• Achieve your potential while helping others

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    Moje Ramos-Aquino, Fpm

    One of the many creative ways Meralco is helping its employees achieve their potential is through the practice of workplace agility, consisting of iFLEX (work from home arrangement) and iFLEX2 (flexible work schedule).
    Meralco is a 113 year-old company, operating 24/7, with 5,500 employees, mostly engineers, professionals, linemen, technicians and skilled workers. The utility company is a recipient of the coveted, prestigious KAPATID Awards for employers.

    The KAPATID Awards is a biennial event of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines established in 1995, recognizing companies that exemplify good business practices in the field of industrial relations, productivity and quality, social accountability, and strategic visioning and partnering for business and job survival. Essentially, these practices are characterized by closer enterprise level cooperation between management and employees, whether in a unionized or non-unionized setting, resulting in labor and enterprise productivity, product/service quality, improved workplace conditions and enhanced relationship with society.

    One of Meralco’s notable employee relations practices is the iFLEX. It is, Meralco says, a response to commuting problems brought by worsening traffic conditions in Metro Manila; to promote wellness and work-life integration by providing working schedules suitable to both the employees and the company; to reduce attendance issues, particularly tardiness and excessive overtime; to increase productivity and employee commitment; and to enable self-discipline and self-management. Likewise, iFLEX provides various types of savings: travel costs, travel time, which can be used as productive work time or quality time for family, and environmental impact (energy, CO2, waste).

    Meralco clarifies that iFLEX is not an entitlement, not extra vacation time, not working only from home, not for those that cannot be contacted, not for all types of positions and individuals, and not for employees with client-facing work or field management responsibility (linemen, safety officials, field personnel, inspectors or any similar role).

    The company has issued certain guidelines on coverage, frequency, approval, prioritization, length, log in/time in or performance standards, scheduling, restrictions, required insfrastructure (e.g., computer/laptop, internet connection, phone with the cost to be shouldered by the employee), safety and security, as well as performance monitoring. (Call Meralco Human Resources Group for details.)

    Meralco is happy with the results of iFLEX: 1.) More Gen X employees were rated Level 1 in terms of quality of work while on iFLEX. 2.) More Gen Y were assessed with a Level 1 rating in terms of quantity of output. 3.) All Baby Boomers and Gen X were rated level 1 in terms of employee accountability while in iFLEX. 3.) Level 1 feedback rating is highest in the Gen Y group at 71 percent, followed by the Gen X at 60 percent and by the Baby Boomers at 50 percent.
    Some comments from those who are on iFLEX:

    “Personally, there were times when I was more productive while on iFLEX than on regular office days, primarily because I saved a lot of travel time and time to get ready for work.”

    “With iFLEX, we felt that management has trusted us to still deliver (and for self-motivated professionals like lawyers, that trust is a strong motivator). It increases productivity and promotes self-discipline. It is apt for us, lawyers, as performance is measured by the output (which could be delivered even away from the office).”

    “I strongly believe in the principle of iFLEX and we are hoping that the program will eventually be rolled out on a larger scale (to be enjoyed by similarly situated employees).

    An INVITATION to help others reach their full potential by reaching yours:

    We invite you to join 10,000 of your colleagues in talent development to attend the Association for Talent Development (ATD) 2017 International Conference and Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, this May 21-24. At ATD 2017, you’ll find a warm reception from fellow conference attendees, where everyone is excited to share knowledge and best practices with each other. The conference offers an engaging learning experience, with hundreds of education and networking opportunitites and the industry’s largest EXPO.

    We’re eager to welcome you to Atlanta and ready to assist you with the resources you may need as you plan your travel to the United States. Please visit http://www.atdconference.org/ for more information. You may also course your inquires through this column (moje629@gmail.com) and join our Philippine delegation for group registration fees.

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