Trendwatcher Series (TWS) Monographs

Competency management provides a systems approach to human resource management. This approach assumes that underlying many HR systems is a set of knowledge, skills and abilities or “competencies”. These competencies need to be consistently utilized in recruiting, selecting, rewarding and training employees. This multi-case study involving ten Philippine organizations who have implemented competency management, shows the perceived impact, challenges and application of competency management. Results reveal that most respondents believed that competency management led to improvement in quality of products, customer satisfaction and productivity.

This case study documents the experience of Soluziona Company in implementing a Flexible Benefits program. In this research, the impact of flexible benefit in Soluziona was evaluated through a survey of employee satisfaction, which were given prior to the implementation of the flexible benefit program and after the program was implemented. A focus group discussion was also held to gather more information regarding the system. Results showed that employee satisfaction increased and the objectives set by the HR for the program were met. The study also identified key conditions to assure the effectiveness of the Flexible Benefits program.

This study aimed to find out three important characteristics of Filipino employees: motivational orientation, preferences in types of external rewards and attitudes and perceptions towards performance and rewards. Results reveal that Filipino employees are more intrinsically than extrinsically motivated. However, presented with tangible rewards options, cash is the top choice followed by travel, awards and celebrations, food. The study also shows difference in preference by gender, civil status and income level. In general, Filipino employees believe that rewards should be performance-based and is better measured and delivered on a team basis. They also believe that individual rewards should be given only when the organization performs well as a whole.

This study examines the quality of HR in the Philippines using David Ulrich’s model. Based on 134 respondents from business and non-business organizations, results showed that HR in Philippines are strong as Administrative Experts and Employee Champions, but weaker in terms of being Change Agents and Strategic Partners. Respondents highlighted the challenges their organizations face and how they intend to respond to these challenges in the future.

In an increasingly competitive business environment, workers are being asked to become more productive in order that their organizations can survive and succeed. This increased pressure makes it more difficult for workers to achieve work-life balance. In this monograph, we feature two studies that will hopefully shed light on this challenge. The first article, “The Stress of Juggling Work and Family” presents the results of a study on working parents. In this study, we learn the common sources of stress experienced by working parents. We also learn how they are affected by and how they cope with stress. In the second article, “Do Work-Life Programs Work?” The Petron Corporation shares their Work-Life Balance programs and the results of an evaluation study that examined the perceived impact of the program on employees. Through these studies, we hope to assist employees and organizations in their quest for worklife balance.

This study was conducted to examine which organization factors influence employee’s intent to quit their organizations. Data was gathered from two sources: HR practitioners representing and 1, 678 employees representing 60 Philippine organizations. Results showed that quality of vision/ strategy from senior management, opportunities for growth and advancement, amount of internal politics/ bureaucracy, amount of job stress and level of job challenge are most important predictors of intent to quit.

This study investigated whether Kolb’s model on learning is applicable to Filipino adult learners. It also examined whether there are differences in learning styles between students and professionals, and if learning styles differ in relation with age. Through convenience sampling with 500 respondents, this study shows differences in learning styles between different variables, such as profession and age or between students and employees. Results generally show significant differences between these variables, with the younger respondents being more reflective-observers, preferring self-study, rather than the older end of the spectrum who are more of active learners. Through these results, the researcher believes that knowing what learning styles are most applicable for a certain group would help in the design and development in interventions, and would also make trainers more efficient and effective.

This study examined the profile of 131 human resources (HR) practitioners in the Philippines. The study showed Filipino HR practitioners are strong in HR functional competencies and process skills such as communication and group facilitation. However, they also report significant gaps in strategic thinking, change management, and organization diagnosis. Level of competence is related to education attainment, job level, and tenure. Job-fit is likewise correlated with career satisfaction and commitment. Areas of HR practice that practitioners wish to pursue more are organization and career development.

This research examined the involvement, openness and competencies of line managers in human resource management. The results show that managers are most involved in performance management functions and least involved in compensation and benefit functions. Involvement in HR is associated with perceived quality of HR group, openness to HR and level of competencies. Suggestions to improve the partnership between HR and the line include: clarifying roles, obtaining a champion and role model among line managers, orienting and training both line managers and HR, making managers accountable for HR, ensuring flawless delivery of basic HR services, providing tools and structures to assist managers and involving managers in the formulation of HR systems and policies.

