As companies transition into General Community Quarantine (GCQ), HR is at the forefront of change. Adaptation will be the “make it, or break it” of your business, so you need to ensure that your employees are efficiently engaged and motivated as you walk them through the new normal of your company.

To help HR professionals strategize on personally engaging their community, HR Nation held a free Masterclass webinar last June 4, 2020, titled “Employee Engagement – How to Motivate Your Staff in the New Normal” via Zoom.

Esteemed HR Speakers Kit Sison, HR Service Delivery Leader for Asia Pacific at Wills Towers Watson, and Celeste Garcia-Ong, HR Assistant Vice President at Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., shared their companies’ framework on helping their employees feel safe, supported, and emotionally secure so they can attend to their tasks efficiently.

When HR was thrown into the pandemic situation unprepared, Kit Sison turns to the ABC of keeping her remote employees engaged: Activate awareness on what team members are working on, Build trust across remote and in-office employees by ensuring visibility, interaction, and familiarity, and Communicate and care using various channels, and selecting the right channel for your particular message.

Kit urged HR to make actions as transparently as possible by communicating timely and thoroughly, and encouraged the viewers to utilize online workspaces to equalize workflow visibility and promote collaboration among onsite and remote employees. She shared at Wills Towers Watson, for her team to stay socially connected and motivate teammates, share their work-from-home set-ups, and celebrate achievements during online meetings. This promotes resiliency in the team, that “despite the change, we can still deliver”.

Kit also discussed how HR can digitize their usual face-to-face engagement activities. She gave an example of how her team strategized to engage their new hires: by creating different archetypes of each possible personality. This way, they will have an idea of how to walk them through the company, from onboarding to their actual tasks.

Kit closed by emphasizing that “HR are the stewards of company culture: it’s important to reinforce value and respect, and that every team’s experience should be an affirmation of goodness and hope.

Download Kit’s complete presentation here: KIT SISON (EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT).pdf

When a viewer asked, “What would be the best motivation that management can do for employees that are hesitant to go to work due to fear or anxiety of COVID-19?”, Kit answered that in her company, “the safety of our employees is paramount; as long as he/she will be able to work at home productively, we will support that. If not, we reach out and try to understand their situation”.

Celeste Garcia-Ong shared that for Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., their new normal is working-from-home. To ensure the safety of their employees, 70% of their employees nationwide will be working remotely until the end of 2020. The HR strategy to support their community was to motivate them with the benefits of working-from-home such as:

  • Safety of the employee from the risk of traveling to work
  • Safety of the employees’ family from being infected
  • Reduced expenses
  • More quality time for self and family

Celeste also highlighted that employee engagement is their current enabler to keep everyone connected. They’ve organized virtual activities on their “Virtual PhoeniXtreme 2020: Breaking Boundaries” such as lipsync battles, cheerdance, kalderoke challenge, and multiplayer mobile games (Mobile Legends and Call of Duty). They also had counseling programs available to employees to support their mental and emotional health, and prevent burnout from working.

Celeste concluded her presentation by telling the viewers that “on engaging your people, focus on positivity, relations with others and sense of purpose”.

Download Celeste’s complete presentation here: CELESTE GARCIA-ONG (EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT).pdf

When a viewer who works as an HR at a food service company asked, “How do we do hands-on training now that we used to do twice a month?”, Celeste shared that at Phoenix Petroleum, they split the training into what can be done online and what has to be conducted on-site.

Kit and Celeste were joined by Brent Denning, Salarium’s Chief Operating Officer, who shared how Salarium’s platform can help make HR digitization process more efficient. Salarium provides Philippine companies with Transparent Timekeeping, Effortless Payroll, and Secure Payout—all automated and cloud-based.

During the pandemic, Salarium has enabled companies to monitor their employees’ attendance in real-time, whether they work remotely or on-site. Their payroll module is highly configurable to meet every need of any company (payslips, cash advances, bonuses and allowance, automated contributions deduction, etc.). They also offer SALPay, a Visa Debit card paired with an e-wallet, that is connected to the Salarium system so HR can disburse payout directly and securely—no needs to go through banks.

Download Brent’s complete presentation here: BRENT DENNING (EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT.pdf


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