When Green meets Green

LSGH HS English Faculty Team

LSGH HS English Faculty Team

The start of the school year frenzy is on! Parents and children couldn’t get enough preparation for the long journey ahead. But they aren’t the only ones gearing up for the uphill climb. The La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) High School English Department Faculty team also had its share in getting “amped” for the school season through a team building workshop held last June 4 through a partnership with The Green Box Learning Solutions, Inc (TGBLS).

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LSGH09The session focused on personal awareness as a step towards strengthening of interpersonal relationships, listening and trust-building. Team cohesiveness exercises were also facilitated highlighting the role of both the formal and the informal leader, cooperation and strategy planning.

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LSGH06LSGH04Over-all, the learners displayed enthusiasm and creativity, more than enough to solidify their vision towards moving as one team, all set for the new school year ahead.

LSGH 05Thank you, LSGH HS Faculty Team! Animo La Salle!

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A Whole New World: The Role of Leaders in a Multicultural Environment

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Take a look at your workplace, is any of these familiar: some if not all members of your team are located in another city or in another continent even; your work group is composed of people from different departments and report to different managers, coming in at different shifts, maybe speaking different languages; your entire team shares one office but when you interact and work together, it sometimes feel that you all come from different planets, with misunderstanding multiplying the time and effort it takes to get things done.

A new  challenge is beWoman Having Birthday at Working faced by leaders today,  how does one manage employees’ perception that they are isolated  from co-workers and are set apart at work and how do you maintain  productivity and morale as offices feel  less like an employee’s home away from home and feels more like an  impersonal and technology- driven paper factory? Remarkably, these feelings of disengagement are brought about by our growing reliance on technology to communicate, on the need to work with others across distances and on the growing diversity in a workforce that is not just increasingly global in culture but also  becoming a mix of people from four different generations.

Last November 12, the Rotary Club of Pasig East through Past President Ammie Llona, invited the Green BOX Learning Solutions Team to talk to its members and guests about this leadership challenge. The Green Box Team delivered a short but well-received talk titled “Leading in a Multicultural Environment”  for the audience composed of  entrepreneurs, people leaders  and managers from government agencies, community organizations  and businesses.

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The speaker des1cribed what are commonly known as  “Virtual Teams” , work groups who, while having shared goals and responsibilities, has the added challenge of having to  see and talk to each other mostly through electronic media like phone, e-mail or web chat.  Members of such  teams are usually  divided  by physical distances  such as geography, site location and /or time zones  or  work shifts.

The part of the talk though that generated the most interest was the discussion on the  psychological distance that may exist  between the members of a Team even when they are in the same location and sharing the same shift.

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The Green BOX speaker described the conditions that cause  geographical distance, operational distance and affinity distance and the effect of each on the employee and on the team’s ability to collaborate and work smoothly together.  During the presentation, members of the Rotary Club of Pasig East and their guests took notes and frequently nodded, perhaps recognizing the effects in their own teams and companies. The talk ended with practical steps that a leader can take to  reduce the effects of physical distance.

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Among the techniques a leader may use to reduce physical distance were: scheduling  meetings fairly and maximizing the benefits and uses of face-to-face interactions. To bridge operational distance (which occurs when technology fails, is abused and /or is inappropriately or incompetently used)  leaders may discourage multitasking when over the phone, communicate more precisely and use a commonly understood language avoiding jargon and acronyms.

Affinity distance (which is brought about by differences in social status, culture and lack of a pre-existing  personal  relationship among members)  may be mitigated  by appreciating individual accomplishments and skills, providing opportunities for informal interactions when members can network, connect, and share personal experiences and establishing a culture of respect for various communication and working styles.

IMG_0814The short talk emphasized the  importance of having a diverse team capable of providing for everyone’s benefit  a wide range of work experience, different approaches to problems, creativity and innovative thinking that may not be possible in a  more homogenous work environment.  Such diversity  can be found built-in into virtual teams ready to be maximized.  business womanHowever, since such a diversity may bring out conflict among members, especially in a  geographically spread team,  it is a Leader’s  responsibility to  establish and promote an  environment  that  is  open and inclusive, embracing  and appreciating  individual members and  sustaining warm personal relationships even across distances.

