Tag Archives: Human Resources

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The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

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Strength lies in differences, not in similarities. – Stephen Covey

A wide range of skills is important in every business. Each company needs different departments that specialize in different fields. Much like skills, a variety of cultures also adds a desired dimension to businesses. This office diversity is vital to a business’ innovation and creativity, and it is something that human resources is both a curator and gatekeeper for.

Why is Diversity Important?

A diverse workplace empowers employees to show their own individuality, and in this encouraging environment, productivity, creativity and innovation thrives. A Forbes study found that workforce diversity and inclusion often drive innovation and business growth, and a Harvard Business School study showed that multicultural networks often promote increased creativity.

Ideas and Problem-Solving

A diverse workforce will offer different angles and solutions to a problem, and bring different perspectives that enable leaders to make well-informed decisions. People from different cultures will have uniquely valuable ideas. For example, someone who has lived in France for 10 years may point out that a traditional French holiday and event opportunity is coming up, and spur a marketing event surrounding the occasion. Multiple cultural point-of-views also ensure that ideas and problems are handled in a culturally sensitive way.

Skills and Talents

People from different backgrounds will bring different talents to the table. Someone who is a former teacher brings years of experience in instruction and education, whereas someone who used to work for a newspaper would have a wealth of knowledge about editing processes and media standards. A diverse workforce makes it more likely for someone in the office to have the skills and expertise needed in almost any situation.

Languages and Communication

Communication is vital in today’s quickly globalizing world, and having a multilingual workforce makes it much more likely for your company to effectively communicate with multiple target audiences. For example, if you’re holding an event where some of the population speaks English, and others speak Filipino, it is a good idea to produce promotional materials in both languages. To do this, you will need copywriters and editors who are fluent in each language.

Inclusion and Brand Protection

According to Neil Lenane, a Business Leader of Talent Management at Progressive, “if you do not intentionally include, you unintentionally exclude.” Alienating a potential client because of a lack of diversity and cultural awareness results in lost profit and damaged brand image.

How Can HR Encourage Diversity?

HR does the hiring, meaning they are able to introduce diversity to the workplace by consciously assessing people for a variety of different backgrounds, experience and cultures. According to Forbes Insights, “as companies compete on a global scale, diversity and inclusion frequently have to shift, as different markets and different cultures have varied definitions of what diversity means.” How can HR ensure that a business stays diverse and competitive in the industry?

  • Hire candidates with different backgrounds and life experiences.
  • Hire individuals with different philosophies and a variety of outlooks.
  • Hire individuals complementary but different personalities from existing employees.
  • Hire candidates from different ethnicities and have an equal gender balance.

Equip your HR department with a simple way to gauge different personalities and roles. Make sure your HR department isn’t stuck hiring the same “type” of person by profiling each candidate in an unbiased assessment. Visit ProfilesAsiaPacific.com for profiling assessments or email solutions@profilesinternational.ph to find out how we can help diversify your workforce by profiling current and potential employees.


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Strategic HR

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Article written by Sherry Perkins, Profiles International

Our friends at Profiles International recently posted this very true and interesting article on the strategic role of HR within an organization. Let us know what you think about this – you can find us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Examining your seat at the table…

The strategic role of Human Resource Management (HRM) has never been more prevalent as a topic of discussion among HR managers, OD professionals, and senior executives. Nearly every business and professional magazine or scholarly journal features an article that focuses on the strategic influence of human resource management and its effect on the achievement of business results. Few would refute the importance of an organization’s most valued asset: human capital.

Nor would many argue with the essential contribution of those who specialize in the acquisition and optimization of this most valued asset. Yet, the seemingly unspoken resolution that human resource management takes a secondary, if not tertiary, seat of importance at the business table is in direct conflict with the presumptions of the critical role of HRM.

How many of us have been brought to the strategy table long after the business strategy has been determined? Perhaps we have joined the meeting on the last day, to hear the strategy and to be given a directive to hire and onboard a team to support the strategic direction. How many have been excluded from the strategic planning process all together, but rather were sent an email that asks us to develop a communications plan to articulate that strategy to the company-at-large? Most of us have encountered at least one of these occurrences, and may feel that our contribution to the business strategy and direction has been less than influential.

In truth, strategic talent management is a critical business component of strategic business planning, in and of itself. The dynamics of global business management, cultural influences, political and economic factors, intercontinental influences, generational issues, open systems management, and team leadership make the focus on human capital essential for organizational sustainability and growth. What mindset, then, is at the base of flawed thinking that human resource management is merely a support role to the real work of business?  How is it that the business mission, vision, and direction may be documented without any concrete discussion regarding the people resources that will translate that mission, vision, and direction into reality?

