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The 2023 People Priorities of HR Leaders in the Philippines

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Just like that and we are now in the second month of 2023!

At this point, many organizations have completed their annual review and planning sessions. It is also said that at this point, on an individual level, many people have given up on their new year’s resolutions.

Many have written about their predictions and assumptions on how 2023 will most likely turn out. Different perspectives were also shared on what companies and business leaders, including Human Resources, should prioritize to be successful this year.

We, too, are curious.

And so, we asked some HR leaders in the Philippines what their 2022 biggest accomplishment was in terms of employee experience and workplace culture, their 2023 people priorities, and ultimately, what they want to achieve out of their people practices.

Before I proceed to share their responses, I wish to thank the HR Leaders who generously shared their thoughts and experiences. Many of them took the time to respond in hope that their responses will inspire the HR community in our country.

Interested to know what insights our respondents shared? Read on.

What They Said

Disclaimer: The responses shared reflect the views and opinions of the respondents and not necessarily that of the whole organization.

Alvanson So, CHRP® | People Lead at Canva Philippines

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

Reboarding people into the office and having everyone experience the Canva Life — something that everybody missed so much since we went into lockdown.

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?
  • Process automation
  • DEI in leadership
  • Supercharging internal mobility
  • Codification of BAUs to boost efficiency
  • Launch Coaching Circles
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Employee Engagement

Ana Margarita Berjuega-Panti | General Manager at PANDR Philippines

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

Blending office teams with WFH and finally moving to a balanced hybrid model that achieved the needs of both our teammates and clients.

Our teammates have enjoyed the benefits that come with added flexibility to their lives, as well as the engagement programs aimed at connecting our teammates out of the office with those within. Our clients have benefited from having happier and therefore, more effective teammates.

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?

Our key people priorities include:

  • Better employee experience and wellness
  • Supporting hybrid workplace culture
  • Training our managers and leaders to lead with empathy
  • Professional development for everyone
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Achieving new highs of productivity while keeping our teammates engaged in a healthy work-life balance that meets their needs as well as delivering even better results for our clients. Productivity + great employee experience.

Donnabelle Michelle Reyes | HR Director at Colourette

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

We were able to totally re-establish a work culture that is centered on shared core values. Recruitment is also a great feather in our cap as we were able to harness talented individuals that have the same passion for the work that we do and who share a common goal with us.

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?
  • Strengthening our mental health support
  • Employee engagement activities
  • Learning and development
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Employee Retention

Kyra Javier-Lacia | Human Resources Manager at Intelligent Skin Care Inc. (Belo Essentials)

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

In 2022, we were able to build/revive and strengthen supportive relationships across the company. We also provided programs that made employees feel psychologically safe to communicate with their leaders/management.

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?
  • HR as a business partner
  • Talent management and succession planning
  • Employer branding
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Employee Engagement

Louis Enriquez | HR Business Partner at ING Shared Services

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

We have what we call “People Network Groups,” which are all employee-driven. We have active
groups for all sorts of interests from Sustainability, Productivity, Online Games, Sports, and even our own Toastmasters Club!

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?
  • Increased professional development opportunities
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Employee Retention

Malu A. Inofre, CMHR | Chief People Officer at AboitizPower

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

Launching our MTP (Massive Transformative Purpose) and the reloaded values, the permanent direction of our hybrid work arrangement, DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging)

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?

I have 6 agendas under “People@Core Agenda”:

  • People demand fulfillment
  • Compelling employer brand
  • Digital-enabled agile transformation
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Employee Engagement

Marco Angelo Padernal, CHRP® | Assistant Vice President – Human Resources at Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc.

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

Being able to further the momentum on employee adoption of our employee digital platforms as part of change management. Ensuring that our company purpose, values, and ambition are consistent with our company messages. Continuously applying agile principles in managing HR projects.

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?
  • Providing diverse career opportunities to support talent mobility
  • Winning in the continuous war for talent
  • HR digital transformation
  • Building a strong talent pipeline via purposeful development planning
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Employee Retention

Mari Alcantara | Recruitment Lead at REVA Global LLC

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

People engagement and retention. Our people are proud to be part of the organization and are active in improving processes.

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?
  • Mental health awareness and wellness
  • Attracting and engaging Gen Z professionals
  • Managing a multi-generational workforce
  • DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Talent Attraction

Nikkie Dela Cruz | People & Culture Manager at Tech One Global Ltd

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

I’d say one of our biggest achievements is our Great Place To Work® Certification. Being certified as one of the great places to work for two (2) consecutive years, while increasing the score from 92% to 96%, is a testament to the positive cultural transformation inside our organization during the pandemic.

This also led to another outcome as the Great Place To Work credentials helped us to elevate our employer branding to build the trust of our candidates. While our headcount doubled over 12 months, we hired a fantastic bunch of talents that align with our culture, purpose, and core values — helping us drive our organizational mission. We introduced culture interviews as part of our recruitment process, improved our talent search techniques, and expanded our channels.

We also invented our corporate/organizational purpose last year, which helped us to flock all
TOGians to this shared purpose of “helping every business to unleash their true potential through digital transformation.” More than ever, this allowed us to connect every employee with our community.

Last year as well, we identified a group of trusted leaders who helped conduct professional development programs such as mentoring, coaching, and the like. This resulted in employee satisfaction and retention. The same group was also our cultural ambassadors to promote Tech One’s company culture, purpose, and core values.

