As 2017 closes in a few days, we say “Thank you” to each mind, heart and soul we met this year who have trusted Green BOX as both their formal and informal teacher.
May the lessons you learned guide you in how you perceive things, in how you win your battles and in how you celebrate your victories.
Cheers to Teaching and Learning! Cheers to Life!
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 being 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.
The speaker described 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.
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.
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.
The 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. However, 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. With The Green Box Learning Solutions, we help build organizational excellence.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Are you about to plan for your summer team building event? Go relax and leave the planning to us — at The Green BOX Learning Solutions, Inc.
We can help arrange your team bonding with a purpose. Whether your goal is to strengthen inter-group relationships, or to introduce new team members to an existing group, or perhaps plan strategically for the next quarter, or maybe to reward your team for an outstanding Quarter 1 performance – – whatever your purpose is, we can make it happen for you!
Say goodbye to the usual unstructured team activity consisting of team drinking or eating sprees.Take us with you this summer and we will help you redefine your team building event.