For our host that evening , The Rotary Club of Pasig East, itself is an organization  of great diversity bound by a common need to be of service to their community, the talk was  both an eye opener and a helpful learning add-on to their weekly meeting.

This blog is authored by Majalla Gabrielle “Gabbie” Silverio. Gabbie currently works as a Learning and Organization Development Consultant in TGBLS. She had HR L&OD career experience in industries such as the BPO and Automotive. A graduate of B.S. Physics in U.P. Diliman, Gabbie enjoys writing for the TGBLS blog, reading, and playing as the favorite aunt to her grade 1 niece, Miko. 

Future Ready Leaders

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For a business to thrive, it requires the full commitment of its workforce and the focused efforts of it various departments towards clear, reachable goals. With the limited resources available, the growing number of competitors offering the same products and services and the changing and growing demands of customers, shareholders and government agencies, it is difficult for a business to survive, much less grow without competent and trustworthy leadership. In today’s political economic environment, effective leadership is rare but is critically needed.

Most leaders, to be effective, utilize best practices, analyze and learn from past mistakes and make decisions and create innovations based on the careful study of patterns and trends in employee performance and customer behavior. These practices are no longer enough. In a business environment that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA), doing these effectively does ensure success as demonstrated by the companies Nokia, Eastman-Kodak, IBM and Xerox. There is now the need for leaders to anticipate changes, plan for these changes and manage the workforce in such a way as to maintain employee trust and engagement amidst change.

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To assist a Business Partner in its efforts to enable its Leaders to be future-ready, the Green BOX Learning Solutions Team recently created and conducted LEADERSHIP TRENDS AND FUTURE ORIENTED PRACTICES, a 3-hr talk/workshop.

Supervisors, Managers and Senior Managers participated in the learning activity wherein changes that are currently taking place in the global business environment and in the characteristics of the workforce were discussed. The Green BOX Team shared key findings from prominent leadership survey reports that identified leadership competencies and development strategies that are widely viewed as critical to the current and future success of organizations.

The Green Box Team also facilitated a workshop during which the participating leaders identified the present and future changes that their organization is implementing and the effects that these have on their employees and on themselves.

AIMG_1056fter assessing their own readiness to lead others successfully through and towards organizational Change, the leaders identified the support that they currently need in terms of learning and development. To provide real work context and end the workshop on an inspiring note, videos of leadership success stories in the midst of change were shown.

Participating leaders shared that, aside from increasing their awareness of leadership trends and understanding of critical competencies like employee engagement and change management, the workshop also motivated them to invest time and effort in developing themselves. The Leadership Talk also encouraged them to be more assertive in communicating to their own leaders, their need for support and development knowing that the current and future success of their organization depends on how well they lead their workforce.

Images courtesy of:  http://www.all-free-download.com/ and http://offers.hubspot.com/free-stock-photos-business

Strengthening Teams Thru Trust-Building Workshop

Steve Tamayo, Owner and President of Asia Pacific Catering Services and Restaurants Inc., walks around during events catered by his Company. He checks if the plates are clean, if the coffee’s hot and the chafing dishes warm. He feels that he owes this to their clients, to make their events memorable through excellent food and best in class service. As their Company grows, he knew that he needed his Leadership Team to share this mission and to be empowered as his partners in leading the Company forward.

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When the Green BOX Learning Solutions Team met Mr. Tamayo and the Top Leaders of Asia Pacific Catering Services and Restaurants Inc, they said that they want to be a Team that values each other and the Company, that shows concern for its members (“may malasakit”), that listens and communicates openly, appreciates each other’s efforts and believes in each other’s abilities. They felt that this is the kind of Team they need to be to if they are to effectively implement the organizational changes that growth demands and to respond to employees’ need for direction and confidence under the stress that is sure to come with growth and development.

The Team

To begin addressing these issues, Green BOX designed and facilitated a Trust Building Workshop participated in by all of the Company’s managers. In one and a half days, the participants established a common understanding of what trust is; they identified, described and agreed on behaviors that will build trust; practiced these behaviors and planned and committed to a course of action that will maintain and grow trust within the Leadership Team. The Company’s top leaders were present during the entire workshop, listening, participating in the activities and sharing their insights along with the heads of the different departments (Kitchen, Warehouse, Accounting, Sales and marketing, Corporate Office and Admin, Purchasing).

