Transforming employees into growth partners

By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 17, 2017 - 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines - It’s no secret the workforce is the basic building block and the driving force behind the success of any business venture.

According to management experts, a strong and deep relationship between company and its employees will eventually translate to better communication with customers, thereby growing the company.

This is why Seaoil coined the term "People Philosophy" to describe the business ethos taken by the company to nurture its employees.

Guided by this principle, Seaoil sees its employees as “partners and stewards” in fostering the growth of the company’s assets and resources.

“We see to it that our people live a balanced professional and personal life through our workplace-friendly policies, employee-involvement activities and self-enhancement programs,” according to Seaoil’s People Philosophy.

Because of this belief, Seaoil was recognized  as “Asia's Best Employer Brand” by the Employer Branding Institute, World HRD Congress, Stars of the Industry Group and Asian Confederation of Businesses for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016.

Started in 2010, the Employer Branding Awards gather HR experts to hail Asian companies with exemplary work and best practices in talent management, development and innovation.

“This newest milestone assures us that we are on the right track in fulfilling our vision of fuelling a better future for our customers, stakeholders, and equally important – our employees,” Seaoil vice president  for human resources and general administration  Erika Ovenson said.

Brand ambassadors

Through the years, Seaoil’s People Philosophy has spawned company programs that not only familiarizes employees with the business but also empowers them to become effective brand ambassadors.

Such programs were based on the company “being a steward, and having that mindset of a steward,”  Seaoil Philippines Inc. chief executive officer  Glenn Yu said.

“When you start from a different philosophy, then all these programs become a natural progression of that philosophy. That’s why the People Philosophy is important. All these programs are a result of an intentional decision by the company to change its philosophy in the way it views its relationship with its people,” Yu said.
“It’s like a framework. Subsequent programs are a support of what we believe in as an organization,” he added.

At the start of one’s journey into the company, a new employee has to undergo Seaoil’s unique orientation program called the New Employee Orientation.

Unlike with the usual one-hour orientation, the company begins with a two-day program designed to familiarize new employees with the Seaoil way of life.

“The focus is to make the person appreciate and get context in terms of how the organization works in terms of its culture and  values,’’ Yu said.

To better appreciate the organization, Seaoil also came up with a program called  Exploration Day, a two-day program done on a quarterly basis designed to equip employees with the knowledge and understanding of Seaoil’s supply chain, including actual visits to the terminals and stations.

This was started in 2015, where office-based employees visit and immerse themselves in jobs in the retail stations and oil depots to get a sense of the overall business.
“When we first conceived that program, we wanted, especially for our office-based employees, to have that sense of how the business works,’’ Ovenson explained.

More recently, the management has implemented a competency-based talent management system, which outlines the technical competencies of each employee per position in the company.

This allows one person to level up in building one’s capacity and advance his/her career growth.

The company has formed a competency dictionary for every level in the organization to measure an individual’s progress.
“It’s a very transparent process so people are empowered. We want it transparent so that people are empowered…in that sense, they have ownership of their own careers and they have more control over that,” Yu said.

“I think that’s something we’re very excited about because it allows people a certain measure of control in terms of their careers because the roadmap is there,” he said.

Training new leaders

To further cultivate learning and management skills in the top tier level of the company, Seaoil also created the Executive Development Program which provides educational subsidy to all vice presidents, senior managers, and managers who like to pursue further studies to upgrade their competency level.

This program aims to inculcate the value of the employee’s work and  his contribution and to make sure those who did an excellent job are recognized, according to Yu.

“Two years ago, we wanted to encourage our mancom to pursue further studies. So it’s really an educational support that we provide our managers to which they can take graduate, masteral courses, We support them. We really encourage everyone to pursue further studies,” Yu said.

“It’s really important for us to have strong leaders because they are the ones who are also going to shape the future leaders of the company. We support them in that aspect,” Yu added.

Seaoil also strongly believes that education is a major component in nation-building and that every Filipino should have an opportunity to receive good education.

Social media

Seaoil launched a pioneering project called Facebook at Work in March 2015.

The platform is used for announcements and in forming social or interest groups to foster camaraderie within the workspace.

“It looks like Facebook but it’s only for our company. Its called Workplace. It’s different from Facebook. It’s the same platform but the way you use it is different,” Yu said.

All these form part of the holistic environment Seaoil wants to  provide for its employees.

“This is part of our goal to have an environment that’s holistic. The mindset is that we’re not just responsible for our employees financially, but we’re also responsible for them holistically, meaning, we recognize that people are going to spend a majority of their time working in their lifetime and we want to make it meaningful and purposeful,” Yu said.


*This article is a re-post from The Philippine Star:

Tags: members news, SEAOIL,
Date: April 17, 2017