Philippines’ Top HR Blog

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How to retain employees using work/life balance perks

In today’s business landscape, companies are fighting for top talent. Skill shortages mean that it’s going to get harder and harder to find team members who perform well. Since it’s likely that a small percentage of your team are top performers who contribute the most, it becomes increasingly vital to retain and upskill your best employees. You can do this by using work life balance perks to incentivize employees and decrease turnover.

3 ways you can retain employees using work life balance perks

In-office perks

In-office perks could include anything from a company break room to a gym, or even an open bar on Fridays. Providing ways for your team to unwind and relax together is great for teamwork, builds camaraderie, and helps them enjoy their time at the office outside of work. These in-office perks are great for team members who keep long hours due to client schedules, since they can take breaks between meetings or tasks to relax and focus on themselves for a while.

Work-from-home days

Remote work is on the rise as the gig economy takes off around the world, and for good reason. Giving your employees days to work from home can cut your turnover in half, and drive productivity. A Stanford study showed that productivity shot up by 17 percent and employees are half as likely to leave the company when they can work from home. Consider allowing your team to work from home 1 day a week, so they can avoid long commutes and spend more time with their family, pets, and in the comfort of their own home while delivering quality work.

Flexible hours

Flexible hours allow your team members to take control of their own schedules and manage their work life balance within certain parameters. As long as your employees continue to deliver on their work, allowing them to do it at the time that best suits them will give you a leg ahead of your competition. Not only will your employees get to structure their workday around peak productivity hours, they’ll be able to avoid rush hour!

Using work life balance perks is a great way to keep your top performers and attract qualified candidates to your business. Not only is it more important to retain employees in the skill shortage, it’s also cheaper to keep great employees than to hire new ones. Use these ideas to keep your teams in top form!

Further reading: Not sure how your HR team is doing? Here are the HR metrics you should be tracking.


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7 ways to build a company that attracts top talent

The competition for top experts is getting more intense as global communications simplify international job searches, so companies have to work harder than ever to recruit the most talented individuals. To consistently attract high-value candidates, employers need to think strategically and apply proactive measures aimed at improving company image in the eyes of the public.

The following factors can help you attract and retain top talent, regardless of which industry you might be active.

7 ways to attract top talent

Offer a competitive financial package

Of course, good salaries are the strongest argument that often turns out to be decisive. However, the size of the paycheck is not the only relevant detail, since employees expect timely payments and appreciate bonuses and other benefits.

Recognize hard work

Companies that run an internal rewards and recognition program can inspire loyalty among the workforce, especially among the top performers who are likely to receive the accolades. It’s essential that the program is operated in a fair and transparent manner for best effects on motivation.

Hire for a smart workplace

Having a super-connected office full of latest technologies will make your offer more attractive to the younger candidates. If your PR department manages to get a few photos of this high-tech environment publicized in local print, you won’t lack in job applications in the near future.

Foster strong corporate culture

This factor includes both the external image of the company and its internal communications. Strong brands have a distinct identity and it doesn’t take long for newcomers to feel they are a part of something bigger. Employees are even ready to take 12% cut to their salary for working with a top brand.

Have a clear and coherent recruitment strategy

Numerous employers check all the boxes we listed, but fail to communicate this fact to the general public. The best way to avoid this trap is to formulate a sound recruitment strategy and identify priority target groups, followed by focused communication that highlights company strengths.

Provide continuous education

Frequently sending your employees to industry events and business seminars is a great way to infuse new knowledge into the company and keep employees happy at the same time. This will also position you as an innovator that values progressive thinking, providing a secondary boost to recruitment.

Practice promotion from within

When a large part of your top management originated from the lower levels of the company, this sends a strong message about the principles used to select the leaders.  Up and coming experts will be more likely to join if they perceive their career growth chances as wide open.

All of the techniques above should be integrated into long-term strategy and executed with a high level of professionalism to win the hearts and minds of young professionals with great potential, as well as experienced veterans of the trade. Successful implementation of the plan will leave your company well stocked with premium talent and capable of expanding its market positions and revenue streams.