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During the activities, the participants worked together in getting tasks done; they got to know each other’s working styles, values and needs and they collaborated on working principles that will be included in their Team’s norms. Green BOX facilitated the processing that came after each activity when participants reflected on how they worked together, identified strengths and areas for improvement and formulated individual and team commitment statements that can increase trust, openness and eventually, effectiveness as a Team. At the end of the workshop, the Team was able to agree on and commit to an action plan and a list of five trust building behaviors that they will practice and monitor.

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Trust Walk

As with all Team Interventions, sustaining the effectiveness of the workshop depends on how well changes in attitude and behavior are practiced and supported when the team members are back in the workplace. As part of its consulting process, Green BOX provided complete documentation of the workshop, recommendations for follow through activities as well as tools and references. Knowing how committed and driven the Leaders of Tamayo’s Catering are, the confidence in this Leadership Team’s success is high.

 

You’ve got a Green Box Mail!

Filipinos are known for their warmth and hospitality. This should make Customer Service a cinch but how can the caring and concerned attitude be shown through non-face-to-face interactions with internal and external customers? Communications provider, PhilCom wanted their Sales employees to demonstrate customer orientation and effective service even through e-mail and The Green BOX Learning Solutions Team was there to assist them as designer and facilitator of “EFFECTIVE SALES COMMUNICATION TRAINING.”

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Using a simple but powerful model of Message, Medium and Measures, the PhilCom Sales Team analyzed real life e-mail. By comparing their responses against standards and principles, they were able to identify points for improvement and rewrite clearer, more professional and customer pleasing email communication. The learning experience was rounded out with the module on Artful Listening where they gained a new, learning-oriented approach to this most important but commonly underrated and badly-practiced skill.

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At the end of the training, PhilCom Sales Professionals went through a practical skill assessment and wrote his/her own responses to actual customer inquiries. By applying the guidelines they learned, the PhilCom Sales Team ensured that they can seamlessly transfer their experiences and skill they gained to the workplace. In the end, the customers and the business win again.

Customer Engagement brings TGBLS to Cebu!

Finding New Customers and Keeping Existing Ones Happy

When we discovered that our current home’s second floor had termites, I immediately called the pest control company who treated our old house. The technician who came looked capable, informed us of what he was going to do and why and, afterwards, made sure we knew what to do to avoid re-infestation.

That was 10 years ago. We are now living in the south, 2 hours away. There were ads for local exterminators posted on our village’s bulletin board but I wanted that same company, that same technician if possible. That one transaction years ago has made me a loyal customer.

Representatives from the member associations of the Philippine Federation of Pest Management Operators’ Association, Inc.(PFPMOA, Inc.) learned how to build valuable customer loyalty when The Green Box Learning Solutions Team presented “Finding New Customers and Keeping Existing Ones Happy” last November 2013. This event was part of PFPMOA’s 2nd National Convention in Cebu last November 14-15 at the Sarrosa International Hotel, wherein they hosted various learning tracks focusing on the latest industry trends and practices in the Pest Management Industry.

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Expert speakers in-country and outside were invited, and we are honored and happy to have been part of PFPMOA’s historic milestone. In a 2-hr targeted session, The Green Box Learning Solutions Team shared latest research and best practices on Customer Engagement. It was a short but sweet interaction among 160+ delegates from the North to the South of the country plus guests from other ASEAN countries.

The Philippine Federation of Pest Management Operators’ Association, Inc. (PFPMOA) is an umbrella organization of a 6-member association which seeks to unify all professional pest management associations in the country. Part of its mission is to uplift and institutionalize high industry standards and practices in urban pest management. Its member associations are the following:

a. Philippine Association of Professional Fumigators, Inc. (PAPFI)

b. Pest Control Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PCAP)

c. Pest Exterminator Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PEAP)

d. South Luzon Pest Management Operators Association, Inc. (SLPMOAP)

e. North Central Luzon Pest Management Operators Association, Inc. (NCLPMOAI)

f. Pest Control Association of Visayas (PCAV)

Our many thanks to Mr. Ulysses S. Dagan, PFPMOA President, Mr. Joselito U. Aquino, Over-all Chairman, Ms. Evangeline Alonzo, Ms. Emilie Paulate, Mr. Victor Young and Mr. Elmer Baradas for the warm accommodations.

