A Virtual Hug: Keeping Employees InvolvedEmployee Journals
When I was still preparing for college, I honestly did not see myself working as an HR professional in the long run because I had other plans in mind. It was my mom’s idea that I pursue a BS Degree in Psychology and go into the Human Resources field, which she believed was the most suitable job for me. I did not understand what she meant at first, but I chose to go for it. As years passed, I came to realize that she was right – I am actually happy with where I am now.
I had few work experiences after I graduated. I think I still lack experience and skills in HR because I was a one-man show in my previous job. I did not have superiors or even teammates to guide me. Eventually, I decided to look for another company that will mold me to become a real HR professional, somewhere I can experience its functions with the supervision and support I need from the people I work with. From there, I found RareJob.
I started working here as an HR Associate in March 2017, during which I was assigned to handle and manage employment records, as well as other HR routine tasks. One of the shared responsibilities within the team is to organize company events, something I had no experience doing ever. I was given the challenge to lead my first-ever company event: the Halloween party. It got me nervous as there were other guests aside from the employees, but my team was very open and willing to assist me from the preparations to the post-event tasks. There was indeed a lot of pressure and last-minute changes, so as soon as we managed to pull it off, I was in tears. I even remember calling my dad right after the event, and I just simply said, “Dad, I did it!”
With the eagerness to learn and explore more in this field, I was groomed by my supervisor to step up and handle other responsibilities under compensation and benefits, and later on, employee relations – which are other HR facets handled by my team. With the trust given to me up to this day, I feel truly grateful to my teammates and superiors for the opportunities and their unending support. This is definitely the kind of growth I was looking for – both personal and professional. Not only am I able to master my tasks, but I also get to interact with people – something I really enjoy the most.
As I became more confident with my tasks, I also got the opportunity to lead, assist, and even host other company events, such as Valentine’s Day, the company outing, and our year-end party.
Being an HR personnel may look easy at first for some people, but there are actually a lot of things to focus on. This is honestly a broad field, and if I were to be asked what could be one of the most challenging duties of HR based on my experience, I would say that it is to keep the employees engaged. I believe that effective engagement at work results in improved productivity and retention. And while it is vital for a company to gain profit, it is also important that employees feel their connection and involvement with the company they are working for as they are one of its most valuable assets. It may sound cliché, but it’s definitely true. Without employees, how will a company run and survive in the first place?
Employee engagement is not merely the happiness or satisfaction of the employees, as many may believe it to be. To explain simply, we do not want employees to be burned out from work every day. So, what we aim for and what we mean by engagement is to strengthen employees’ mental and emotional connection toward their place of work, as well as to build camaraderie among their colleagues. With this in mind, we always strive to propose initiatives that would help employees do their tasks, all the while enjoying work in general. In fact, employee engagement is a combination of efforts of the whole HR Department while incorporating and promoting the RareJob culture, and the company’s core values.
That’s basically how it works. Isn’t it fulfilling to work for a company that is concerned not just about your performance, but also about your well-being?
For my team, organizing and facilitating events may be frustrating and stressful at times, but it’s always a fun moment shared with our fellow HR members, and of course, with all the employees gathered around to join and participate. We even have after-parties for every successful event that we pull off – may it be a karaoke night, samgyupsal night, or even a simple salu-salo in the pantry.
But as the company transitioned from office work to work-from-home setup due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I honestly found it hard to adjust. Aside from the new work environment that we currently have, it was also a challenge for us to switch from actual to virtual gatherings as there is, indeed, a big difference – from the preparations, audience, programs, and executions, to even the post-event tasks. Before, we got to decorate the venues or hire third-party stylists and coordinate with outside suppliers. Now, we no longer need to do so because everything is virtual. This could mean less hassle with the decorations, catering, and other suppliers. But if you think that this makes virtual events easier, I may have to disagree.
I believe everything has its advantages and disadvantages at some point. Virtual events could be more convenient than the actual ones since people may join at the comforts of their homes without even needing to dress up. However, on the side of the organizers, there are factors beyond our control, such as internet connection, bandwidth issues, and technical glitches. As much as we would want employees to experience a fun and engaging program, virtual conferencing problems are very common. Aside from this, one of the challenging parts of facilitating a virtual event is to connect with your audience, especially when the cameras are turned off due to bandwidth limitations.
That is why we always prepare a series of dry runs with the organizing committee, hosts, and live speakers, as well as performers, if any. We have actually been doing this ever since just to make sure that everything will go as planned. In reality, however, organizing and facilitating an event requires flexibility. There will always be last-minute changes and adjustments, increasing pressure on the organizers, and maybe even moments that may cause panic. To those problems, we are fortunate to always have a fool-proof solution: teamwork.
Ever since I started working with my HR family, I have always been happy and proud of them, not only for their efforts but for the kind of bond we have as well.
The Transition: The Fight against the Pandemic
I’ve been working for RJPH for 10 years and 6 months now. During my first few months, I’ve been given accounting tasks such as assets management and government document processing for tutors. Everything was done manually at that time, so perhaps you can imagine how mind-numbing and complicated our processes were back then. From being a member of the Accounting Team, I was eventually assigned to form and oversee the Administrative Team, along with some of the pioneer employees of the company until our humble “home” grew and became a department.
Consistency is Key: The Road to a Healthier Body and Mind
While working from home definitely has significant benefits, especially now that the numbers of infections have increased, there are undoubtedly some drawbacks. As we stay home to keep ourselves safe from the ongoing pandemic, the temptation to live a sedentary lifestyle and binge on various snacks is stronger than ever, which may result in other health concerns.
A Year Without Destinations: Beach Bound during the Pandemic
As we reach a year into the pandemic and the work from home setup, it’s understandable that some of us would feel antsy, not being able to move around as freely as we used to. On top of that, canceled vacation plans from 2020 still weigh heavily at the back of our minds, as if they were a vacation itch we just could not scratch.