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5 Ways to Address a Performance Gap in Your Team

Skill and performance gaps crop up in every workplace. Jobs, technologies, and even demand change over time. When this happens, recognizing and working to fill performance gaps is crucial to maintaining results and productivity inside your team.

In most cases, performance gaps are the direct result of missing skills inside your team. This could show up as lack of development for team members or missing team members.

The best short-term strategy is to use direct intervention to bridge these gaps with training and hiring, but long-term goals should involve using competency models and frameworks to account for skills gaps before they occur, so that employees are hired, developed, or directly trained to prevent them.

Identify Performance Gaps Correctly

Correctly identifying performance gaps and their source is one of the most important elements of correcting them. Performance gaps can stem from numerous sources, but common reasons include;

  • Lack of job knowledge
  • Changing job requirements
  • Lack of understanding of the role due to improper hiring
  • Ineffective management
  • Physical or emotional conditions in the workplace
  • Leadership and structural problems within the organization

Properly identifying performance gaps may mean bringing in a third-party depending on your existing resources and ability to properly assess your organization.

It’s also a good idea to use multiple data sources such as KPIs, employee assessments, and leadership assessments, which you can then use to cross-validate results.

Train Employees in New Hard Skills

Changing technology often means that employees who were previously very good at their job can no longer use their relevant skills, which often results in a performance gap.

Using competency frameworks and clear job profiles will help you to identify which skills are necessary for the role, which can help you in offering training and development to those who need specific skills to perform.

Use Leadership Development to Prevent Performance Gaps

Leadership and management problems are often a direct cause of performance gaps, especially when high performers are promoted from a technical to a leadership role.

Some high performers make the switch effectively, but many may continue to perform in technical roles, micro-managing teams and doing work themselves instead of empowering their team. This will result in a lack of motivation and a huge performance gap.

Integrating leadership development to ensure that leaders and management know what is expected of them and how they should perform in their roles will help prevent this.

Address Workplace Culture and Environment

Workplace and cultural problems often dramatically affect performance and productivity, with issues stemming from a lack of emotional intelligence, poor communication, and even the actual office layout.

These issues can be identified through assessments, and must often be fixed by taking direct action on specific instances (such as offering communication and teamwork workshops), giving training in emotional intelligence, or creating more flexible and agile workplace solutions.

Integrate a Competency Framework

A good competency framework will help you to recognize and address performance gaps more quickly by creating a foundation to assess and monitor individual role productivity. Competency frameworks recognize what good performance looks like (rather than simply skills), which can help you to review when performance is being affected and how, so you can take steps to correct issues on an individual level.

Performance gaps are a major problem in many teams, but they are often related to leadership, direct skills gaps, or lack of motivation. Integrating good HR tools will help you to assess and solve these problems more quickly, while preventing them in the future.


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Skills of the Future: 10 Skills You’ll Need to Thrive in 2020

This is a guest post from Jomel Alos. Jomel is a Consultant at Guthrie-Jensen Consultants.

It’s not quite right to say that we live in a technological world now more than ever. Over time, technology has been the driving force in various fields such as business, education, medicine, and telecommunications to name a few.

However, technology is dynamic by nature, so it’s quick to change and pave the way for the so- called industrial revolution. After three industrial revolutions, we’re now at the forefront of the fourth one. No question, the technology we have today is far smarter, more powerful, and more encompassing than its predecessors. Smart technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics are paving the way for the automation of processes across industries.

These days, it’s quite common for companies to utilize AI-powered chatbots, which are quickly transforming service desks by providing immediate answers to customers’ queries via chat.

An automated system in customer service may cut the amount of time that product or service users have to wait for a resolution to their problem since chatbots can be online 24/7. The downside of automation, though, is that there might be a minimal need for human participation in certain tasks. Thus, there might be particular job functions that could become obsolete in the not so distant future.

At the same time, the disappearance of certain types of work could result in the creation of new jobs that are more attuned to industry trends. To cite an example, drone delivery is slowly gaining ground in some areas as companies look to cater to customers who want instant delivery of their goods or help their delivery services get past hard-to-reach areas. Thus, there might be demand for engineers who could speed up drone production and at the same time, ensure the safety of these aerial vehicles.

