Philippines’ Top HR Blog

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How to plan employee growth trajectory

Opportunities for growth in a job are almost equally important as salary to employees, according to a Walters People survey. That means if you want to keep your best employees, you need to provide them with an employee growth trajectory that utilizes their skills and talents, and continues to challenge them.

If you want to attract and retain top talent, you have to invest in employee development. – Chad Halvorson

Luckily, Google’s Re:Work has put together a list of questions to go over with your best performers, in order to help you plan that growth trajectory based on input from your employees and company opportunities.

This guide will help managers have structured career conversations with their team members as they find out what an employee wants from the role, where they are now, and how to bridge that gap.

Get the employee growth trajectory tool here (as a PDF or shared Google Doc).

Below is a list of the questions from the tool, broken down into 4 sections; goals, reality, options, and execution (will). Run through these questions with your team members to get a clear, honest picture about where your team members want to be.

Goal: What do you want? Establish what the team member really wants to achieve with their career.

  • Where do you see yourself in one, five, and ten years?
  • If money or your current skills weren’t an issue, what would be your dream role?
  • What are your interests, values, and motivations?

Reality: What’s happening now? Establish the team member’s understanding of their current role and skills.

  • What are the most rewarding or frustrating aspects of your current role?
  • Do you feel challenged or stretched in your current role? What would make it more challenging? What isn’t challenging you?
  • What feedback have you received from other people on your strengths and weaknesses?

Options: What could you do? Generate multiple options for closing the gap from goal to reality.

  • What can you do right now to further develop skills that would be useful in reaching that goal we talked about earlier?
  • What stretch assignments, big projects, or experiences could you pursue?
  • What networking or mentorship options are there?

Will: What will you do? Identify achievable steps to move from reality to goal.

  • What will you do? By when?
  • What resources would be useful? What skills will help you get there?
  • What advocacy would help? How can I or our team leader provide more support towards your development?

How have you planned employee growth in your company? What questions were most valuable to go over? Share in the comments below.


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How to give insightful manager feedback in your company

Managers are used to giving feedback to better their teams, but the best managers also know how to receive feedback to improve themselves. Your managers need regular feedback as much as their teams to ensure the business runs smoothly.

However, some team members understandably find it difficult to rate their managers. Luckily, Google’s Re:Work provides a research for manager feedback and asks all the important questions your managers need to know.

Find the manager feedback tool here.

This tool will help your managers’ teams give them honest, insightful feedback so that they can analyze their roles better and improve where needed. It asks questions regarding micromanagement, how well a manager gives feedback, prioritization, team consideration, communications, and more.

Questions for manager feedback

Here is a list of the full questions from the survey, which you are welcome to edit and customize for your own team.

  • My manager gives me actionable feedback that helps me improve my performance.
  • My manager does not “micromanage” (i.e., get involved in details that should be handled at other levels).
  • My manager shows consideration for me as a person.
  • The actions of my manager show that he/she values the perspective I bring to the team, even if it is different from his/her own.
  • My manager keeps the team focused on our priority results/deliverables.
  • My manager regularly shares relevant information from his/her manager and senior leaders.
  • My manager has had a meaningful discussion with me about career development in the past six months.
  • My manager communicates clear goals for our team.
  • My manager has the technical expertise required to effectively manage me.
  • I would recommend my manager to others.
  • I am satisfied with my manager’s overall performance as a manager.
  • What would you recommend your manager keep doing?
  • What would you have your manager change?

Have you implemented this at your business? Share the results with us in the comments below!


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Value of Professional Communications

It should go without saying that we must act respectably in all aspects of our professional lives, from the way we interact with colleagues to the way we portray ourselves on social media. Maintaining a respectable tone and presence will avoid damaging connections, offending anyone, and seeming unprofessional.

Tips for professional responses

Move the conversation to a different platform, when needed. If someone reaches out to you on social media, where your responses need to be kept short and sweet, ask to move the conversation to email instead. This will allow you to craft a more personalized, private, professional message.

Learn about who you’re talking to. Knowing about the background of whoever you’re talking to will help you frame where they’re coming from, their POV, and how to best approach them. Learning their motivations will also help you focus on the topics that are most important to them.

Verify and clarify. Make sure whomever you’re speaking to understands you, and if not, clarify to avoid any miscommunication.