Strategic Planning helps ensure an “All Systems Go for 2014”!

Wishing everyone a happy and productive 2014!

Most organizations have engaged in their strategic planning session as early as the 3rd or 4th quarter of last year to ensure a smooth transition of their business initiatives ending in 2013 to the next. One client we know which started early in their planning process is Philippine Global Communications, Inc. (Philcom).

Philippine Global Communications, Inc. (Philcom) is a leading telecom company founded by RCA (Radio Corporation of America) in 1924.  Now, more than 80 years later, the Company is still enabling Clients to harness the power and convenience of the internet to manage their businesses and serve their customers.

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By September of last year, Philcom’s goals as a company have been defined and the targets have been set for 2014.  To succeed in reaching these goals, the Company needed to align the efforts of all its Departments within the entire organization.           Enabling them was The Green Box Learning Solutions Team who facilitated a workshop for Philcom’s Top Leaders to transform their strategic goals into concrete business plans that will help them guide, monitor and measure the success of their respective departments’ actions throughout the year.

What is Strategic Planning? 

Strategic Planning is the process of clarifying the overall purpose and defining the desired outcomes of an organization. It includes establishing realistic goals and objectives aligned with that purpose and formulating long term strategies for reaching these goals.

Why Strategic Planning?

A company’s resources (money, people, time, materials and equipment, technology, etc.) are limited and the organization itself is composed of units and sub-units whose efforts are specific and specialized.  The Strategic Plan ensures that all these efforts are coordinated to achieve the overall objectives given the resources available.

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How Now? 

TGBLS guided Philcom’s Top Leaders as they assessed their departments’  internal and external environments and capacities.  In teams, guided by their strategic direction for 2014, Philcom Leaders formulated their departmental strategies alongside with identifying areas of support which they will require from other groups. Philcom started right when it decided to engage in a strategic planning workshop with The Green Box Learning Solutions Team. There is no doubt that it’s going to be an all systems go for Philcom this 2014!

You too can start right alongside your team and your entire organization. For your Strategic Planning requirements, call us at +632 986 4226 today or send us an email at inquiry@thegreenboxlearningsolutions.com. With The Green Box Learning Solutions, we help build organizational excellence. 

Finding our “Happiness” @ Coca-Cola Far East Limited

TGBLS found its “happiness” when it partnered with Coca Cola Far East Limited (CCFEL)  last August 1st when it facilitated a workshop on Effective Business Email (EBE) at the Bonifacio Global City.

EBE Participant Manual

EBE Participant Manual

(L-R) Toni, Marga, Carl and Sheila

(L-R) Toni (TGBLS Facilitator), Marga, Carl and Sheila

There was a high level of engagement from the participants and resource-wise, everyone was ready with their own laptops (very timely and what we exactly need to carry out the workshop activities).

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EBE – CCFEL Participants (L-R) Sheila, Juvy, Maria and Royce

EBE- CCFEL Participants

EBE- CCFEL Participants (L-R) Marga, Carl, Sheila and Juvy

TGBLS is grateful for the support of CCFEL Project Team composed of Sheridan Simbulan,  Matt Trotter, and Kirsten Co. We look forward to collaborating with your team again.

(L-R) Sheila, Juvy, Maria, Trina Llona (TGBLS Learning Consultant), Royce, Sheridan Simbulan ( CCFEL Service Center Manager, GBS HR – Pacific)

(L-R) Sheila, Juvy, Maria, Trina Llona (TGBLS Learning Consultant), Royce, Sheridan Simbulan ( CCFEL Service Center Manager, GBS HR – Pacific)

(L-R) Sheila, Juvy, Maria, Toni Cielo (TGBLS Learning Consultant(, Royce and Sheridan Simbulan (Service Center Manager for GBS HR - Pacific)

(L-R) Sheila, Juvy, Maria, Toni Cielo (TGBLS Learning Consultant(, Royce and Sheridan Simbulan (Service Center Manager for GBS HR – Pacific)

Interfacing with Customers Talk for PFPMOA and PCAP

TGBLS delivered a talk on “Interfacing with Customers” before an audience of close to 170 Service Technicians from different Pest Control Vendors country-wide last July 24th at the Auditorium of the DCIEC Building, NIA Compound, EDSA, QC. The Skills Enhancement event targets to improve knowledge and skills of Service Technicians both on the job and on their personal wellness. The affair was hosted by PCAP or Pest Control Association of the Philippines, which is part of the umbrella organization – the Philippine Federation of Pest Management Operators’ Association, Inc.(PFPMOA). This is the first formal gathering of Service Technicians this 2013.

