned in their classes to your business. For example, a college student could have more knowledge about recent technology. Picture a senior manager who hasn’t had any experience with social media versus a college student who understands how to set up a company Facebook page.
  • When you establish a popular OJT program, your company can attract top job applicants instead of having to search for them. Developing an educational, beneficial internship can attract your future top employees, and the OJT period gives you time to discover their work habits, skills, and how they fit into the company culture.
  • Interns bring fresh ideas and could help solve long-standing problems with a new perspective. If you’re stuck on something at work, try having your intern take a look at it. You might be surprised.

Creating a Successful, Educational OJT Program

Creating and structuring an OJT program takes plenty of dedication and attention to detail. In order to meet all the regulations of an OJT program and to ensure benefit on both sides, a program coordinator must plan out every step of the program. Below are a few tips to help you in planning a successful OJT program for your company.

  • Have a few clear and tangible goals of what an intern should accomplish by the end of his or her OJT. These goals could be as simple as “write three press releases” or as vast as “design a year-long marketing campaign.”
  • Select your ideal interns from a large pool of applicants by utilizing a proven screening process to ensure they are a good fit for their responsibilities and your company.
  • Make sure your intern isn’t exclusively doing clerical tasks day-to-day. Your OJT program should not consist mostly of filing papers, inputting data, or other meaningless repetitive tasks.
  • Design the internship as if you were training a future employee to handle an important role in your company.
  • Your interns should not replace regular employees, but instead should work with your experienced staff members to learn from them.
  • Design the program so interns experience multiple sides of your company. One week could be spend learning about HR, then marketing, then operations, and so on.

What do you think is the most important part of an OJT program?

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