FUEL: VBP Mentoring Program

FUEL: VBP Mentoring Program

Last 20th August 2019, our Learning and Development Team has launched FUEL – VBP’s Mentoring Program that will provide a systematic process in creating training and development opportunities in the areas of leadership and management.

The FUEL Mentoring Program is open to all VBP staff specifically to newly appointed leaders and those who aspire to become one. This program will serve as a key succession-planning tool to ensure that we develop the right kind of leaders who will help us achieve our organisational goals.

The first batch of mentors and mentees are handpicked – mentors are second level managers and our mentees include new team leads, domain experts and senior FPAs who would potentially assume a leadership role.

Alex, new Team Lead in Invest Blue, thinks that the mentoring program will help her learn things that are beyond the basic managerial training that they usually have.

“We get more insight through the experience of our tenured mentors, which gives us a more detailed view of the managerial role that we have taken on. I think it will really help me grow, not only as a leader, but as an employee of VBP.”

Our Domain Experts, Sam and Richard, are also looking forward to the benefits of having mentors while they are taking on their roles in the Client Onboarding Team.

“Handling my own team as a DE, I think one of the most important advantages of being part of FUEL would be receiving personal insights from my mentor. This can help me become a more reliable leader in terms of competency and skills”, said Richard.

“This program can also let tenured managers share their best practices to new leaders like me which I can apply in my everyday work”, Sam added.

One of our mentors and top performing managers, Mike Chan, also agrees with the importance of having someone to guide new leaders while they are still in the early phase of their role:

“This will ignite the interest of our new and would-be leaders to proficiently take on the role through learning the fundamentals of leadership while growing their self-esteem and becoming the best version of themselves.”

FUEL has been delegated to the Learning and Development department. A Program Manager is designated to oversee development, implementation, and evaluation of the program.

A visit to Zappos and Disney Institute

A visit to Zappos and Disney Institute

Through the years, VBP has taken pride in being one of the few culture-led organisations in the Philippines. Our amazing company culture is one of the main qualities that distinguish us from other companies here in Cebu. Thus, we aim to deliver our promise to our team and our clients—to maintain our culture (despite our growing number) and create a place where people can work and flourish at the same time.

The US Trip

Learning about culture, training and development at Zappos

Last month, I, together with Dave Carney (our CEO), had a chance to visit Zappos, one of the leading online shoe and clothing retailer in the US. Zappos is a recipient of multiple awards and is known for its real competitive advantage—its culture.

From the moment I stepped into their headquarters, I could tell that there was something special about the place. The tour was led by their culture maestro, Ryo, whose stepmom is also a Filipino (Woohoo! #PinoyPride).

Our tour started with watching some videos that showcased their culture and company history. We then got to meet some of their staff members who are not only accommodating, but also highly engaged. Their workstations reflect creativity and the unique personality of each employee which shows how the company values their staff’s individuality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also got check out their office facilities. My personal favorite was their nap room where employees can “sleep with the fishes”. The room is designed with an aquarium installed above reclining massage chairs, handcrafted by the stars of Animal Planet’s show “Tanked”.

 

 

 

 

After the tour, we had some one-on-one sessions with 2 of their trainers, Trisha and Kelly. As a trainer myself, I was so excited to learn about what they do differently that enables them to perpetuate their culture and attain their desired employee behavior.

The 2–hour session proved to be very productive as I was able to gain much insights on how to keep employees engaged despite the changes in the environment and growth in the workforce.  One of the things that have been effective for them is infusing culture-related activities and sessions all throughout the duration of their training, from onboarding up to graduation.

This is something I believe we can adopt here in VBP; to ensure we instill the VBP core values to our new staff members as early as day 1 to make them more emotionally engaged. This will also inspire them to create a WOW experience not only to their clients but also to their colleagues.

In addition, Zappos also has comprehensive progression plans which help their employees attain short or long-term goals within the organisation.

Employee engagement training at the Disney Institute

We also attended the employee engagement training by Disney Institute. The 1-day session focused on how we can be intentional when immersing people into the organisation’s culture.