There is little doubt that HR managers, HR professionals, OD experts, and talent management specialists are more knowledgeable of people systems and processes than ever before.  We are highly trained, well read, experienced, and certified in every aspect of talent management.  Our learning is intentional, directional, and focused. We are experts in our field and recognized for our craft by each other and by leaders outside our discipline. What more could be desired to take our rightful seat at the table of decision makers?

The not-so-simple answer is that we must understand the businesses with which we intend to integrate. The executives want to know that we “get it” – that we understand the business we are in and can be trusted with ensuring its long-term sustainability. We really cannot fully support what we do not fully understand, and even if we could, we may not be viewed as credible. We must be able to articulate the business direction, the potential inhibitors and enhancers to progress (both internal and external), the trends in the industry, as well as what must be done to remain competitive.  We must learn the language of the industry and the metrics that define success.We must substantially contribute to discussions outside our immediate vernacular.

We must offer proactive HR/OD solutions that are fully integrated into business strategy, so they are not seen as add-ons or “personnel programs”. No executive will trust his/her business to those who are only tangentially connected – we must be all in. Want to be invited to the business table? Bring the meat!


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Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc. to hold its 1st Talent Assessment and Development Conference

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By Jabrielle Vincee Delfin
Marketing Associate, Profiles Asia Pacific

The leader in online assessments in the country, Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc. will hold its first ever international conference in the country entitled “ITADC: International Talent Assessment and Development Conference”.

In collaboration with Profiles International, the conference aims to help organizations provide positive, sustainable solutions to the most pressing issues in the workforce, and help take talent management to the next level. As a leader in providing up to par HR solutions, Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc. gives importance to the development of talents by bringing their passion, expertise and resources and commitment to greatly contribute to each organization.

The Talent Assessment and Development Conference features two days of presentations focused on renewing individual and organizational vitality and preparing for the future of recruitment with topics such as Filipino benchmarking, career planning, building a competency framework and creating a coaching culture. One of the highlights of the said event is the certification training. At these sessions, clients receive in-depth training that outlines all elements of the science behind assessments. Attendees learn how to use the products for maximum impact in their own organizations for activities such as benchmarking positions within the company and training and developing their employees.

The conference boasts noted industry experts, both local and foreign. Senior-level HR executives from some of the country’s most prominent organizations and industries are expected to gather for this year’s event.

Taking place December 4-6, 2013 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City this year’s conference is designed to give attendees a more in-depth educational experience to help bring new ideas and plans to the attendees’ organizations.

Take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity and be part of history; for more details visit the event website http://www.profilesinternational.ph/itadc


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Coaching New Employees: The Challenge and How to Face It

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By Jabrielle Vincee Delfin
Marketing Associate, Profiles Asia Pacific

New employee orientation and job-specific training serve important purposes.  Coaching, however, is a critical key that is set aside unfortunately once too often. Coaching new employees can be a hard task. As their supervisor you often have little information about the new employee’s strengths and weaknesses and probably know less about their behavioural tendencies, reactions to stress, or other personality characteristics. These latter traits could give you an idea about potential performance issues and their solutions. This awkward position invariably causes a loss of productivity and must negatively impact turnover. Anyone in HR knows the cost that comes along with turnover. The problem – information deficit, the challenge – how to acquire it.

There are three steps in helping your new employees get engaged:

1. Find out the employee’s expectations of the job. Whenever a new employee is hired, always address any questions or confusion the individual may have about the job. Find out whether the job is what really interests the individual. To help confirm or clarify the employee’s perspective of the job expectations, review together a copy of the job description, department’s goals, and company’s goals.

2. Learn about the employee’s expectations for professional growth. Some employees work for just the pay check, and some have specific professional development interests and ambitions. Recognizing and gathering relevant resources to help support and build a plan for each individual’s interests help strengthen employee loyalty.

3. Give feedback about the employee’s performance. Consistent and constructive feedback becomes effective when focused on raising awareness and on improving performance results.

Employee coaching usually involves the managers and employees meeting regularly to discuss and explore each employee’s career goals and development.  But basically that would just take a lot of time and effort. Other companies would incorporate assessments into their recruitment process – assessments that provide supervisors with concise description/discussion on jobfit issues the new employee is likely to have. One of the assessments doing this is the Profile XT – a tool with many reports provided for many different purposes. The language in the report provides flags areas in job related language that should be reviewed with the employee so they know before they start that some elements of the job will be more challenging for them. This “preventative coaching” is more likely to be well received because it occurs before a performance issue has surfaced. The supervisor can be the good guy by providing helpful advice about challenges the employee needs to know about going in to the job.