For employees, this means that they’ll need to upgrade their skill set so that they could break into new job markets. While some might cringe at new challenges, it is through acquiring new skills or updating existing ones that enables one to achieve steady growth as a professional, which is important in fast-tracking promotion.

This infographic identifies the top skills for 2020. Although technological know-how is a must, competencies that relate to creative thinking, critical judgment, and even emotional intelligence, which is a soft skill, are still going to be valuable for future generations of employees. The idea is to produce a well-rounded workforce that could contribute to enhancing the overall quality of life through technological innovations and improved work standards.

This infographic also identifies which industries will be the most popular a couple of years from now, as well as the types of job where work opportunities will abound. By being aware of these things, employers and employees would have an idea of where to best channel their resources and efforts.

Want to take your teams to the next level? Keep an eye on our events for regular learning and development opportunities.


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Leadership Techniques: How to Manage Legacy Employees as a New Manager

Moving into a role as a new manager can be difficult under normal circumstances. However, legacy employees, typically defined as those who have been with a company for 10+ years, further complicate matters.

On the one hand, legacy employees often have a long history of dedication, loyalty, and good work. On the other, many operate using old processes and structures, may be resistant to change, and are often unwilling to accept the expertise of outsiders who often (arguably) do have a lot to learn.

In some cases, the answer to legacy employees is simply removing them if they are not willing to adapt to new processes. In other cases, working with legacy employees to introduce the how and why of new processes, or otherwise help them to adapt to new leadership may be beneficial in retaining valuable and loyal employees.

Drive Buy-In

It’s important for any employee understand leadership changes and structure, but many new managers don’t make the effort to generate buy-in for legacy employees. This creates problems where needed changes are obvious to the new manager but often intelligible to the employee.

Workshops, meetings, and one-on-one coaching with employees can help them to better understand why and where change is needed for success.

Show Emotional Intelligence

Most people have difficulty with change and adopting new processes because it challenges their authority and often their ability to do their job well. Understanding that resistance to change is often because of insecurity can help you create a better approach based on their specific problems and difficulties.

Show Respect

A long-term employee may feel that they know the company and its needs better than you. This may be true.

Showing respect by asking for opinions, soliciting advice, and directly sharing the reasoning and information behind your decisions will help to build trust, giving legacy employees further opportunity to feel valued while understanding changes. Operating a culture of transparency gives you and them the ability to see what’s going on, why, and will help them to trust what you are doing.

Redefine Roles

Legacy employees often feel as though they are experts in the company and their job. Redefine roles to better reflect what the company needs now, and offer training and assistance to move to those roles. This can help legacy employees adjust, while helping them understand why change is needed.

Job roles and expectations often change over time, and someone operating in a legacy position may not understand that. By redefining the role with HR using a competency framework, you can better define and communicate both hard and soft skills needed to perform well in the role now.

Terminating Legacy Employees

In some cases, employees are no longer a good cultural fit. They may be unwilling to adapt, may no longer have relevant skills, and may have no interest in respecting new leadership. Terminating their employment (with severance and help), may be the best way to go. It’s difficult to cut long-term employees, and you should give them the option to learn and grow with the company first, but you won’t always have that option.

Legacy employees can be valuable contributors to business, with a long history of loyalty and dedication. If processes and leadership are changing, it’s crucial that they have the opportunity to understand what’s going on and why. Similarly, it’s also a good idea to respect that change is often difficult and showing compassion and recognizing the seniority of the employee in matters regarding company history and processes. Doing so will allow you to build trust and buy-in for change, so you can develop new relationships with your organizations most loyal employees.


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5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team: Producing a Synergistic Effect

Please join us on August 16 to 17 for a public seminar on the 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team: Producing a Synergistic Effect. This seminar-workshop will go over how to build a cohesive, effective team that gets better engagement and higher performance.

Participants will be able to understand the self and others to create a better, stronger team. We will also cover how to improve team effectiveness and productivity through the understanding and application of The Five Behaviors: Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results.