Employee engagement and retention. Despite the hybrid work setup, we developed a strong sense of community and built trust among our employees. Together with our leadership team, we created multiple events as part of our employee engagement touchpoints throughout the year. (e.g. Great Place To Work Certification celebration, Tech One Children’s day, CSR events, year-end celebration, team lunch, team building, 1:1 mentoring sessions)

We were also able to focus on the execution of various internal and external programs that helped enhance employee wellness and focus on the mental health of our employees.

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?

Tech One’s major priorities related to people this 2023 revolve around 6 things:

  • Employee engagement and retention
  • Employee wellness and mental health
  • DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
  • Employee professional growth
  • Talent acquisition and management
  • Remote work and hybrid models

When it comes to employee engagement and retention, we aim to further cultivate a positive culture and employee experience to keep employees motivated, engaged, and satisfied with their jobs.

Employee wellness and mental health are also top priorities in our hybrid workplace this year as it significantly impacts employees’ overall health and well-being, productivity, job satisfaction, and engagement. We are planning to drive employee wellness programs that can help to address wellness challenges. (e.g. Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Provision of Mental Health Leave, Enhanced HMO plan that encompasses mental health services such as access to a network of Psychologists/Psychiatrists.

Building a sense of community and belonging among our remote employees is imperative as we continue to promote a hybrid workplace culture. Hence, promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is one of the key priorities also.

Another priority is to establish a clear career pathway and development programs across all organizational roles.

In terms of recruitment, we aim to onboard more diverse, quality candidates and top talent who can bring new skills, knowledge, and perspectives to the organization — leading to improved performance and innovation.

Lastly, we will continue to explore hybrid work models that fit our teams based on their work flexibility needs.

What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Employee Engagement

Renato Manuel Jiao | Chief Human Resource Officer at Globe Telecom, Inc.

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

Implemented a successful return-to-office program that enhanced employee engagement and re-invigorated the Globe Way values while working in a hybrid environment.

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?
  • Talent attraction, retention, and mobility
  • Organizational transformation beyond the core
  • Leadership and succession readiness
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Talent Attraction

Rina Santos-Ibanez | HR People Director at Baker McKenzie

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?
  1. Culture and brand
  2. Employee engagement
  3. Health and wellness
  4. Return-to-office
  5. Senior leadership development
What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?
  • HR transformation
  • People experience (engagement and culture)
  • Leadership & professional development
  • Health and wellness
  • DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Employee Engagement

Roegan Taron | Country Manager at Common Ground Coworking Space

Looking back, what do you think is/are your company’s biggest achievement/s in terms of employee experience and workplace culture in 2022?

Resiliency in times of difficulty. Early 2022 was difficult given that we were trying to turn around the business. This experience allowed us to bond better together. We now have a very solid team that was built on trust and resiliency.

What are your company’s key people priorities this 2023?
  • Upskilling opportunities
  • Mental health wellness
  • Employee engagement and rewards
What do you want to achieve from improving your employee experience in 2023?

Employee Engagement

What We Learned

From the responses we’ve gathered, we find that Talent Development, Mental Health Awareness, and Employee Engagement are the top priorities of HR Leaders this year.

Interestingly, in a LinkedIn poll that we conducted that was headlined by an identical question: “What are your key people priorities for 2023?” 69% of the respondents also identified Employee Well-being as their key priority.

While these are all fascinating, I’d say that they didn’t come as a total surprise to me.

In the conversations I’ve had with business leaders towards the end of 2022 and early this year, it is apparent that many companies are facing uncertainties or undergoing organizational changes. These led to heightened anxieties in employees and the need to pivot their talents with new skill sets. Some may say that we are still dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic. Others may be facing something new altogether. There really is no such thing as “one size fits all.” What is apparent is that we are dealing with more complexities than many of us have ever wished for.

It must have also been interesting to see how your company’s people priorities and strategies compare with what’s shared, especially since many of these are from admired companies and their leaders. However, it is also important to remember that every organization is unique. Your HR goals, strategies, and practices this year should be in line with your business direction. And equally important is being thoughtful to hear the voices of your employees and consider their experiences in your organization as you plan for and implement changes this new year.

Our experiences in the COVID-19 pandemic showed us the unquestionable importance of authentic, bold leadership. It is no doubt that 2023 demands the same, if not more. Great leaders will be the first to admit that they do not have all the answers. The chances of finding the best solutions lie in collaborative efforts across the organization. It takes healthy relationships in a high-trust workplace culture to achieve this. The real challenge is in cultivating this amidst the complex work environment that makes it easier for anxious people to be skeptical and protective instead of trusting and collaborative.

Needless to say, leadership, regardless of what role, is a high calling. It is also a daily commitment — one that we cannot walk away from a month into the new year. Neither is it something that we can do alone. Employee experience matters — and that also includes your experience as a leader. After all, as one of my dear colleagues often reminds our team, “You cannot give from a half-filled cup.”

Together, We Go Far

Learn more about employee well-being from the cream of the crop. Meet with people-first, purpose-driven leaders from our Great Place To Work-Certified™ community in our very first in-person recognition gala at Hilton Manila on March 21st.

Join us in this milestone as we reveal who made it to the highly anticipated 2023 Philippines Best Workplaces™ list.

I’m excited to see everyone together again, finally. See you!

Register today: https://lnkd.in/g3vdqkmb

Antoniette Mendoza-Talosig

Antoniette Talosig is the Managing Partner of Great Place to Work® Philippines and the Lead Consultant for Singapore.  Driven by her passion to help people be the best that they can be, Toni started Great Place to Work® in the Philippines with a vision to create a high-trust workplace experience for every Filipino.  She has close to two decades of partnership with some government agencies, SMEs, MNCs and some Fortune 100 companies across industries and geographies. Toni believes being a mother is the greatest adventure of her life and she enjoys seeing the world with her family. 

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