[B-SIDE Podcast] Intentional communication, career progression

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Alorica, a provider of customer management outsourcing solutions, has a young workforce: 30% are from Gen Z, and around 61% are millennials. “Freedom of thought is very important for them,” said Irene L. Tan, vice-president for learning and development at Alorica Philippines, Inc., who added that the company has benefited from the “brilliant ideas” originating from these generational cohorts. In this episode of B-Side, she tells BusinessWorld reporter Patricia B. Mirasol how intentional communication and creating a culture of care are key to retaining young talent when most of them are working from home because of the pandemic.

TAKEAWAYS

To keep young employees engaged, have a clear message. Embrace social.

Intentional communication — clear and purposeful messaging that accounts for the feelings of the receiver — is vital since 60% of Alorica’s Philippine workforce have been working from home since the pandemic struck.

“We repackaged our whole training program so it fits the virtual setting. We focused on how [frontline leaders] coach or problem solve virtually.”

Alorica produces videos, infographics, and micro-learning content to keep its young employees engaged. Its learning academy offers courses that support career pathing, leadership development, and life skills. Among these are “Til Debt Do Us Part” (a personal finance course) and “Before You Click Send” (a digital communications course). Self-paced materials have proven popular in the academy because of the greater control it allows.

“It’s very important for our young workforce to make sure we have the social media aspect with features they enjoy that we can bring in a controlled environment,” she said, adding that both Gen Zs and millennials have a learning orientation that is very digital and process information in bite-sized pieces.

Personal attitude dictates the pace of career growth…

Self-motivation and the willingness to learn will allow employees to advance. “The opportunities are there,” she said. “It’s up to you how you will grab and learn from every opportunity. It all begins with how you challenge yourself.”

Added Ms. Tan: “We promote 80-90% of folks from within so we need to have a very strong bench training for leaders.”

…and so does adaptability.

One’s degree should not limit one’s career path, as the skills and knowledge learned can be adapted to other fields and functions. “You can grow laterally in an organization,” said Ms. Tan. “Adaptability is one of the special traits we look for.”

Recorded remotely on May 14. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez, and Sam L. Marcelo.

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