It highlighted 4 areas: Selection, Training, Communication, and Care.

Selection – by hiring the right people and giving them the right roles; Training – by giving high quality training; Communication – by listening with the intent to understand, and delivering difficult messages without violating any culture standards; Care – by showing genuine care and making sure the day-to day routine of the employees is hassle-free.

This aims to give a clear picture of what the organisation’s culture is all about.

In VBP, we have very talented, skilled, and amazing people working with us and we want to continue to provide an atmosphere that will allow them to grow professionally and personally.

So what better way to give our team a sense of belonging and the opportunity to grow than to make sure we keep the culture alive and thriving?

In our journey to strive and create a solid company culture, we hope that we continue to get everyone’s support and collaboration to succeed and achieve this continuous goal.

After all, it is the people who make the culture. In the words of Walt Disney,

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world.
But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Business Process: Why is it so important when outsourcing?

Business Process: Why is it so important when outsourcing?

Learn the most important tips for letting go of tasks and delegating to your staff

Businesses create processes  to improve overall operational performance and increase workforce efficiencies. Processes  are very useful in all areas of an organisation but oftentimes, they are poorly planned and structured. This causes confusion when different employees need to go through a process of a specific area of the business and there is no flow of the process. As a result, accuracy and consistency is highly affected.

Workflow VS Business Process

Most financial planning firms have some form of workflows. A workflow basically represents the approach on what needs to happen (set of tasks) to complete a piece of work (often specific to a client like a review meeting).

Meanwhile, a business process teaches us how to do each task in the workflow. Business process documentation is the process of creating materials containing manuals (ours are all online) and step-by-step guides of completing tasks and processes and provide tips and checklist to follow to ensure a consistent outcome for completing a series of task in a workflow.

Both of these work together to make a more efficient and systematic business operation. On our experience, firms usually rely on a lot of assumed knowledge on how to do tasks when they hire a staff. Therefore, it takes a long time to get someone confident and independent in completing workflows (not to mention a lot of handholding).

How to document your business process?

In VBP, we follow a standard process in documentation:

  1. Complete Workbook. The workbook allows you to think about your business process and create an outline of the process.
  2. Create Flowchart. By creating a visual flowchart or a swim lane diagram, we get clarity on who’s responsible for each step of the process.
  3. Client Training. All training sessions will be recorded for future references and will show a step-by-step demonstration of how the process is being completed.
  4. Edit and Save Videos. All videos will be edited. VBP will remove all unnecessary parts of the training video and retain only the important parts that are relevant to the topic being discussed making it easier and faster to reference in the future.
  5. Create manuals. In addition to the videos, manuals will also be created for the CSRs to easily browse through the manual if there is a particular step they need to review.
  6. Upload Materials to the Intranet. All of the training materials including your templates, reference material, links, videos, and manuals will be in uploaded to one centralised location–the client intranet. This will be the main resource of your CSR when completing tasks for you.
  7. Client Sign Off. After all of these have been completed, a link to your intranet will be sent to you for you to review the content.

Once everything is documented a process should have 6 key elements:

 

How does process documentation benefit your business?

There are 5 main advantages of business process documentation:

  • Tasks are completed exactly how you need them to be completed.
  • If you need to take leave from work, someone else can cover for you and help with your tasks.
  • Easily share task instructions with colleagues and new hires.
  • It increases efficiency as it’s easier to keep track of the progress of a task/project and identify any blockages along the way.
  • It adds value to the business especially when you consider purchasing, as it will be easier to integrate new business into your documented processes. In the same way when you plan to sell your business, having a structured and well documented process can add significant value to potential purchaser.

Some tools we use for documentation include: Zoom to hold client training or meetings, Snagit to record all training sessions, Camtasia to edit videos, Screensteps to create manuals, Lucid Chart to create process flow charts and Google Sites to host client intranet.

When a workflow is properly documented with clear business processes, the main benefit is, it is much faster to get a new staff member up and running as they have more confidence around the work being done.

Whether you are considering outsourcing or wanting to scale your business with internal staff, this statement holds true “Customise the Advice, Sytemise the Process”.