Register Now

An effective and high performing team dedicates time and effort to embrace a healthy set of behaviors.  A team that works well together performs better.

Course Outline

  • The Five Behaviors and Your Team
  • Building Trust: Vulnerability-based Trust
  • Engaging in Healthy Conflict: Mastering a Constructive and Productive Conflict
  • Your Team and Commitment: Achieving Commitment
  • An Accountable Team: Embracing Accountability
  • Obtaining Collective Results
  • DISC Personality Theory
  • Your Team and the Impact of Your DISC Style
  • Teamwork: A Strategic Advantage
  • Your Team’s Strengths
  • Overcoming Your Team’s Challenges
  • Team SPIRIT:  Achieving Common Goals
  • Developing and Achieving Organizational Synergy

Register Now

The investment for this seminar is P8,500 plus VAT.

About the Facilitator

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


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Creating the Ideal Work Environment: Avoiding Conflicts

This is a guest post by James Lambka. James is an attorney at Wiener&Lambka.

It’s been said that employees don’t quit jobs – they quit bosses. There’s a lot of truth in that, but quite a bit more to it, really. It might be more accurate to say that employees quit bad work environments, rather than quitting actual jobs. So employers, managers, and HR directors should always strive to create a great work environment – one that surrounds employees with what they need for job satisfaction and facilitates swift, satisfactory conflict resolution. But what does that look like?

Characteristics of the Ideal Work Environment

The ingredients that go into making what we call a work environment are many, for example, company location, actual facilities, company culture, employee-employer interactions, and growth opportunities. And the ideal work environment has certain defining characteristics. It may have more, but it will have the following at least.

Reciprocal Expectations and Communication

Bosses and managers have to be leaders who clearly communicate company strategies, objectives, goals, guidelines, and expectations. They also have to abide by them and hold themselves to the same standards they do employees. Otherwise, they may be facing anarchy and have to spend too much time and energy on conflict resolution.

It’s all about the relationship, and that has to be built on open two-way communication. Ideally, employers will provide a platform or channel for employees to express opinions and concerns. And employers have to act on suggestions/concerns, or employee participation in communication will dry up. Employees have to know that bosses, managers, and HR people value their contributions.

Emphasis on Work-Life Balance

In addition, the ideal work environment shouldn’t ask employees to sacrifice too much of their personal interests, needs, and goals in order to further their careers. Employees should, rather, be encouraged to strike a reasonable balance between work demands and personal life. Employees shouldn’t have to work loads of extra hours to advance, and supervisors and managers should help employees achieve balance.

Opportunities for Training and Development

In order to attract and retain the best talent, employers simply must offer opportunities for training, development, and growth. The ideal work environment, then – one that keeps top talent around and has little need for conflict resolution – provides challenges and opportunities for progression to keep employees motivated and to keep them from stagnating. Training and development programs should also include components treating interpersonal skills, team building, effective communication, and conflict resolution – all of which can lead to both higher productivity and greater satisfaction levels.

Recognition/Rewards for Achievement/Performance

In almost every situation, everyone is happier and more productive when his or her hard work and accomplishments are recognized and rewarded in some way. So the ideal work environment is one where employees’ efforts are rewarded and encouraged. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be individual monetary rewards. Sometimes, just verbal recognition from a supervisor is enough. Employers do need to make sure they recognize and reward both individual and team performance to ensure employees give their best.

Strategies and Tactics for Avoiding Conflicts and for Conflict Resolution

Despite your best efforts to create a great work environment, sometimes things still go wrong. It’s just inevitable that when two or more human beings work together, there will be differences and tensions – and decreased productivity as a result. The key is deploying effective conflict-resolution strategies before the conflicts escalate. So here are the top-5 tips for managing workplace conflict (Goalcast):

  1. Understand Causes of Conflict

Understanding the causes of anything can help you deal with it more effectively, and so it is with workplace conflict. While the causes of conflict may be internal, psychological, or emotional and not necessarily objective (because the conditions may be merely perceived), they are no less real to the person experiencing them. Top causes include:

  • Stress/job dissatisfaction
  • Violation of personal space
  • Overwork
  • Workload inequality
  • Favoritism
  • Disputes over duties/quality of work
  1. Establish Clear Expectations and Guidelines

Many of the causes of conflict can be avoided when clear expectations and guidelines are established early on. Employee handbooks and guidelines should include clear job descriptions, scope of authority, chain of command, and behaviors/actions that will not be tolerated.