Recap in writing. If you have a verbal discussion, always follow-up in an email and summarize what you discussed, action points moving forward, and ask if you missed anything. This will help get everything recorded for future reference, as well as align understanding of a situation.

Keep your tone respectful but authoritative. While you should always be respectful in your professional communications, you don’t always have to be apologetic. Understand how to stand your ground when necessary, and recognize when it’s time to politely contradict someone.

What to do if someone doesn’t respond professionally

Sometimes you end up in a conversation with someone who doesn’t act as professionally as s/he should. If this happens to you and find yourself on the receiving end of insults, assumptions, or general ill-will, here’s what you can try.

If this person is acting poorly due to a misunderstanding, clarify or correct them. For example, if you’re an account manager and a client gets angry because they’ve misunderstood scope, politely bring up the original agreement and clarify.

Explain the situation from your point of view. If you continue to address someone politely and respectably, it’s possible they may change their tone or back away from their anger. Giving them your POV also helps them to empathize.

If you have the option, cease contact. If someone continues to be angry and act poorly, it’s probably that maintaining a relationship isn’t worth the stress or headache. In the event you have the option to simply stop responding, do so. If they become aggressive or antagonistic after that, you can block them (if it’s online) or state that you would prefer to avoid getting into a fight, and then walk away (if it’s in person).

Most importantly, maintain your cool. Avoid swearing at them, getting angry, saying hurtful things, or making unnecessary/rude remarks. In the end, you’re protecting your image as well. How you react to someone who is acting poorly will reflect on you. Even if you share the story with others, try to keep the party involved anonymous to maintain professionalism.

What are your tips on maintaining professional communications?


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3 Hiring Questions to Gauge Culture Fit

Sometimes, interviews are unnecessarily long. To ensure you don’t waste your time (as well as your candidates’) try to narrow down your hiring questions to allow for more discussion versus a bullet list of Q&A. Here are 3 simple hiring questions that will go a long way to helping you gauge culture fit.

Why did you decide to become a [position]?

This cuts to the core of their motivations. Your candidates’ answers to this question will give you insight into what drives them, and whether they will fit in with your high-achieving team. Does your company need someone who is driven by their peers, or a self-starter? Do you want someone who loves their role and learning new skills related to their job, or someone who values stability and monetary rewards?

Learning why a marketer got into marketing, or why a manager got into management can also show you how they’ll interact with their colleagues and position. If someone became a digital marketer because s/he enjoys writing, it indicates high-quality writing skills. If someone applying to a leadership position enjoys that role because s/he values organization and teamwork, it’s a good sign that the candidate will fit in with and optimize a collaborative team.

Why do you want to work with our company?

This question provides insight into what the candidate knows about your brand and company in particular. You want to hire people who want to work with your brand versus simply earning a paycheck. If they’re well-researched and understand your company culture, brand vision, and overall mission, it’s a good sign they’ll do well with your company.

Look for answers that demonstrate why they want to work with [your brand], not just why they want to work.

What’s your ideal work environment?

This is a more general question that will give you insight into how your candidate prefers to work (alone, surrounded by mentors, something else?) and whether they’ll be a good fit with the working environment you can provide. Some things they may mention include working hours, equipment, availability of mentors, company hierarchy, and project management tools. Take note of how many of their “ideals” align with the work environment your teams already thrive on.

These three questions are by no means an exhaustive list of everything you should ask to gauge culture fit. However, they provide a good starting place if you’re in the early hiring stages or only have time to ask a few questions per candidate.


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Public Seminar: Filipino Values Going Global

Join us on July 20, 2017 from 1 to 5 p.m. for a public seminar on Filipino Values Towards the Culture of Service Excellence. Filipino values are endemic to us as individuals, and as a nation. How do these fare in the global environment?

Course Outline

  • Pinoy Ako
  • Where are we now?
  • SIKAT ITO
  • What is culture?
  • Filipino values towards the culture of service excellence (Filipino Values Going Global)

This workshop costs an investment of P1099.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Ruby Mañalac is at present working for PROFILES ASIA PACIFIC/PEOPLE DYNAMICS, INC. as Director for the development of a distributor network for GENOS, a new Emotional Intelligence assessment introduced last November. Previously she occupied the position of Director for Operations and Marketing. She has been with Profiles on and off since 1999. She has worked with various other organizations mostly in the field of Sales, Marketing, Communications, and Training holding positions with Arc Docendi (Marketing Communications Strategist), Globaltronics (Corporate Marketing and Sales Director), Manila Standard (Circulation Manager) and Manila Bulletin (Assistant Display Ads Manager/Writer/Section Editor).

