Super employees maintain a positive influence

The Chief HR officer (CHR) role in the company is a standalone function. The position does not have anyone directly reporting to her at the central or corporate level.

However, two HR managers are looking after the human resource operations of the three companies in the group. We also have a compensation and benefits function looking after the payroll of all employees.

Even though our CHR person does not have a direct line employee reporting to her, she still manages to get her assignments done. More so, if the work requires cooperation from other functions in the company. I was discerning her a few times as she took on new tasks.

She manages to get things done through others because she positively influences the people around her. It’s her influence on others. The following set of behaviors surfaces with her.

1. Humility. She is never rude or disrespectful when dealing with others.

2: Curious. She will ask questions about her assignment regardless of how it makes her look.

3. Inclusive. She makes sure that all relevant stakeholders are part of the discussion.

4. Helpful. When she notices someone struggling with an assignment, she is quick to lend a helping hand.

These are four simple behaviors I have noticed with our CHR that provide electricity for her magnet of influence in the company. She can get things done regardless of how big or small the challenge is.

How about you? How is your influence on your workmates? How strong is your influence in your organization?

Be kind to others

How kindnesss changed my life.

I was sitting in front of my computer for an hour thinking about what to write. While I was staring at a blank screen, I got a message from a high-school classmate. That message gave me the seed to this article.

1985 was the year that changed my life. Jan 1985. two months before graduating from high school, my father left us. I did not know the reason then. Until the day he died a few years ago, I did not find out the reason. I would not want to ask my 75 year old mom about something that long been buried in memory.

A month after my dad leaves, my two brothers, mother, and I had to go separate ways to survive. My mom did not know how to apply for a job since she has been a housewife all her life. She went back to her parents home. My brothers and I started to look for work in our teen age years.

Primo, a classmate in Colegio San Agustin, where I attended school, asked me to go to the top floor of the Citibank building in Paseo de Roxas. He said that I should look for Atty Antonio V. Agcaoili. The senior partner of Agcaoili and Associates. Apparently, his dad works for the law firm. I took the bus the next day to the law firm.

I was asked to wait by a beautiful mestiza receptionist in the waiting area. I flipped through several old editions of Fortune magazines. After 30 minutes, I was led to the office of Atty Anva. The office smelled like cigarette smoke. It was a spacious office filled with picture frames.

Atty. Anva was a heavy smoker. My interview was just Atty Anva asking me what happened to my family. After a few minutes of sharing my personal story, he hires me. There was no job opening, but he hired me.

Atty. Anva then stepped our of his office for a few minutes. I can see him talking to his office manager. He comes back and says that I can photocopy documents for the eleven lawyers in the firm for the minimum wage of P1, 500 a month less government dues. On the side, I will also clean homes that they reposes on behalf of a Bank client. That will earn me an extra P100 for every home I clean with the company messengers and drivers.

The job may not be too glamorous or impressive. However, my photocopying job led me to other jobs, which landed me a computer programing job for FEBTC. The job in FEBTC landed me an IT Management job in Saudi Arabia. That IT Management job led me to other executive roles in the Bank with a career lasting 20 years. My last job was SVP for Strategy and Transformation before I decided to go back to the Philippines.

A few months after I came back, I went back to Atty Anva to thank him. I dropped by a wine store in Makati Avenue to get him a bottle of wine. It was his kindness that changed the course of my life. I was eagerly looking forward to seeing him again.

It was unfortunate that when I went up to his law firm, I found out he had passed away many years ago from lung cancer. His son sadly delivered the message.

However, his son said something interesting. When news of his dad’s passing away came out in the newspapers, hundreds of people dropped by their law firm to pay their respects to his dad. Hundreds of people, like me, were in gratitude to this remarkable man. Atty Anva touched the lives of hundreds of people even without the knowledge of his family.

What did we all have in common? What did Atty. Anva do that was so amazing? It was simple. He showed us a random act of kindness. He showed us the power of kindness. Kindness to a total stranger.

In today’s world, it’s easy to be sucked into selfishness. It’s effortless to cover your actions under the guise of a good cause. It is effortless to focus on our needs and ignore other people’s needs. It is effortless to justify our actions even if they are hurtful.

However, it was kindness that changed my life. It was kindness that changed the lives of hundreds of people touched by Atty. Anva.

Being kind to others is so powerful that it can change opinions and even lives. So, in this very challenging and sometimes painful pandemic, let us remember to be kind to one another.

Be kind no matter what.

A Wonderful Workplace

Almost every day, I am reminded of how God has blessed me by placing me in PIMS. Cathy, the Executive Chair and owner, is such a great leader and person. She gives people the opportunity to grow. For her, having a family culture in the company is something that is taken very seriously. Family culture is at the core of everything we do.

Cathy reaches out personally and encourages her team members that are sick. She encourages them through scriptures that she shares. She makes it a point to check on them every day.

She would even go so far as to give struggling employees a second, third, fourth chance. In addition, she welcomes back former employees that have left her nest. In the last few months, I have witnessed great employees that left years ago come back to the company.

Cathy encourages leaders with Bible scriptures in group chats regularly. However, openly sharing scripture is not very common, especially coming from the highest executive in a company. Because of this example, other leaders openly share scripture in group gatherings and group chats. It is the norm rather than the exception.

The leadership team also lives this family culture. They are true servant leaders. There is not a single trace of arrogance in them. Everyone is treated fairly. Respect for each other is also the norm. The resulting performance in delivering the KPIs set by our clients is next to phenomenal. Commitments are executed on or before time. Productivity is very high.

People from different departments rally together to help solve an issue. Everyone is given equal opportunity to attend training. Development and succession planning is taken very seriously as well. The leadership team fully supports the execution of world-class frameworks, such as the 9box grid and balanced scorecards. It’s so supported that we rolled out the 9box grid in less than eight weeks for nearly 800 employees.

At the center of the culture-building is where I am seated. The function is aptly called the Corporate Management Office or CMO. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to help bring culture building, people development, preparing future leaders, automating processes, developing existing and new businesses to the next level.

Leading the shared services and business development is such a blessing. I am surrounded by a great team whose heart is to bring the group of companies to the next level.

This Tagalog term I recently heard resonated with me from a good friend of mine when I shared my experience with her – ‘Sana lahat.’ In English, this loosely translates to ‘I hope all companies are like yours.’

Let’s count our blessings instead of our challenges. Then, make a positive difference in our company.