  1. Create a Good Environment

A good work environment will not only aid in avoiding workplace conflict, but will dispose employees to speedily resolving conflicts if they do arise. An important aspect of the environment here is supervisors and managers who serve as exceptional role models.

  1. Foster Open Communication

Open communication is critical both for avoiding conflict and for effective conflict resolution. Open, effective channels of communication will help ensure that employee concerns, irritations, and perceived wrongs don’t fester and escalate.

  1. Call on HR

The HR department can be an invaluable resource when in it comes to conflict avoidance and conflict resolution. “Preventing and addressing workplace conflict is a critical function for a human resources department, and your HR team should be well-trained and properly educated about how to handle these issues” (Goalcast).

What to Do When Conflict Goes Beyond HR

But occasionally, even in a great work environment, disagreements can escalate and get out of hande. In 2014 “409 people were fatally injured in work-related attacks (NSC). And for people in healthcare and professional and business services, violence (including concussion and other traumatic brain injury) is the third leading cause of death (NSC).

While the incidence of workplace violence remains grossly under-reported (Rave Mobile Safety), enough does get reported to let us know that it’s a genuine problem. It’s just a fact that employees, especially those in psychiatric healthcare, can become victims of physical attack on the job, with concussions and other head injuries being a common outcome. In such an instance, your best recourse is to call on attorneys who have special expertise in this area.


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Emotional intelligence and teamwork: How EQ Helps You Get More from Your Team

Emotional intelligence, often dubbed EQ, is trending in leadership spaces. The 1994 book by David Goldman has gone on to affect nearly every aspect of how organizations choose and look for leaders.

While it’s understood that management needs emotional intelligence, the same applies for teams. Actively working to promote and train EQ inside of teams will help to boost productivity and motivation inside the team. Emotionally intelligent teams are more productive, better at collaboration, and better at communication.

5 reasons emotional intelligence and teamwork must exist together

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution inside of teams often requires a significant amount of emotional intelligence, especially in high-pressure or deadline roles. With each member often working to feed work back into other members of the team, even simple conflicts can create bottlenecks and pause work. Emotional intelligence greatly benefits communication skills, giving employees better tools to discuss problems empathically, to consider the other person’s side, and to vent frustrations and concerns before they become major problems.

Collaboration

Teams should be able to work together as a cohesive whole, meaning that they should know what each is capable of in terms of time, emotional and physical energy, and quality output. Building team trust is one key factor here, which can often be achieved through successfully performing small (but difficult projects) as well as encouraging time spent together outside of the workplace. In fact, creating opportunities outside of the workplace can help team members to relax, get to know each other better, and learn to be friends rather than simply colleagues, which will boost collaboration in the office.

Self-Awareness and Emotional Management

While good emotional intelligence is often about how you interact with others, it’s also about how you understand yourself. Employees who are aware of their own emotions, problems, and reactions are much more likely to regulate emotions, take breaks to manage stress, and react empathically when someone in their team is venting or stressed.

Understanding Team Capabilities

Good emotional intelligence will contribute to empathy and how well each team member understands their colleague’s roles and responsibilities.

Some companies, like Hewlett-Packard, deliberately work to foster this by integrating role-switching and cross-training, where team-members deliberately take on each other’s roles or train in their responsibilities so that they have a better understanding of what it involves.

Creating Motivation

Emotional intelligence means recognizing the efforts and input of others, which often requires action. Emotionally intelligent teams a work to recognize each other’s accomplishments, give credit, and are therefore often more motivated with a better sense of purpose.

You can work on this by creating a deliberate structure to encourage praise or giving credit to team members, creating team workshops and sessions to build missions and vision statements, and giving everyone the opportunity to thank each other at meetings.