Further, she has also held positions in the USA in the field of Sales, Marketing, and Business and People Development such as: Group Manager, Sales and Business Development Supreme Health Systems; Business Development with Exquisite Home Products both in (New York) and (New Jersey, USA).

For both companies, she was multi-awarded in the field of sales and people development and was awarded as the TOP ROOKIE Presidents Award in NY and NJ. She believes in working strategically with alliances and being open to new learnings. She also greatly adheres to the importance of the human factor in any given situation.

She is a graduate of AB Major in Communication Arts in UST, a Certificate holder in Human Resources Planning and Acquisition in the University of Makati under PMAP and recently acquired the GENOS Emotional Intelligence Certification as an EI practitioner. She has also received numerous trainings both here and abroad, specifically, she has been with two training events with Profiles International in Texas as well as a Visionary training event in Memphis under Supreme Health Systems.


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How do you handle international holiday schedules?

Typically a company only has to follow the local holiday schedule, unless their main clients are in another country (such as a BPO). However, in today’s globalizing workforce, teams are usually made up of multiple nationalities representing different religions and beliefs. With so many different cultures represented, setting holiday schedules can get complicated, but here are a few tips on keeping things streamlined.

Publicize the company-wide holiday schedule to all candidates who reach the interview stage of applications. If anyone has a problem with following local holiday schedules, ask them to let you know before accepting the job to see if you can work it out. If an employee who is already working with you has an issue with the holiday schedule, ask them to bring it up at least 2 weeks before the holiday in question. For example, if someone celebrates the American Independence Day on July 4, they should bring it up with HR mid-June to discuss potential leaves.

Include holiday rules in employee contracts. Having an agreement in writing gives you something to refer to when decisions must be made. It also protects your company since you will establish an agreed-upon schedule, whether it’s to observe local holidays and none other, or any international holidays and ignore the local ones. Changes can be made at the administration’s discretion, but any holidays outside of the schedule will not be required.

Keep track of schedules in an accessible online calendar. Your team should have a place to look to for company holidays. Having a reliable calendar online where employees can check holidays and special events will go a long way to helping everyone plan accordingly. It also gives your HR team a place to record any changes in the regular holiday schedule, and will keep everyone updated.

How do you handle your holiday schedules? Does it go by local calendars, international ones, and do you make special accommodations for your team members visiting from other countries?


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Public Seminar: Emotional Intelligence Emerging as a Competency Needed by All

Join us on July 12, 2017 from 1 to 5 p.m. for a public seminar on Emotional Intelligence: Emerging as a Competency “Needed by All” at The Legend Villas in Mandaluyong. Learn more about Emotional Intelligence and its place in the disruptive dynamic world we are in (and why it’s emerging as a needed competency). Find out global trends in People Capital Management and Development.

Course Outline

  • Welcome to the Digital World (Now and Back to the Future)
  • Workshop: Competencies and Skills 2017 Onwards
  • Presentation of Global Human Capital Trends (From Deloitte)
  • Introduction to Emotional Intelligence
  • The EI Experience
  • Workshop: EI and Its Different Applications
  • Question and Answer

This workshop costs an investment of P1099.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Ruby Mañalac is at present working for PROFILES ASIA PACIFIC/PEOPLE DYNAMICS, INC. as Director for the development of a distributor network for GENOS, a new Emotional Intelligence assessment introduced last November. Previously she occupied the position of Director for Operations and Marketing. She has been with Profiles on and off since 1999. She has worked with various other organizations mostly in the field of Sales, Marketing, Communications, and Training holding positions with Arc Docendi (Marketing Communications Strategist), Globaltronics (Corporate Marketing and Sales Director), Manila Standard (Circulation Manager) and Manila Bulletin (Assistant Display Ads Manager/Writer/Section Editor).

Further, she has also held positions in the USA in the field of Sales, Marketing, and Business and People Development such as: Group Manager, Sales and Business Development Supreme Health Systems; Business Development with Exquisite Home Products both in (New York) and (New Jersey, USA).