This study examined the practice of Organization Development in the Philippines, the profile of an OD practitioner and the factors contributing to the success of OD practice. The results reveal the presence of various organizational concerns in Philippine organizations such as productivity, leadership, development, efficiency, capability building, and employee retention that are drivers of OD practice in the Philippines. The study also shows that OD practitioners are familiar with the different phases of OD practice namely: entry, contracting, diagnosis, feedback, planning change, intervention and evaluation. Results reveal that the strengths of OD practitioners are in terms of interpersonal competence which includes integrity/professional ethic, presentation skills, oral communication, interpersonal skills with clients, personal clarity and flexibility. Suggestions to ensure success in the practice of OD in the Philippines include: clarifying accountability for OD, reinforcing OD capability of top management, building the capability of OD practitioners and strengthening the evaluation of OD.

This study examines the impact of call center work on the well-being and cultural identify of call center representatives (CSRs). Through interviews and the distribution of survey questionnaires to 913 call center agents (from 10 call centers), career commitment, well-being, job satisfaction and turnover intent were measured. Results showed that for career commitment, only 1 in 4 intend to stay in the call center industry. CSRs are also satisfied with their co-workers and boss, but feel displeased with their pay and opportunities for growth. It was also reported that 1 in 4 CSRs manifest burnout, and that this is predicted by organization size and career commitment. The researchers believe that these results suggest a need for improvement in compensation and benefits, employee well-being, workforce planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management and career development. Researchers also recommend a specific and customized approach to organizational development in these call center companies, rather than the “one-size fits all” approach.

This study explored the presence of career development practices in local organizations. It also looked at the challenges and impact of career development interventions to employees’ perception of career-related support, career satisfaction and organizational commitment. Eighty (81) respondents participated in the study representing 45 organizations.

Results show that career development systems do exist in local organizations and more than a third of the respondents said that their systems have been in existence for more than 6 years. The most used career development interventions, on the other hand, were development programs, which includes training and development efforts, and organizational potential assessment processes, which include psychological testing, assessment centers, and job assignments.

Nevertheless, respondents report that their career development systems were only “somewhat effective.” Perhaps this is because respondents think that there are still areas to be improved on such as ensuring that the system addresses career needs rather than personal enhancement, strengthening the ownership of the system by managers and supervisors, and clarifying what the system is supposed to achieve.

In terms of the impact of career development interventions, development programs and the presence of tools and activities that assess the fit of employees for higher positions were found to enhance employees’ career satisfaction and attachment to the organization. Thus, it seems that although career development is fairly new in local organizations, its successful implementation has potential benefits for both employees and the organization.

Previous generations have viewed retirement as the honorable mandatory stepping down of the tenured workforce. However, the change of generation brings with it a change in mindset. How one lives through the peak of one’s life dictates how the downward slope of the golden years are viewed, and the question that arises is deceptively simple: “What do I do now?” Companies address the event of retirement by preparing financial plans and investments to take care of their employees’ material concerns. The psychological aspect of retirement, however, is only recently being examined. It was found that social connectedness added to the pleasantness of the retirement process, gives the retiree a new focus, and validates the identity of the person as separated from his work.

Involuntary job loss can be caused by a number of factors at work such as financial difficulties, mergers reorganizations and right-sizing. Involuntary job loss is an event that can be experienced as a major trauma that may interfere with normal life and development. Despite this trauma, it has been found that some displaced workers are able to recover quickly. One’s resilience may help the worker recover from involuntary job loss. Using an interpretive phenomenology approach and a multiple case study, the author of this study explored the career resilience experiences of Filipino workers brought about by involuntary job loss. Eight individuals participated in the research. Results showed that the respondents have varying experiences and thoughts related to their job loss. They emphasized the different behavioral and emotional impacts of the job loss and highlighted their career resilience experiences, which included how the transition experience changed them. The respondents’ experiences of resilience have implications for improving the process of helping displaced workers bounce back from involuntary job loss, such as organizations promoting career resilience or transition-readiness to their employees.

A.) Monitoring Employee Use of Internet Facilities in Philippines Organizations

The research conducted surveys for 112 organizations that vary in size and nature to address the concerns on restricting and monitoring the use of Internet facilities as well as potential disciplinary actions for its misuse. Results show that majority of the organizations do provide Internet access for its employees but only less than half of them have clear, written policies for the use of such facilities. Due to the availability of resources, larger organizations are more likely to restrict and monitor access to certain sites and implement such policies than small organizations. It is also mentioned that aside from the fear of acquiring viruses that may damage the system, the second highest reason for restricting Internet access to certain sites is largely due to excessive chatting. There have been formal reprimands and dismissals in extreme cases, and in order to minimize risk and maximize compliance, organizations should provide written policies, formal training, and proper management on Internet use.

