Category Archives: October 2016

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3 Reasons to Start Your Day Earlier

Getting up early may be tough, but there are plenty of benefits that come with it. If you can train yourself to start your day earlier, you’ll give yourself enough time to get a head start on the day, eat breakfast, do some exercise, and even get some high-level work done before the hustle and bustle of the day.


For all of us who are part of the workforce, getting up earlier means you can start work before the office fills up. These quiet moments before everyone else gets in can provide much needed time to get some uninterrupted high-level work done.

Early on in the day, you have more decision-making power than later in the afternoon and evening, so it’s an excellent time to make important choices and strategize for the day ahead. Your productivity is also typically higher before 3 p.m., as it goes through cycles throughout the day. Getting an early start will give you more time to capitalize on this peak in performance.


Waking up early has shown to be good for your health, from a higher quality of sleep to being more optimistic.

When you wake up early, you have more time to eat a good breakfast and do a bit of exercise. Both of these morning activities contribute to your overall well-being and how you set the tone for the rest of the day. You even have time to meditate, do some yoga, and watch the sunrise.

Less traffic

Waking up early can also help you beat the traffic on your morning commute, which is especially helpful in the congested streets of Manila. When you start your day earlier, you run into less traffic, can get to work more quickly, and start work sooner. A win-win situation. If you’d like to make it a regular thing, ask your employer if you can shift schedules so your workday begins earlier.

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Public Seminar: Coaching and Mentoring

Being a coach means filling multiple roles for someone. You need to be a supporter, guide, mentor, role model, and more. Coaching is based on a partnership that involves giving both support and challenging opportunities to employees. Mentorship is a related skill that is often a part of coaching. It’s about being a guide, offering wisdom and advice when it is needed. Knowing how and when to coach (and when to use other tools, like mentoring) is an essential skill that can benefit both you and your organization.

Learn more or register here

From November 17 to 18, we will be having our Coaching and Mentoring workshop. Participants will learn how coaching can develop a team, the behaviors and practices of an effective coach, and how to help improve individual performance. The workshop will also go over recognizing strengths and giving feedback, as well as identifying problems and ways to correct them.

Coaching and Mentorship: Course Outline

  • Defining coaching and mentoring
  • Coaching assessment review
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Critical coaching skills
  • Setting goals with SPIRIT
  • Learning styles and principles
  • The benefits/consequences matrix
  • Skills involved in coaching
  • The coaching model
  • Giving effective feedback
  • Coaching problems and solutions

Learn more or register here

For an investment of P8,500 plus VAT, you’ll get a specialized student workbook and materials, a personalized certificate, and instruction from an expert facilitator. Snacks and lunch are included.

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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What to do before bootstrapping a business

Running a business is difficult and costly, especially if you plan on bootstrapping. Here are some ways you can prepare for the leap.

Save at least 6 months of your living expenses

As exciting as the thought of jumping right in is, it may take a while before your bootstrapped business can start to pay you a living wage. Unless you have some funds stashed away or someone who is willing to support you as you grow a business, you’ll want to have enough in the bank to support yourself for at least 6 months. Some of that money may need to go into supporting the business as well.

Build your network of peers and mentors

Mentors are invaluable when bootstrapping a business, because you can tap them for advice on how to avoid costly mistakes. You’ll gain valuable insight on your own business from a more experienced professional’s perspective, and with a vast network of peers you’ll be able to get some outside help on board when the business is ready for it.

Have the right founder mix

Sometimes single-founder startups make it big, but usually it’s better when the founding team has a good mix of necessary skills. For example, if you’re building a software-as-a-service business, you’ll want a technical founder (who understands development and how to build the software), and a marketing and operations founder. Getting a healthy mix of skills and specialties ensures your business is well-balanced, even before you start hiring.

Take the leap and start bootstrapping

Finally, once you’ve prepared, the most important thing is to take the leap. Don’t focus so much on trying to get everything set up perfectly that you forget to start your business.

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Sample Benefits Packages for Startups

It’s important for every business to attract good talent, but it’s especially vital for startups. The people they hire initially will help to shape the direction, foundation, and culture of the entire company. In order to attract and retain top talent, you’ll need to provide the right incentive. You can use these sample benefits packages for startups to guide how you want to structure your team’s benefits.

The basics

  • A living wage, if you cannot afford a high salary
  • HR staff to handle their benefits and ensure timely delivery of pay
  • Medical insurance with vision and dental
  • Paid time off (more on this later)

Something extra

  • Healthy snacks and food
  • A savings plan
  • Home set-up (laptops, Internet connection, ergonomic hardware)
  • Gym membership
  • Company outings or trips
  • Transportation benefits (parking space, public transportation pass)
  • On-site daycare for pets and children
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Discounts with local businesses

There are many company benefits you can offer your startup employees that don’t include a raise in salary. According to a thread in Quora, startups are getting creative with mixing and matching their benefits.

Sample 1 – Wishpond

  • Free food
  • Panda onesies
  • $1000 annual learning budget
  • Monthly group activities
  • Stock options
  • Beer Fridays
  • Games

Sample 2 – The Content Factory (remote)

  • Work from home
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Cell phones
  • Company trips

Sample 3 – Ribbon

  • Flexible hours
  • Equity + competitive salary
  • Ping pong and foosball
  • Health, dental, and vision
  • Gym membership

Sample 4 – 72, Leocraft

  • Open vacation policy
  • Learning and growth support
  • Flexible hours
  • Breakfast
  • Insurance
  • Pet-friendly workspace
  • Onsite massages
  • Recreational facitlities

Do any of these benefits match what your startup can offer? Let us know in the comments below!

