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5 Ways to Improve Decision-Making Skills

This is a guest post from Gemma Reeves. Gemma is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business. Check out her company at FindMyWorkspace.

Decision making is among the many things in life that everyone has to go through, whether they like it or not. Decisions we run into on a daily basis come in various shapes and sizes that may or may not affect our future in big ways. They could go over the most mundane things, about the breakfast we’d like to have that day, or to the most difficult ones that can affect not only your life but others’ as well—think about doctors and lawyers.

Although making decisions have long been a part of us, with all of life’s twists and turns, highs and lows, and pauses and stops, many people still dread it. It’s one of the reasons some people do not like change, because change may require them to think through things that they are not used to, or make decisions that require more thought.

There are many reasons psychologists can point to as the reason behind why some people are capable of jumping into a decision with so much excitement while others seem to get petrified when faced with even the simplest decisions. They can all take out the childhood and environmental factors, plus the IQ, EQ, and emotional intelligence of the person, that cause these reactions on people, but everything just boils down to one thing at the end of the day. You can never avoid decision-making. Even deciding on whether hit the snooze on the alarm, what to major in for college, what to have for breakfast, where to work in Paris, or which clothes wear.

The question you just have to ask is, “If others can do it, why can’t I?” Decision-making may be very difficult, especially when what you have to decide on is life-altering or has severe implications on your company’s operations, but it is inevitable that you are going to face it at any day. So why not master the art of decision-making rather than uselessly trying to avoid it? We’ve listed down five ways to help you improve these skills.

Don’t mix emotions with decisions

Whether we are aware or not, our emotions can easily take the wheel from our hands and blindly drive our lives into just anywhere. This is one huge reason why we cannot always let our hearts take the lead especially when we are deciding on things.

Take for example a time when everything you have been waiting for is finally coming to light. Your boss has finally noticed your hard work and ups you for promotion to that position that you have been vying for for forever. It leaves you feeling high and overly joyous. On your way from work you pass by a boutique that displays a dress you know would look great on you but would burn a huge hole in your pocket. But since you are in cloud 9 and you feel that you deserve this treat for all the hard work and the upcoming promotion. So you impulsively buy it without giving much thought about your skyrocketing credit card spending. Or because of a mad mood in the morning, you impulsively decide to make an employee pay for a  minute mistake you could have just left off the hook.

The examples are only minor instances that may not hugely impact your life or your company. However, those are classic examples why decisions based on emotions are poorly made. Deciding based on your feeling is a sure ingredient to make horrible and regretful decisions. You may not feel it at the moment you made the decision but it will take its toll in the long run.

Before making a decision, distance yourself from any emotion you are feeling at the moment. Base your decision on important facts and figures that have direct link to that decision. If you cannot do that, take a coffee break or a short walk outside your office to breathe in fresh air to help clear your mind off.

Rid yourself of confirmation bias

In psychology, confirmation bias is defined as a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or under weigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.

It may sound crazy but all of us have fallen into that at one point or two in our lives, as it is a human characteristic. We are not comfortable when own beliefs are being questioned, especially by someone new to us.

However, to make a neutral decision, you have to to be clear of any bias. And the only way to do that is to have an open mind on things that may conflict with your own beliefs, but will bring good to the majority of the people around you or for the company.

Determine the significance

Often times, we allow our minds to mull over things that do not really weigh so much. Like taking forever to decide which clothes to wear for a simple dinner out, or whether to buy this or that for someone.

To determine the significance of the matter, ask yourself how much the decision will impact your life or work. Or how much this decision will cost you.

You can then set a deadline for yourself to finally make the decision you need for that matter.

Go back to the basics

Listing down the Pros and Cons is the most basic part in helping anyone make a better decision.

Although getting a well-informed opinion from someone who knows much about the matter can create a big difference, you will still need to weigh the positive and the negative outcomes your decision may bring.

You can include in your list the expectations you will have for whatever you finally decide on, and where this decision will take you in the next five years of your life.

Move on from a mistake

A mistake from the past may hinder you from being able to make a clearer, apprehension-less, decision. You may have decided on something that resulted in something traumatic in the past that is blurring your vision now.

It is normal to feel like that, and no one would ever want to make the same mistake twice.

However, what is more important is that you take the lessons from that mistake and make sure that you actually learn from them.

Remembering our mistakes may make us cringe, but being able to learn from them can make us better at making decisions. We come to understand things better and mistakes also give us a new and better perspective on many things.

