We all know how fun the Philippines can be when it comes to being with the people, eating the food, and seeing the sights. But what about working here? What’s true, what’s false?

Company culture refers to the set of behaviors and beliefs that are shared by employees and people within the organization. The company’s values, visions, beliefs, and assumptions are all examples of what forms company culture. 

The Philippines, known as a country of rich and diverse culture, doesn’t come short of workplace culture. However it’s important to know which are true, and which are false assumptions. This will help you better adjust as an incoming employee and prevent you from doing things out of misconception.

1. Hospitality, Warmth, and Friendliness Are Core Workplace Values

True. Filipinos are renowned worldwide for their level hospitality. The warmth and friendliness of Filipinos are what makes the Philippines the friendliest nation. These traits are highly embedded on the majority of workplace cultures in the Philippines. If you’re a newly hired Filipino employee, expect that your co-workers and your boss will throw a small party for you. Whether it’s calling for a pizza delivery or a small meeting to warmly welcome you, you’ll surely feel at ease in the Filipino workplace.

Now, you have a new barkada who’ll invite you to dinner or for some drinks after working hours. They may even introduce you to cute employees from other departments.

New to the city? Don’t fret. You’ll have instant tour guides that will tell you about the best burger houses and bars nearby.

2. Culture Is Always Managed by the Topmost Management

False. While it’s true that the founders and incorporators of a company are the one’s who initially laid out company culture, they may not always be there to monitor and sustain it.

Since top management is focused with long-term goals and sustainability, middle to bottom management assumes the role of culture controllers.

The same is true in the Philippine setting. If the ultimate boss isn’t around, Ma’am Joy or Sir Paul is immediately tasked to keep company values in check.

3. Co-Workers Are Treated Like Family and Share a Strong Bond

True. Thanks to the overtime tradition and unforgiving traffic in Metro Manila, Filipino workers spend an average of 11+ hours in the office and on the road.

This is the reason why most companies promote the family idea inside the workplace. Doing so helps boost employee morale and productivity. Don’t get surprised to hear subordinates calling their managers or supervisors “Nanay” or “Tatay.”

Helping out troubled colleagues isn’t rare for Filipinos. They won’t hesitate standing behind your desk just to help you out.

Got your first salary? Be ready to treat the squad as part of the company’s first blood tradition.

4. Filipino Bosses Are Not Approachable

False. Filipino bosses are typically addressed as “Ma’am” or “Sir”, unlike Western bosses who are called by their first names. This could lead to certain employees thinking that their boss is very hard to confront or speak with.

However, formality is just for show. Most, if not all, Filipino bosses and managers want to establish good personal interaction with their subordinates. You can see them joining their men in lunch outs, or even shouldering the bill at times.

5. Less Than Half of Employees Know Their Organization’s Mission, Vision, and Cultural Values

That’s the bludgeoning truth. Rank-and-file Filipino employees tend to dwell on job specifics first when they get on board, often forgetting to put company values at heart.

At times, this is just for quality control purposes. Most of the time, it’s troublesome for the business since employees forget the kind and brand of service that they need to render in their jobs.

6. It’s All About the Pay and Benefits

False. While a good rewarding structure is essential for strong workplace culture, that is not everything for Filipino employees. They need to be feel accepted, trusted, and recognized verbally.

If you’ll ask a Filipino employee on why he left his job despite the handsome pay, you’ll hear him say “Hindi na happy e.”

We have covered some of the truths and fallacies of workplace culture in the Philippines. How about the other parts of the globe? Can you name some Western or Eastern company values that are way different from ours?


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