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Change Management: How to thrive in uncertainty

Organizations are constantly evolving to stay relevant in the modern world. Sometimes, pivots are necessary, and the entire company’s structure, vision, and mission changes. Change management discusses how to thrive in uncertainty, how to handle changes in an organization, and how to succeed with an evolving professional life.

Organizations need to change due to economic conditions, shifts in strategy, for the purpose of growth, due to technological advances, and many more valid reasons. Change is not the enemy, but usually the savior of a company. When a company shifts focus to survive, change is not only necessary, it’s beneficial. Many common household names are nothing like what they were 10 years ago. For example, The Washington Post reports that YouTube began as a dating site, Groupon was a fundraising site for social causes, and Nintendo manufactured playing cards.

Below are a few principles of change management, to help leaders ensure that the organization’s goals are still at the center of change, and the company’s employees remain successful in the face of challenges.

Start with the top-level of leadership and work your way down. This way, managers understand the shift and can introduce the change to their respective teams. There is more order, and your regular employees will have more knowledgeable resources to turn to if they have any questions, since all the management levels will be caught up.

Explain why things are changing. Back up your claims with data, history, and case studies. Your team should understand why the shift is happening, and it should make sense to them in order to get everyone fully on-board. If you have compelling data in your annual revenues, share them. If your competitors are all making the shift because the market is crashing, share the numbers.

Keep employees accountable. Let them know what their responsibilities are in the face of change, and what they are expected to handle. This provides some clarity and direction in the face of shifting landscapes.

Keep lines of communication open. Your team needs to understand that they can come to management with questions and for any issues they’re facing. It’s in the best interest of the entire company to keep everything running smoothly during the time of change, and open lines of communication will help highlight any problems.

To learn more about change management, keep an eye on our public seminars page, where we announce learning and development opportunities open to the public. We often have one on Change Management, which is one of our most popular.

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Crossing Borders for Team Synergy: Cultural Diversity

This special two day course on Cultural Diversity from October 26 to 27 is great for HR professionals, consultants, and anyone who is part of a diverse workforce. Learn to understand what culture is and how it came to be. This program is also intended to have a better appreciation of the different cultures and to us it as leverage for synergy.

Register Now

Course Outline

  • Understanding Culture
  • Growth of Culture
  • Culture in the workplace
  • Cultural diversity and its impact
  • Do’s and Don’ts
  • How do you create Synergy even with cultural diversity

For an investment of P12,500 plus tax, you’ll get instruction by an expert facilitator, a specialized student manual, snacks and lunch, and a personalized certificate of participation. The course will be held with small group workshops that provide “active learning,” which is known to be the most effective method for adult learners.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Ruby Mañalac is a seasoned Sales, Marketing and HR OD practitioner. She is a graduate of Bachelor in Arts , Majoring in Communication Arts at the University of Sto. Tomas. Holding several positions in Sales and Marketing, she has worked her way up the ranks to becoming Marketing Director for Profiles Asia Pacific.

While holding this position, she prepared a business plan, her brain child, People Dynamics, Inc. an affiliate of Profiles Asia Pacific, to showcase the power of assessments in the different facets of HR OD activities such as recruitment, executive search and more notably, training.Developing a passion for HR OD, she went on to finish a PMAP course, Certificate in Human Resource Planning and Acquisition.She also engaged herself in several training programs here and abroad to hone her skills both as a trainor and developer of modules. She believes that learning and development is a never ending process.She has earned several global awards and recognition in the realm of Sales, Recruitment and Training in particular in the USA.

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Social media checkup: Are you keeping an eye out for top talent online?

If you’re looking for talent, especially for the marketing department, you should be looking on social media. Professionals who have well-curated, interesting social media accounts show that they know what good content is, they can network, and they have a good command of the English language.

Make sure to keep an eye out for top talent online by doing the following;

  • Set up alerts for key words and phrases mentioned in social posts. These will be the terms that related to your industry, and will identify which will point you to profiles that discuss products/services like yours. You can set up these alerts with tools such as Google Alerts or
  • Send out questions and other engaging posts on your profiles to see who interacts with you. These users are most likely already following your profiles and interested in your business.
  • Tap into your current team’s social networks. Ask your top performers if they would be willing to send out some of your job openings, since it’s likely they will have fellow professionals in their circles.
  • Get on LinkedIn. Use it to scout proactively for good candidates who may match your openings, or to have people come to you. Add a note that you’re hiring in your profile so people can find your careers page with one click.

What are your tips for finding top talent online? Do you have any success stories about it? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Public Seminar: Strategic Planning

Join us October 18 to 19 as we host a two-day workshop on Strategic Planning.

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. This two-day course will help you describe what you want to do and get people where you want to go.

Register Now

Participants will learn how to identify the values that support their company, define vision and mission, write a mission statement, and create a SWOT analysis. We will also go over tools and techniques to create a strategic plan that directs the organization from the executive to the front line.

Learn how to to implement, evaluate, and review a strategic plan, and which tools can be most useful to your goals.

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

An investment of P8,500 plus VAT includes instruction by an expert facilitator, specialized student workbook and course materials, a personalized certificate of completion, snacks and lunch.

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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