Being a wise decision-maker may not come naturally to everyone, and not all age-mature people are as decisive as experience might dictate. However, if you do the research and analyze your options for big decisions, you will be able to slowly improve your decision making skills over time.


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Job Analysis: Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description

Join is from February 22 to 23 for a job analysis public seminar on Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description.

This course orients the participants on how to perform job analysis, with the end goal of crafting a competency-based job description. It follows a workshop style where participants will be conducting job interviews and eventually, writing the corresponding competency-based job descriptions.

Participants will learn to apply the basic principles of job analysis and job description, prepare comprehensive job analysis interviews, and write competency-based job descriptions based on thorough job analysis.

Register Now

Course Outline

  • Overview of Job Analysis
  • Uses of Job Analysis
  • Scope of Job Analysis
  • Job Analysis Methods
  • Guidelines for Doing Job Analysis
  • Conducting Job Analysis Interviews
  • Writing Competency-Based Job Descriptions
  • Contents of Job Descriptions
  • Knowing the Core, Technical and Leadership Competencies
  • The Language and format of Job Descriptions

The investment fee for this course is P7,000 plus VAT.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas is a Wiley-Certified Everything DISC Trainer and a licensed Psychologist.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude in her Ph.D. Psychology at UST.  She also obtained a Diploma in Public Management from UP Diliman as a government scholar.

Dr. Caparas is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with extensive and invaluable services in both government and corporate offices. She served as Vice President of HR in New San Jose Builders, Inc. In GMA Network, Inc., she wrote for Kapuso Magazine as Managing Editor. She also became the Dean of the Graduate School at the Manila Central University.

Currently, aside from serving as a Consultant for Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc., she teaches part-time in UST and De La Salle University.  She has authored four books in Psychology and Human Resource Management. Already a fulfilled academician and HR and OD practitioner, she has received a number of awards and recognition.


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How regular workforce analysis can help avoid headaches

Workforce analysis is the process of analyzing your employees and their capabilities to understand current abilities, future needs, and existing gaps. While the immediate benefits of an improved hiring process might be enough to convince you to use analysis as part of your HR process, there are plenty of ways regular workforce analysis benefits you in the long-term.

Good analysis will help you to identify the quantity and quality of employees you need for each task, identify knowledge, skills, and experience that are needed, missing, or soon to be needed. It will allow you to identify changing trends and skills so that you can begin to adapt your existing workforce, and will help you to remain prepared as your workforce changes.

Benefits of regular workforce analysis

Here’s how periodic analysis helps you and reduces business headaches along the way:

Reduced Turnover

Workforce analysis allows you to identify gaps and changing skills needs, making it possible for you to offer on-the-job training to high-performing employees so that they have the opportunity to move up in the company, and you have the opportunity to retain employees with valuable behaviors.

Good analysis will also help you to identify which employees are crucial and difficult or costly to replace, so that you can work to retain those employees, or work to train replacements internally.

Reduced Skills Gaps

Technology evolves at a rapid pace and many employees have skills which are obsolete. Some roles are staffed by someone who no longer fills many of the obligations they were originally hired for, because those obligations no longer exist, while others are short-handed and lack valuable skills. A workforce analysis can help you to begin restructuring to fill gaps, reduce inefficient labor, and ensure that all roles have are held by employees with the technical and behavioral skill to make the most of them.

Preparing for Change

Most industries are in a constant state of change and you may find that teams, departments, output, and technology change every few years. Workforce analysis can help you to recognize where change will happen so that you can begin preparing employees and company structure in advance. This will help you to avoid delays and disruptions when change does happen.

Preventing Unexpected Shortages

If you know when employees are likely to leave or want to move up, you can prepare for it by either having a new employee ready to fill their shoes or offering incentive to remain with the company. For example, by checking when employees typically retire, comparing average length of employment in specific positions, and checking employee satisfaction, you can easily calculate when you are likely to have employment gaps and prepare for it.

Good workforce analysis will help you stay on top of every aspect of your workforce planning and management, from hiring to offering continuing education and advancement opportunities for existing employees. It will also allow you to address issues before they become problems, take steps to ensure that employees are happy and willing to stay, and allows you to adapt your workforce to meet new technologies before they arrive.

This will help you to reduce problems, give you more control over workforce changes, and can be a competitive advantage.


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Love, Life, and Work: Well-Being as a Survival Skill [Webinar]

Join us on Valentine’s Day at 1 p.m. for a free webinar on well-being and how to love yourself! In this 1-hour webinar, we’ll go over self-awareness, acceptance, how the brain works, and why you feel what you feel.