Always know the direction you need to take your business and the talent you need to make it happen.  Each employee should come out of every formal and informal coaching meeting with a strong picture of both the specific performance goals to achieve and how his or her contributions impact the department and the company as a whole.  When you make the time to commit towards helping develop your employees, you not only make an important understanding of how much you expect them but also an important impression of how much they are being valued.


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Organizational Success Does NOT Mean Engagement!

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By Matylda Rabczenko
Guest Writer, Warwick Business School

Whether your business is at the peak of success or on the brink of failure, it is likely that in both cases you are underutilizing your most valuable asset – people.

An overwhelming body of research has consistently demonstrated a link between people and performance (please, don’t fall asleep just yet!), which is mediated by the enigmatic concept of employee engagement (told you it was worth staying awake!).
Sibson defines it for you in two simple points. Engaged employees:

1. Know how to do the work
2. Want to do the work

Yes, it’s as simple as that, and there’s a lot to gain! Engaged employees are more productive and happier. This translates into reduced employee turnover and enhanced financial performance. More interestingly to those of you who are already doing well, it often results in the exposure of unrealized gains.

Before abandoning the topic, have a glance at the quick survey proposed by Elis and Sorensen (2006). If you checked even one of the boxes, there’s a chance that your organization has an employee engagement problem.

Did I hear an ‘uh-oh’? Unfortunately, there are no generic how-to guides; every organization has different needs! There are, however, four areas that you can focus on, which a long-term study has pinpointed as exceptionally relevant to employee engagement (MacLeod, Clarke, 2009):

1. LEADERSHIP determines the organization’s purpose, which ultimately shapes why the employee wants to do the job. Can you make your organization’s vision more inspiring than it already is?

2. ENGAGING MANAGERS are key to implementing the vision. They are directly in control of employee empowerment, which may contribute to both why the employee wants to do the job, and the employee’s knowledge on how to do the job (empowerment is associated with autonomy which requires higher-quality training). Are your managers empowering or restricting your employees?

3. EMPLOYEE VOICE is fundamental to creating employee engagement. An employee will not be committed to a job where he or she cannot make a difference and is treated as an opinion-less machine. How can you take action to listen and respond to your employees?

4. INTEGRITY is the building block of trust amongst the employees. It can be achieved through consistent behavior in line with the stated vision. Do you ensure that your employees act in accordance with the organizational vision?

Don’t overlook what’s right in front of you. Have a think and perhaps you too will be able to uncover some unrealized gains – the true potential of your people!

Find ideas and tools here.

Also, have a look at Profiles Asia Pacific’s Employee Engagement Survey! The top way to figure out the engagement level in your organization!


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Diamonds in the Rough – How to Find Undervalued Talent

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By Yvonne Manzi
Social Media Officer, Profiles Asia Pacific

More or less all of us can spot talent when it’s clearly exceptional from the start. But this is not all there is to talent search – you don’t need to just snatch the obvious diamonds, you also need to find the rough but equally precious diamonds and help them refine. Unfortunately this is difficult to achieve, and most of the time we look for the wrong signs, or we simply overlook people who aren’t already shining. “At most companies” says Richard Fairbank, CEO of Capital One, “people spend 2% of their time recruiting, and 75% of their time managing their recruiting mistakes.”

Danish Talent and Performance Development Coach Rasmus Ankersen spoke at a TED event where he talked about his research and findings, which he published in The Goldmine Effect. During the talk, he explains the best ways of finding undervalued talent. “Mastering the art of talent identification is an extremely tough discipline” he says, but “by understanding three simple lessons, everyone can dramatically improve.”

There are actually quite a few people in various fields who were once overlooked and then turned out to be superstars. Asafa Powell, an unknown Jamaican sprinter, smashed the world record. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school team when he was 16, but he turned out to be the most famous basketball player of his time. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group, was categorized as a low performer because of his dyslexia, and he dropped out of school. Paul McCartney’s musical talent was never noticed by anyone throughout his education, and yet he was part of one of the most famous bands of all time. There could be many more similar stories to list here, but the common denominator in all of them is that someone failed to see their potential.

Ankersen says that the first step to understanding this phenomenon is to separate performance from potential. Some people have high performance and high potential, and these are the people he calls “shouting talents”, while others, such as Asafa Powell, or Paul McCartney, have high potential but low initial performance – these he calls “whispering talents”.

The pressing question is: how do we learn to see potential in something that looks ordinary?

The key is in the three lessons outlined by Ankersen.

