by Elrik Jundis
What’s nice about being around professional friends – solutions and new ideas crop up over light banter and good food. I sometimes think this is an HCD value.
Late last year, I hung out with a former colleague, who is Organizational Director of a conglomerate. While talking about the challenges in his organization, he mentioned that I might find value in attending some of the events of PMAP – that’s People Management Association of the Philippines, the Philippines’ premier HR organization, founded in 1956. So I did.
Since January, I and some members of the HCD team have attended several of PMAP’s general meetings and special sessions, including SAP, Engaging Millennials, and Using Social Media to Support Engagement. I have also given a talk to one of their incoming classes, on “The Three Laws of Performance.”
In our work, our primary contacts are often HR professionals. I’ve found it valuable seeing and hearing about their world in the context of a community of peers. Most PMAP events are formal and professional. Yet when I show my interest and find out what they are up to, I’ve been happily surprised by the warmth I’ve experienced from active members.
At times, we’d be taken under the wing of some of the old guard and introduced to people and regaled with stories of their growth and participation in the organization. I’ve met folks who have been actively involved with PMAP for decades. Again and again I’d hear how PMAP was where they found the mentors who’d helped them to become the HR heads they are today.
At the one-day workshop on SAP (Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing) it was interesting for me to hear that HR professionals can now go to “excom” meetings prepared to help create the future. When the speaker said that professionals are no longer just bound to supporting the initiatives of sales and finance, I noticed heads nodding.
I participated in an interactive workshop where we got to play with “social media” like applications for web and smart phones that could help increase employee engagement, communication, and collaboration. We worked with tools for different departments and interfaces, from rank and file to supervisors to the CEO. These tools give statistics and reports to drive business decisions, tools that earlier generations of HR practitioners could only dream about. I heard stories that in many Philippine organizations, this kind of information takes weeks to obtain from across departments; with these tools that data would be available with a click of a button.
One of the areas we focus on in HCD is supporting our clients in finding the balance and bandwidth to start looking at their organization as a whole so that they can start to think strategically and synergistically. We were happy to hear these themes come up again and again at PMAP events.
In our business, we often come across leaders who find themselves stretched between multiple stakeholders. It was great to come to an environment where the HR professionals we often see stressed (trying to fit us between meetings), have a place where they can learn as well as relax and have a good time with their peers.