With the fast and furious advancement of the digital age, we navigate through our daily life mindlessly. It’s essential sometimes to breathe, move slow, and look inwards. The journey of loving others and being in a state of happiness begins with loving yourself. Through self-awareness, acceptance of the “realities” of who you are, as well as guidelines on how to love yourself and be a better version of you!

Register Now

well-being webinar

Meet your presenters

Ms. Ruby Mañalac

Certified GENOS Emotional Intelligence Practitioner
Certified, Ignite TTT Program
Director, Marketing and Distributor Networks

Ms. Corito Reyes

Zen Practitioner
Currently training as Pastoral Counselor under PSSP affiliates
Trained in Emotional Intelligence Coaching and Non-Violent Communication


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How often should you analyze your workforce?

Workforce planning and analysis is crucial to staying on top of changing job roles and requirements as your industry, technology, and work environment shifts.

Once you’ve determined current needs and gaps, you have to closely integrate each phase of workforce analysis with strategic planning to ensure that future workforce capabilities continue to meet the companies needs and budget. This means timing your analysis in such a way as to ensure that it is able to keep up with and meet changing company needs.

3 Ways to analyze your workforce

Supply Analysis

Supply analysis evaluates current company workforce resources. This process is typically the easiest, simply because you likely already have the data and can easily collect and manage the analysis during regular cycles of workforce review. This kind of analysis answers questions like:

  • Where are jobs
  • How many people are performing jobs
  • What is the employee-to-supervisor ratio? Is it working?
  • What are the pay rates? Are they fair?
  • Termination data (how many people, why, where did they go, leaving impressions?)
  • Likely rate of termination/retirement
  • How well do current employees fill current skills
  • How much does it cost to recruit new employees?
  • How long did it take to recruit new employees?

Performing a supply analysis as part of a quarterly review gives you an easy way to stay on top of your workforce, even as people leave, retire, and are promoted.

Needs Analysis

Needs or demand analysis centers around identifying changing trends such as technology, new employees, changing job roles, and changing market demands. Here, you focus on identifying trends to ensure that you are prepared to keep your workforce efficient and functional.

  • How essential is each job?
  • How many people will be needed in X time to fill this job?
  • Can this job be consolidated with another job?
  • How will new technology impact this job role?
  • What technology can be integrated to make this job more efficient
  • What skills/competencies/abilities will make this job most efficient?
  • How does this job contribute to the company’s strategic objectives?
  • How does this role contribute to the customer?

This type of planning is more about workforce evolution and changing your team and department to meet demand. If you expect that new technology will make certain aspects of some jobs irrelevant, you can plan to consolidate those jobs, and start training high performers to take on both.

However, because this type of workforce analysis takes the long-view, you can typically perform needs analysis once per year during end-of-year review. However, the more often technology changes inside your company, the more often needs analysis must be performed.

Gap Analysis

Gap analysis attempts to determine what is being produced and what is needed. It’s a simple process of comparing supply and demand. It’s fairly simple to determine where there’s a surplus or an unmet need, which you can tackle by hiring or restructuring. Gap analysis allows you to take steps to train employees with (soon to be) obsolete skills so that they can continue to contribute, offer new opportunities, and work to help your existing workforce remain with the company.

  • Which technical or software skills are lacking?
  • Is there too much output? Not enough?
  • Which areas have decreased demand? Which have increased?
  • Where do you expect to see vacancies in the near future?
  • Which processes or methods require special skills? Are those being met?

Like Needs Analysis, Gap Analysis can typically be performed every 12-18 months to align with the strategic planning cycle.

Workforce analysis can help you plan hiring and recruitment, internal training, and company restructuring to reduce costs, optimize your workforce, and ensure that every internal need is met by a qualified individual.


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How to practice emotional intelligence in the workplace

Emotional Intelligence is more and more often seen as a crucial aspect of good leadership and working together, but it can be difficult to recognize and integrate into the workplace. Even more difficult is the concept of communicating to leaders and supervisors that you expect them to show emotional intelligence, because it’s difficult to determine if they’re practicing emotional intelligence without creating guidelines and specific tasks.

Unfortunately, emotional intelligence is about recognizing emotion and using it to guide decisions, behavior, and actions. This means that the actual practice of emotional intelligence can shift considerably depending on the situation. However, you can still create guidelines, which can help you to communicate and gauge practicing emotional intelligence in the workplace.