Good emotional intelligence gives teams the foundation to work together productively by creating a shared sense of empathy, ensuring that team members understand each other and their problems. It allows the team to prioritize communication and collaboration.

While you cannot force emotional intelligence inside of a team, you can work to create conditions that foster it, so your team has every opportunity to develop.


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Develop, Don’t Hire: Using Competency Frameworks for Internal Leadership Promotion

Finding and hiring good leaders is one of the most expensive and time-consuming processes undertaken by HR. In addition, hiring a leader who was successful in any role in another company doesn’t necessitate their success inside of your own.

Developing your own leaders from within the organization helps to reduce the total cost of hiring, cut leadership pipeline gaps, and ensures that new managers understand the organization and its culture.

Good leaders are made, not hired. Working to promote and develop promising candidates from within your own ranks will greatly increase the quality of leadership and culture.

Recognizing Potential with Competency Frameworks

Competency frameworks are crucial to recognizing the factors that make up good performance in your organization. Creating one that includes leadership will allow you to recognize leadership potential by looking not at skill sets, but behavior and ability to learn.

However, it’s also important to note that many people will need direct training and development to move into different types of leadership, especially as they make the jump from technical to managerial work.

Make Leaders Accountable

If someone moves from a technical role to a managerial position, and continues to do technical work rather than delegating, they will create a bottleneck and will likely serve as a bad example for their team.

Ensuring that everyone understands what their role is, and their role in recognizing and developing potential leadership candidates, will help you avoid the situation above. This also means ensuring that leaders have the means to offer coaching and mentoring to potentials.

Offer Development Opportunities

While you will often come across fast-rising stars inside your organization, intelligence is never enough to create a good leader. It’s only the bare minimum of what they need.

Offering development opportunities such as training or additional responsibilities will help potential leaders develop and broaden their experience. It will allow employees to improve their EQ before having to bring skills into play as a leader.

Even if you can’t offer these opportunities to everyone, your competency framework will help you to identify the right candidates based on performance, ambition, and behavior.

Formal training can be an option, but assignments and job rotation are the most crucial aspects of development.

Monitor and Measure Success

Strong measurement and management of candidate progress is crucial to ensuring success, both in developing a technical employee for a management role and for promoting management to higher levels.

Tracking behavior and performance based on what is expected in the role they will move into (rather than what they are in now), will give you a good idea of where they are and whether or not they’re ready or need further development before moving up.

While developing leaders from within requires that you have a strong HR and existing leadership structure, it’s significantly more effective than hiring externally. And, by developing leaders, you control their experience, opportunities, and training, which ensures that you can ‘grow your own’ to meet your specific needs.


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Disruptive HR: Getting Ready for a More Dynamic Digital World

Please join us on July 27 for a public seminar on Disruptive HR: Getting Ready for a More Dynamic Digital World at the Golden Prince Hotel and Suites in Cebu. This half-day seminar is designed to keep HR professionals informed of the changing landscape of fundamental HR practices, in relation to the future of jobs.

With so many disruptive changes in our highly dynamic and digital world, HR is now called upon as a strategic business partner and the driver of change and success in organizations. The interactive learning session will cover what disruptive changes are occurring now (and coming our way), and how to adapt.

Register Now

The investment for this course is P699.

About the Facilitator

Ms. Ruby Mañalac currently works as the Director for Marketing and Distributor Networks for Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc., and previously, she was the Director for Operations and Training Manager. She has worked for various organizations mostly in the field of Sales, Marketing, Communications, and Training, not just in the Philippines, but also overseas. She’s recognized for her excellence in the fields that she worked on, gaining various awards like Top Rookie President’s Award in New York and New Jersey, USA.

A graduate of AB major in Communication Arts in UST, her other achievements include a certificate in Human Resources Planning and Acquisition from the University of Makati under PMAP, a certified GENOS Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, and just last August 2017, she flew to Sydney, Australia to get certified at the IGNITE Train the Trainers GENOS Emotional Intelligence Program.

She’s very open to learning, attending training events not just in the Philippines but also abroad. Her advocacy on Emotional Intelligence led her to be interviewed by ANC and CNN Philippines.


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