Interfacing with Customers Talk by TGBLS

“Interfacing with Customers” Talk by TGBLS with a captive audience of close to 170 Service Technicians representing Pest Control Vendors in the country

TGBLS was invited to deliver a 2-hour talk on “Interfacing with Customers”, a key component in ensuring success for the Service Technicians who carry their company badge during their actual service delivery with their Clients. It is the 2nd time that TGBLS partnered with PFPMOA this year, the first was just a few weeks before this event (Team Effectiveness Workshop, also featured in this blog). The participants were engaged and openly participated in the activity. They freely shared their own personal experiences, both as service providers and as recipients of service during the plenary discussions.

Audience during the TGBLS talk on "Interfacing with Customers"

Audience during the TGBLS talk on “Interfacing with Customers”

Special thanks to Mr. Jessy Aquino, Charter President of the Federation and Training Coordinator and Board of Director of PAPFI or the Philippine Association of Professional Fumigators, Inc., Ms. Emy Paulate, Vice President, PCAP, Mr. Elmer Baradas, President of ENTOM, Mr. Vic Young, Secretary, PAPFI and Mr. Uly Dagan, President , PFPMOA. 

(L-R) Mr. Vic Young (Sec. of PAPFI), Toni Cielo (TGBLS Facilitator))

(L-R) Mr. Vic Young (Sec. of PAPFI), Toni Cielo (TGBLS Learning Consultant)

(L-R) Mr. Elmer Baradas (Preseident of ENTOM), Toni Cielo

(L-R) Mr. Elmer Baradas (Preseident of ENTOM), Toni Cielo (TGBLS Learning Consultant)

What we eat for breakfast — Feedback!

Our hearts were filled with gratefulness when we received 2 formal testimonials from our participants in our “Building SMART Goals” workshop held last June 26th and 27th at New Port and Eastwood City sites for our Client, Eastwood Property Holdings, Inc (EPHI).

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Pau is the lady standing at the center.

Ms. Pau Pesayco, is one of our Eastwood City site participants and was regarded as one of the most engaged participants in the session. She currently works under Corporate Communications of  EPHI.

Pau surprised us with her comments:

“It is truly a different experience participating in a seminar held by experts in the given field. There is a sense of confidence the trainer is able to project that assures those in training that there is substance to what they are learning. It was beyond doubt a fruitful and enjoyable experience working with Green Box Learning Solutions.”

The other testimonial came from no less than the Training Head of EPHI who was responsible in letting us into this collaboration, Ms.Katrina Paradina.  Kat manages country-wide T&D operations for EPHI, managing a team of Training Specialists and an Associate. Her team is currently running their Power-Up 2013 series intended for their Support Teams in EPHI with the aim of providing them with learning opportunities enhancing both their personal and work effectiveness.

(L-R) Ms. Katrina Llona (TGBLS Consultant), Ms. Katrina Paradina (EPHI Training Head) and Ms. Toni Cielo (TGBLS Consultant)

(L-R) Ms. Katrina Llona (TGBLS Consultant), Ms. Katrina Paradina (EPHI Training Head) and Ms. Toni Cielo (TGBLS Consultant)

Kat has these generous words for us:

“The program was remarkable from the design to its facilitation.  The learning consultants were committed in delivering a learning activity that would best suit the participants’ needs. They gave a comprehensive learning seminar with a lot of practical tips on how to create SMART goals which the participants deemed relevant to their respective tasks. As a training practitioner, I learned a lot not only on the aspect of setting goals but as well as on how to conduct a meaningful learning activity. I think I found the best learning partner with Green Box Learning Solutions.”

These testimonials will serve as our reminder to move further — produce not just a better job but to aim for greatness. While we will certainly count years to achieve this, we are most fulfilled for now that the goal we have set sometime July last year is now in the flesh and is slowly transforming  the unthinkable into the possible.