4 Ways to Practice Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

1) Be Self Aware

Being self-aware, or aware of your own emotions and their impact on your behavior, is crucial to emotional intelligence. If you respond irrationally to something, you should know why and how to fix it. If someone is aggressive towards you, it is idea if you can recognize how you are likely to react and work to compensate so that you stay calm. Being aware of your own emotions and how you react gives you the ability to judge your strengths and weaknesses, respond better in any situation, and make better decisions by considering how your emotions play into your answer.

A quick way to judge self-awareness is to ask someone to rate their own emotional intelligence, and then compare it to how others rate their EI.

2) Focus on Others

It’s human nature to focus on yourself, but an emotionally intelligent person knows that it’s not all about them. If someone is struggling at work, their problems aren’t all about how much extra work it creates for you.

Shifting focus to other people in conflicts, discussions, meetings, and even everyday conversations allows you to better understand what they mean, their emotions, whether or not they’re stressed, and their motivations.

This will, in turn, give you a better idea of they can handle tasks, if they can take on more work, if they are integrating well, and if they are performing at their best. It also allows leaders to better delegate responsibilities, make decisions based on capabilities, and understand how to motivate and influence others.

3) Reward Others

Understanding emotional responses enables both leaders and colleagues to understand when and how to rewards others for their actions, behavior, and attitude. A reward can be a simple thank you, calling someone out at a meeting to say what a great job they’ve been doing, or a compliment like, “I really like how you handled that”.

Rewarding behavior can help to defuse situations, make employees feel appreciated, and keep people on the right track when they develop behavior that is beneficial to the company.

4) Be Accountable

When you’re accountable for yourself, you display humility, accept when things are your fault or your problem, and respond with understanding by recognizing others’ emotions. Being accountable for others means being transparent about leadership, taking on roles that help others to succeed, and working to develop relationships so that you understand everyone on your team. This will help you to perform better, to get more out of your team, and to build better relationships, which benefits the entire team and organization.

Emotional intelligence is an important part of leadership and team building, and something that is important for both leaders and team members to demonstrate. If you hire based on emotional intelligence, teach emotionally intelligent practices, and encourage people to lead in more emotionally intelligent ways, your business will benefit.


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Public Seminar: Emotional Intelligence for Today’s Leaders

Please join us this Friday, February 2, for a public seminar on Emotional Intelligence for Today’s Leaders. In this one-day workshop, participants will learn why managers, leaders, and staff behave the way they do. You will discuss the direct impact of emotional intelligence on professional performance, and go over case studies that demonstrate how to improve EI.

The investment for this workshop is P7,900 plus VAT. All participants will receive an EI Self-Assessment with free coaching/reporting, and two raffle winners will receive EI Self-Assessments courtesy of Profiles Asia Pacific.

Register Now

Emotional intelligence and leadership performance

About the Facilitator

Mr. Enrique Pablo O. Caeg or Eric Caeg for short is a Professional Coach (ICF) whose focus is on Business Coaching. Currently, he is a Business and HR Consultant for various companies in the Retail, Food and Manufacturing Industries.

His professional expertise is in the areas of Human Resources, Organizational Development, Sales and Operations and Marketing. From his 20 plus years of working, he has served in various capacities rising from the rank from Junior Marketing Assistant to Sales & Marketing Head, General Manager and as Human Resources Director.

He attended a Diploma Course on Managing and Measuring Corporate Performance, at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and another Diploma Course on Retail Excellence, at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Center for Continuing Education where he is also a recipient of the Program  Director’s Award. Mr. Eric also has a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship obtained from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in 2001 where he is a recipient of the Guru’s Commendation. He has a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, San Beda College Manila, Major in Marketing and is awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Marketing Student Award of the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA). In 2016, he became a certified GENOS Emotional Intelligence Practitioner.

His involvement in various professional organizations include being an incoming 2017 Board Member and Director for Government and Consumer Affairs of the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA), a member of the Executive Committee and Deputy Chairman for the Membership Committee, International Coach Federation Philippines (2016-2017), a member of the Philippine Retailers Association, the largest Organization of Retailers in the Philippines, a member of the Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc., the Leading Organization of the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, and in 2005, he was the past president of the Don Bosco Alumni Philippine National Federation (DBAPNF), the umbrella organization of all the Alumni Associations of Don Bosco schools in the Philippines, where he is still a member.

Eric is also an Author for the Black Card Books, an International Publishing Company led by the Best Selling author of the Millionaire Mind, Mr. Gerry Robert.