For both companies, she was multi-awarded in the field of sales and people development and was awarded as the TOP ROOKIE Presidents Award in NY and NJ. She believes in working strategically with alliances and being open to new learnings. She also greatly adheres to the importance of the human factor in any given situation.

She is a graduate of AB Major in Communication Arts in UST, a Certificate holder in Human Resources Planning and Acquisition in the University of Makati under PMAP and recently acquired the GENOS Emotional Intelligence Certification as an EI practitioner. She has also received numerous trainings both here and abroad, specifically, she has been with two training events with Profiles International in Texas as well as a Visionary training event in Memphis under Supreme Health Systems.


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Skills series: 6 in-demand skills for marketing

The skills needed to succeed in the modern workplace are evolving. This article is part of our skills series, which investigates what different roles and different departments need in order to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

This article we’ll dive into the marketing skills that are vital for being a successful marketing professional. We’ll take a look at the different facets of marketing, and what to look for when hiring someone for your marketing department.

6 Key Marketing Skills

Inbound expertise

Inbound marketing refers to marketing that drives people to you. Whereas outbound marketing goes to where your audience is (billboards, advertisements, traditional media), inbound marketing is largely digital and works with content marketing to make your customers come to you. For example, if you sell kitchenware online and know your audience is interested in cooking, an inbound marketer will know how to run a recipe blog that will attract your target marketing without having to spend on magazine ads or sales calls.

SEO

Understanding how to get content to rank in relevant search results ties into inbound marketing, because it enables your target audience to find you. Search engine optimization takes into consideration as much as 200 ranking factors, such as internal and external backlinks, author bios, keyword density, and more. A great marketer will understand SEO at least at a basic level, and be able to ensure your content is optimized.

Outreach and communications

Being able to send a great cold email that gets a response is one mark of a great marketer. A marketing department will have to partner often with other brands and external shareholders (or even clients–for testimonials). Good marketers can stay on top of their communications, know when and how to followup, and ultimately get a response.

Time management

Deadlines are a key part of marketing operations, from ad placement deadlines to editorial calendar management. A great marketer will have excellent time management skills and be able to coordinate multiple projects at one, ensuring quality work is delivered on time, every time. Part project manager, part quality assurance, a great marketer can manage time and schedules like a pro.

Target market identification

Being able to identify your target market means having an innate understanding of the product or service, your brand, and the consumer. It shows the ability to research, keep updated records (since sometimes your target market changes), and compose a report highlighting key facts. Great marketers understand the important of identifying, confirming, and regularly reevaluating your target market to ensure conversions.

Analytics and ROI

One of the most in-demand marketing skills is the ability to evaluate data. A marketer needs to be data-driven in order to understand whether what they’re doing is working or not. Look for experience with A/B testing, KPI tracking, and a focus on results and numbers. Good marketers get results, and they have the numbers to back them up.

What marketing skills do you look for in your business? Tell us in the comments below.


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Skills series: 7 in-demand skills for developers

The skills needed to succeed in the modern workplace are evolving. This article is part of our skills series, which investigates what different roles and different departments need in order to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Developers build and maintain the backbone of your business tools, such as your website, apps, and any internal management software you may use. They make sure things run smoothly, work well, and stay virtually secure. Here are the key developer skills you should look for when hiring a programmer or web developer.

7 Key Developer Skills

Can work independently or alone

There are times your developer will have to work on a project with a team. For example, a front-end developer will need programmers with different specialties to complete an app build. Hire someone who knows how to work independently, taking initiative and clarifying where needed, as well as someone who can work in a team, coordinating, communicating, and cooperating when needed.

Understands user needs

A good developer understands why he or she is building something, and who it’s for. Understanding the purpose of the website, app, or other software they’re developing is important because it contributes to user experience. For example, if a developer must choose between different hosts for an international website, they’ll need to know what country the target audience is from to make sure a website is hosted nearby (thereby increasing site speeds for the target user).

Problem solving

Things go wrong, websites break, and businesses sometimes need a function that hasn’t been built into a software yet. Knowing how to innovate and solve problems creatively and effectively is an important trait for a developer, whose expertise and problem solving skills can make the difference between an e-commerce website going down (and losing sales) for a few hours or an entire day.