Great talent is not necessarily right talent
If you’re not clear on the critical competencies that drive success in the jobs you’re looking to fill, you will be employing the wrong talent and missing out on the people with real potential. So, are you testing the right characteristics?

What you see is not necessarily what you get
Lower performers may have greater potential. Oftentimes obviously high performers are professionally trained, while average performers have been left to themselves. Raw lower performance might be better than a trained higher performance. This means that you shouldn’t just judge by the numbers because there are external factors that can affect results – luck, market conditions, good vs. bad bosses, even pure randomness.

Never overrate certificates, never underrate character
Sure, being trained in a top-class environment is a valuable addition, but character should always be taken into account. Individuals who haven’t had the opportunity to reach those stellar training environments could still be very much worth your time. In fact, they could be even better, because rougher beginnings can often lead to stronger characters. Regardless of certificates, it is worth looking at the right motivators for both types of individuals. Ankersen mentions factors such as “why are you here?” and “what drives you?” and “how much do you really care?” because the most important thing an individual has to tell you is what he or she isn’t telling you.

In conclusion, companies need to make sure they’re not missing out on all these diamonds in the rough. That college graduate that isn’t so great at communicating his or her skills at first impact might actually have a sea of potential ready to grow. By keeping Rasmussen’s research in mind, you can learn to identify these diamonds in the rough, and then help them channel their talent to straight to superstardom.

For some diverse tips on how to attract young talent, have a look at this article by our affiliate company–Profiles International.


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Six Keys to Great Customer Service!

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By Yvonne Manzi
Social Media Officer, Profiles Asia Pacific


The lifetime value of one single customer is much greater than the added value of numerous single transactions. This is especially true in times when business is going badly, because loyal customers are more likely to heed a call for help or be patient through imperfect service. It is also true in our digitized era, where a bad online comment from a customer can go viral within minutes.

If you try and think of it from the customer’s perspective, you can see why it doesn’t take much for him or her to decide that your company isn’t worth their time and money. One bad experience is enough.

Profiles International, the affiliate of Profiles Asia Pacific, found that assessing core personality traits and a standardized set of skill measures provides clear indicators of probably success in a customer-facing role. In 1997, Profiles developed the Customer Service Knowledge Scale, and it has been refining its research ever since.

There are six behaviors that we finally identified in customer-facing employees that will make the biggest difference for your business.

1. Trust. Trusting individuals tend to believe that the motives of others are honorable. Find a good balance of trust that works for your business, you don’t want untrusting and unhelpful employees, but you don’t want naïve employees either!

2. Tact. How you say something to a customer can be just as important as what you say. If customers make mistakes or do not understand something, employees should take extra care to be patient and make them feel at ease.

3. Empathy. Customers need to feel that someone cares about their experience. Even if there is nothing the employees can do to solve an issue, it is important for them to show that they understand how important it is to the customer, and to still try their best to find ways to ease the situation. Frequent and honest communication is a good method to start with.

4. Conformity. The optimal degree of conformity for your customer-facing people depends on your business. The first thing to do is identifying your customer’s objectives and expectations, and then aligning your people with them. For a luxury hotel, for example, it is best to have low-conformity frontline staff that can make quick inventive decisions. But for a company that has to follow strict health and safety guidelines at all costs, it is best to have more conformed staff.

5. Focus. Customer service is about relentless focus. Your customer service employees should always stay focused and thus be quick and attentive, but they should also be able to identify when a customer does not want all of the information you are capable of giving them.

6. Flexibility. Companies that provide the best service think in terms of the customer, and this requires employee willingness and flexibility. However, highly flexible people can become bored of routine decisions, while inflexible people may appreciate routine decisions more than being exposed to important open-ended questions. It is important for you to identify what kind of people your company needs in selected areas, and then match the right people to the right jobs.


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In Search of a Quick Fix – Teamworking and Why It Doesn’t Always Work

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By Matylda Rabczenko
Guest Writer, Warwick Business School

Over the past 30 years, teamworking has become a widespread phenomenon, which has since been renowned as the panacea for organizational ailments. Still, recent studies show that teamworking does not guarantee improved performance and managers continue to struggle with creating successful teams.

Oftentimes, this is due to the fact that when searching for a quick fix, supervisors overlook the crucial factors that are largely responsible for forming viable teams– the first one being team type.

The two most popular types of teams include shopfloor teams, which are responsible for producing goods or providing services, and project teams, which produce one-time outputs like a new product or service to be marketed by the company.

When designing a team, the team type should be used as a starting point, whilst other factors such as task design, supervisory behavior, group characteristics, and organizational context should be adjusted accordingly.