B.) Internet in the Workplace: Employees’ Perspective

As more companies provide Internet access, the number of hours spent using the Internet also increases for the employees. Through surveying 1,033 employees from 86 companies, this research provides insights as to how employees use the Internet and how this affects their lives. Results indicate that there is an increase in the use of Internet in the workplace and six out of the top ten activities done in the office are in fact non-work related. Even when the employees are aware that the company monitors their online activities, they find it “alright” to use the Internet for non-work related reasons. Employees claim that with the increasing use of Internet, they have become more productive but at the same time, it contributes to work-family conflict.. To ensure more productivity at the workplace, companies should clearly communicate policies, improve monitoring processes, educate the employees on ethical Internet use, and train them on effective time management.

The study describes the Philippine organizations’ online learning culture and experience of engaging in online learning. Interview and survey data from 12 project sponsors or administrators showed that organizations in the Philippines decided to go online due to business imperative, cost efficiency, and the convenience and practicality of using it. Respondents see the importance of preparing the organization—its internal capabilities and its stakeholders; and the learner—his needs, concerns, and motivations, for learning online. The 130 online learner-survey respondents expressed the need to be guided and supported to enable them to better manage work, learning, and family time. The study also reveals a number of challenges facing administrators of e-learning and online learners.

The fields of Human Resources and Organization Development have evolved in response to changes in the economic, political, social, and technological landscapes of organizations. Recently, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) (2012) published their own predictions for the HROD trends in the coming years. In the Philippines, Ateneo CORD has likewise attempted to keep on top of the trends and challenges facing the HR and OD professions in the country. Results indicate that HR practitioners perceive themselves to be improving in their HR roles. However, the future trends suggest even more drastic changes in HR structures and systems requiring new roles and capabilities. Filipino HR and OD practitioners need to be able to adapt to these if they are to remain relevant contributors to the success of Philippine organizations.

This research examined the factors that contribute to the development of effective Filipino work teams. Focus group discussions and interviews with high-performing teams were conducted to elicit the factors that are important to creating effective teams. A survey instrument was developed and administered to 418 team-member respondents from various sectors and industries to validate identified factors. Results show that effective work systems and processes, team member competencies, quality of social relations and leadership significantly predict team effectiveness. Strategies that teams and organizations may use to develop effective teams are discussed.

Due to globalization, more and more organizations are faced with cross cultural issues that challenge their day-to-day operations. This does not only involve the expatriates who are assigned overseas but also include employees working in domestic operations that have culturally diverse workforce. In order to survive these cross-cultural challenges, it is crucial to develop leaders, managers, and employees who can work effectivey in culturally diverse contexts. It is important to learn how to navigate and adapt in the ever-changing landscape of the globalized work environment.

Why do some individuals function more successfully than others in situations characterized by cultural diversity? Several studies have attempted to provide answers to this compelling question and one stood out: because they are Culturally Intelligent. This monograph will give an overview of what Cultural Intelligence is all about as well as its dimensions, and outcomes for individuals, teams, and organizations.

This monograph gives an overview of the nature, history, and trends of Organization Development in the Philippines. The study traces the earliest known OD practices in the 1960s, and follows their evolution to the present vis-à-vis the understanding of OD in Western literature. Several interviews and FGDs with pioneer practitioners were conducted in order to discuss key questions to this topic: “What is OD? How is it practiced? Who is the OD Practitioner? Where is OD in the Philippine organization?”

Through this holistic approach in tracing the history of OD in the Philippines, the research provides a cohesive, theoretical framework of OD, viewed through the lenses of pioneer practitioners in the Philippines. Future challenges for the discipline are also discussed.

This research examined the factors that contribute to the engagement of Filipino employees. Focus group discussions and interviews were conducted among executives, managers, supervisors, HR practitioners, and rank and file employees in 20 organizations belonging to different industries to determine the job and organization factors that shape employee engagement. A survey instrument was then developed and administered to 731 respondents to validate the identified factors. The factors were then subjected to path analysis in order to create the engagement model. Subsequent recommendations on enhancing employee engagement are discussed.