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Public Seminar: Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description

Join us on February 22 to 23 as we discuss Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description. This 2-day course goes over how to perform job analysis, with the end goal of crafting a competency-based job description. It follows a workshop style where participants will be conducting job interviews and eventually, writing the corresponding competency-based job descriptions.

Register Now

Participants will apply basic principles of job analysis and job descriptions, prepare comprehensive job analysis interviews, and write competency-based job descriptions based on thorough job analysis.

Course Outline

  • Conducting Job Analysis
  • Overview of Job Analysis
  • Uses of Job Analysis
  • Scope of Job Analysis
  • Job Analysis Methods
  • Guidelines for Doing Job Analysis
  • Conducting Job Analysis Interviews
  • Writing Competency-Based Job Descriptions
  • Contents of Job Descriptions
  • Knowing the Core, Technical and Leadership Competencies
  • The Language and format of Job Descriptions

The investment for this course is P7,000 plus VAT and includes all course materials.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas is a Wiley-Certified Everything DISC Trainer and a licensed Psychologist.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude in her Ph.D. Psychology at UST.  She also obtained a Diploma in Public Management from UP Diliman as a government scholar.

Dr. Caparas is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with extensive and invaluable services in both government and corporate offices. She served as Vice President of HR in New San Jose Builders, Inc. In GMA Network, Inc., she wrote for Kapuso Magazine as Managing Editor. She also became the Dean of the Graduate School at the Manila Central University.

Currently, aside from serving as a Consultant for Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc., she teaches part-time in UST and De La Salle University.  She has authored four books in Psychology and Human Resource Management. Already a fulfilled academician and HR and OD practitioner, she has received a number of awards and recognition.


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A Lack of Emotional Intelligence Creates Disruption and Dissatisfaction

Leaders who lack emotional intelligence are unable to respond perceptively and with compassion. This can result in leaders and employees who show insensitivity, arrogance, volatility, selfishness, and inflexible thinking.

Consider a situation where an employee experiences a traumatic event, such as a car accident or a breakup and arrives at work late. A leader without emotional intelligence would make them come in anyway, possibly berate them for being late, and create feelings of resentment, while decreasing employee loyalty in exchange for what would most likely be poor performance throughout the day.

A leader with emotional intelligence would ask what was wrong, would offer a solution such as time of or swapping a shift for another, and make it work because they were compassionate and cared about the employee’s wellbeing. They’d lose the employee for the day or week, but when that employee came back, they’d be grateful, they’d feel like they and their health mattered, and would be a lot more productive when they came back to work. This would in turn foster employee loyalty, boost employee satisfaction, and build inter-team trust.

Similarly, having employees with emotional intelligence builds communication, team trust, relationships, and the ability to respond well in potentially negative situations.


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How emotional intelligence creates more successful businesses

Emotional intelligence, sometimes shortened to EI or EQ, is the ability of individuals to recognize their own and others’ emotions, discern between them, and use that knowledge to guide their thinking, behavior, and actions. The term was first popularized in a 1994 book by Daniel Goleman, “Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ“, but the term and the study of the value of using emotions to form behavior and action dates back to a 1964 paper by Michael Beldoch arguing the value of emotional sensitivity in various modes of communication.

Emotional intelligence has a long history, but it’s only recently that business and organizations have begun to see its value. With more modern leadership techniques changing the focus from productivity to individual performance, concepts like emotional intelligence become extremely important.

Direct Impacts on Business Performance

Having leaders and employees who show high emotional intelligence creates a direct business impact by changing how situations are treated, how people respond and disagree, and even how meetings are handled.

Conflict Resolution

Emotional intelligence enables people to see understand the emotions of their counterpart and to judge how to respond appropriately. This, in turn, enables people to handle conflicts without getting angry, can benefit problem solving, and increases instances of compromise between teams and employees in decision making processes.

Employee Satisfaction

When leaders respond with emotional intelligence and compassion, they reward employees for a job well done, recognize top performers, focus on helping others to perform, and respond to personal and emotional problems with compassion and understanding. This creates an environment where employees feel listened to and valued, fosters gratitude and a sense of belonging, and increases employee satisfaction. Over time, it increases productivity while decreasing churn.

Team-building and Trust

When teams know that their colleagues will respond with emotional intelligence, they are more likely to trust each other. A person who knows that his colleague or supervisor will respond with emotional intelligence is more likely to trust that person, and therefore more likely to build a quality working relationship.

Emotional intelligence helps people to work better together, helps leaders to respond well to situations, and improves every level of communication. This will, in turn, improve employee satisfaction, improve leadership, improve communication, and even productivity.


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