Coding language skills

The core competency of a developer lies in his or her language skills. Do you need someone who knows Ruby on Rails, PHP, Java, Python, or something else? Whatever coding language you want to build with, make sure your developer is experienced and trained in it. A good way to gauge this in the hiring process is to assign them a test task; find and fix a bug, program a function, or something else.

Time management

Development work is time consuming due to the attention to detail needed; each line of code must be reviewed and tested to make sure everything works together well. Since the nature of the job consists of time consuming projects, your developer should have a powerful grasp of time, how quickly he or she works and can complete a project, and a penchant for delivering on deadlines.

Meticulous

A great developer is meticulous both when it comes to doing the job right initially as well as keeping everything securely up-to-date. It may cost more time initially, but doing the job right in the first place and building a strong foundation will save time and headaches down the road.

Can teach and learn

This is important for when your developers need to teach others (especially non-developers) how something works. It’s also important for them to go out and do the research to solve problems when they run into them, learning new things along the way.

What developer skills do you look for when hiring a developer or programmer? Share in the comments below.


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Skills series: 9 in-demand skills for designers

The skills needed to succeed in the modern workplace are evolving. This article is part of our skills series, which investigates what different roles and different departments need in order to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

In this article we’ll be looking at the key skills a graphic designer needs to be successful at his or her job. These include both soft skills and technical ones, such as software and knowledge of typography.

9 Key Designer Skills

Typography

Content is usually a critical part of design. Whether it’s web design, a billboard ad, or a mobile app, the best designers will understand how different fonts play off of each other and the design, as well as how the spacing between letters and lines affect the reader. Typography is a study of multiple aspects that enhance and enable the design and its audience.

UX/UI

Your user interface (UI) is the side of your business your audience interacts with. User experience (UX) is your customers’ complete experience with your brand, from how well your UI works to how easy it is for your customers to figure out what they want to know. A good user experience is highly designed, because you want everything from your website to your mobile app to be intuitive and easy for your customer. Your UI and brand has to work, look great, and make sense to achieve good UX.

Detail-oriented

Designers must be detail-oriented to account for the many little mistakes that customers can make, and the many tiny misunderstandings that spiral into huge problems. An overlooked design detail can mean the difference between a happy customer and a confused would-be customer, who’s now a lost sale.

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” – Charles Eames

Information architecture

Information architecture is the design and organization of information in any brand material, but usually referring to websites and interactive media. It helps your users find the information they’re looking for, and organizes your information in a way that makes it easily searchable and intuitive to navigate. The navigation bar of a website is a good example of information architecture at work, as well as the headings and subheadings in a blog post. Good designers should be able to organize information elements in a way that makes sense to users.

Although information architecture isn’t the same as graphic design, it’s becoming an increasingly complicated and needed skill for designers and marketers alike.

Color theory

Did you know that the color blue implies trust? Color theory is the study of how color affects emotions and the best use and applications of different colors on design. It’s a complex field that a designer could spend years studying, but all good designers have a basic understanding of color theory and use.

Design software

All good artists have their tools, and graphic designers are no different. A good designer should have deep knowledge of how to use design software like Photoshop, Corel and the like. There are also a number of free tools that they can learn and utilize. Good graphic designers have a strong handle on the tools available to them, know how to use them to achieve exactly what they want, and understand which tools are best for what job.

Basic web design

This is an increasingly in-demand designer skill because almost all businesses should have a website. A graphic designer is needed to design the site using color theory, typography, a knowledge of information architecture, and more to ensure it’s visually pleasing and easy to navigate. Then, a developer builds the website, including the images and logos the graphic designer has provided, and an SEO specialist fills it with content.

Communication

Your designer needs to understand the brand and what you’re looking for from a project before he or she can deliver the best results. Good designers understand the need to communicate with their clients about a design, it’s functions, anything they don’t understand, and more to ensure a seamless project and deliverables that produce results.

Objectivity

For a designer, it’s sometimes tough to discard a design that they’ve worked hard on. However, there are times when inspiration and hard work isn’t enough, and a design just isn’t the right fit for a client. Instead of being stubborn and insisting that their design doesn’t need any adjustments, a great graphic designer will be able to view the design with a objective eye to see whether it needs improvement and in which areas. Their knowledge of color theory, typography, UX, and information architecture should lend them a credible voice when discussing changes.

Self-aware, if something looks bad etc why What design skills do you look for when hiring a designer? Share in the comments below.


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