To give you a better idea, below you have a couple of examples illustrating how team factors may affect shopfloor and project teams differently.

Contrary to common belief, implementing teamworking is never as simple as putting two or more people together and asking them to complete a task. It requires careful planning and constant monitoring to ensure success. The above should provide you with a basis for what to consider, the rest is up to you!

Have a look at the Profiles Performance Indicator as well, which includes a group report called Team Analysis.


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Induction Crisis (part 2) – Tips for Success!

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By Matylda Rabczenko
Guest Writer, Warwick Business School

Last week we discussed the potential damage that induction crisis can cause to your company, which ultimately results in high turnover.

A well thought-out integration process, when applied right from the start, can be the difference between the successful placement of medium- to long-term employees, and wasting a great deal of resources on a failed hire.

Now that you are aware of the key reasons for induction crisis, it is time to point to some tips and solutions!

Don’t wait! Induct promptly!
Induction is most effective if conducted right as the employees join the company; if it is done a couple of weeks after the new employees have began work, it is a waste of time

Train your line managers!
The success of your induction is largely dependent on your line managers, who come into direct contact with the new employees most often. Notably, employees’ job satisfaction is correlated to their relationship with their managers.

Be honest and expect honesty!
As mentioned earlier, induction is a great moment to exchange views on expectations between you and the new recruits. Tell them about the way things really are in order to avoid future confusion.

Show off the company culture!
This is a great opportunity to talk about your company values and how they are applied in day-to-day activities – especially important for all types of firms.

Assign a buddy!
Make the transition period easier for your new employees by assigning them a ‘buddy’, a current employee, who they can turn to with any questions or concerns.

Monitor!
If you own a larger company, it is worth using a stability index to measure employee turnover on a constant basis. A stability index in particular allows you to identify the presence and scale of your induction crisis.

Re-assess your recruitment and selection processes!
Whilst seeking improvements in your inductions, do not turn a blind eye to failures within your recruitment and selection processes – even a great induction will not be able to make up for these.

It is easy to forget that the employment contract is indeterminate – an employee cannot give you tangible labor, he/she only offers the potential to perform labor. Although assessments and interviews supply you with a solid depiction of the extent of this employee potential, whether or not it will be utilized is up to you, the employer.

Similarly to how first impressions shape long-term opinions, inductions can play a fundamental role in shaping long-term employee-employer relations. So if you want to make the most of your employees’ potential, provide them with the first impression that will make them want to deliver.


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Induction Crisis (part 1) – The Heel of the Recruitment Achilles

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By Matylda Rabczenko
Guest Writer, Warwick Business School

During the hunt for capable employees, managers often over-invest into recruitment and selection alone, whilst forgetting about the last pillar to successfully obtaining medium to long-term workers: induction.

Simplistically speaking, induction can be considered as a process of integrating new employees into an organization and familiarizing them with the job requirements, but in reality it is more complex than it sounds. According to Rice, et al.’s (1950) 3 stages to become a true employee, ‘induction crisis’ (the first of the three) is the most problematic and bares the greatest number of casualties; the crisis occurs when an employee fails to adjust to the organization and makes the decision to resign.

Decades of studies, beginning in the 1950s, have confirmed a strong link between inadequate induction and high turnover rates amongst new recruits. Usually, the crisis can take place as soon as within the first 6 weeks of employment; some leave immediately, others postpone taking action by a year or more.

Before considering solutions, it is crucial to take into account what drives this HR failure. Here are a few common sources (a detailed description can be found in Skeats’ 1991 book on Successful Induction, which I would recommend as an initial guide!).

False expectations. These can be usually attributed to over-selling the position during the recruitment process, as well as misunderstandings about salaries and promotions. Induction may help in counteracting the overselling and depicting the reality of the job.

Company style. Although the company style is conveyed through advertisements, company websites, etc., the true company style and culture may come as a surprise to some new employees. Induction provides you with a good opportunity to give the new recruit a preview of the way in which people operate within your company.

Demands of the job. It is often not just the company that over-sells the position, but also the employee him/herself. Consequentially, the employee may become overwhelmed by his/her new responsibilities. Similarly, an employer may hire someone who is overqualified for a role and will find it boring. Induction allows you to have an exchange of expectations with the new employee, which may on occasion result in re-assignment to a more suitable role.

Difficulty with colleagues. Clashes with fellow co-workers are especially likely to occur when the new employees are thrown into a workplace environment without previously interacting with one another. In this case, induction can be a great opportunity for your new employees to socialize in a more informal setting.

Keep following our blog for the part 2 discussion including tips for success and conclusions!


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