Last September 12-14, 2012, Caryn and I participated in the 49th People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) Annual Conference held at the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, Cebu City. With the theme of “REVOLUTIONALIZING PEOPLE MANAGEMENT: Great Minds, Bold Changes, Unparalled Results”, this year’s conference promises to help change the way we lead our people. As PMAP puts it, to revolutionalize is to change the leadership mindsets, without having to resort to changing the leaders.
For three consecutive days, all roads led to the Waterfront Hotel where over 1,300 participants from all over the Philippines registered to participate in the revolution. A good variety of HR practitioners, executives, head hunters, lawyers, and even students of Human Resources were present for this year’s event.
The conference opened with inspiring messages from respected leaders from both private and public organizations such as Meralco President and CEO Oscar S. Reyes and Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro. Later that evening, Meralco was awarded Employer of the Year while the Bank of the Philippine Islands received the People Program of the Year Award for its LEAD program.
From the winners’ acceptance speeches, the most salient and common factor for their achievement is the conscious effort from the management to value their people and provide for their needs, whether financial, physical or psychological. A great sense of care for their people made Meralco and BPI winners in people management.
The second day of the conference started with a keynote address from Scott D. Anthony, President of Innosight and a Harvard Business Press author, and Mr. Ranjay Gulati, Chair of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. As a take- away from their lectures, both stressed that an employer must understand the kind of person his employee is, particularly that of his motivation. As most workers will quickly admit that they work for the money, first and foremost. But actually, there are people whose PASSION is what drives them, hence an effective reward program for them would consist not only financial but the feeling of being appreciated, recognized and having a sense of purpose and meaning in what they do at work.
Putting theory into practice is often very challenging. PMAP invited speakers who have actually applied the theories, the likes of Chandramogan Anamirtham, General Manager of Hitachi Global Storage Philippines and Victorico P. Vargas, President and CEO of Maynilad Water Services. Among the more interesting employee programs they shared were providing for a Mass Wedding for employees who otherwise could not afford the wedding-related expenses, assisting in the building of houses for families of their employees, and offering scholarship programs. Lesson learned from their speeches: Charity begins at home! Before going out to do Corporate Social Responsibility, they ask: “How can I help my own employees have a better life?”
BPI President and CEO Aurelio R. Montinola III, this year’s winner of the People Program of the Year, likened their employee learning and development program to that of the sports teams in the World Cup where the leaders are trained and developed internally. Their program, LEAD, is a partnership with Harvard Business Publishing. With the upcoming retirement of its senior leaders, BPI needed to rapidly develop a solid pipeline of leaders to step into these positions to maintain its strong position as one of the leading financial institutions in the Philippines. BPI has had to build a bank-wide culture of leadership, innovation, and customer-centricity at the same time. Hence, the LEAD program which trains and develops BPI’s future leaders.
The afternoon session of Day 2 highlights perspectives in accelerating talent development, particularly in response to the advent of the Business Process Outsourcing industry. Very aptly, Executive Director, Conference Board-Asia Pacific Nick Sutcliffe; Global Learning Solutions CEO Roger Collantes; and BPAP President and CEO Benedict C. Hernandez gave their insights. The Philippines has become more globally competitive based on the progressive Employee Programs of the BPO companies who, among themselves, enjoy a healthy competition in attracting and retaining their talents.
After a very long day filled with very informative discussions, it was time for some entertainment. The night started with the Grand Finals of the PMAP Idol. Five contestants from different companies took the stage to showcase their vocal prowess in two rounds of singing extravaganza. The first round was to sing a song of their own choice and the second that of their mentor’s pick. The Gary Valenciano-like singer from FPSC, Rene Espinosa, was crowned the first-ever PMAP Singing Idol. Then, the “Clubbing Night” ensued. Caryn and I were quick to show our own moves along with the younger set of delegates.
On Day 3 of the Conference, Caryn attended the Organizational Change Session while I attended that for Talent Acquisition. In the afternoon, there were dialogues with the government officials from the DOLE. Caryn and I will be sharing what we learned in the concurrent sessions to the entire KSearch Team as part of KSearch’s Knowledge Enrichment Program.
The 49th PMAP Conference ended with the closing ceremony and awarding of the raffle prizes. Everyone was made to promise to cascade the spirit of the “revolution” to the delegate’s respective companies. The conference has ended but the REVOLUTION to change and improve People Management practices has just begun – as so we hope.