Here 4UFirst Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) underscores the importance it places on employees’ total well-being, evident in the programs that have been established to support their health and development. As the company continues to listen and learn from employees’ experiences, it adapts with new initiatives that are relevant to their needs.
Its latest effort is the Here4U program that aims to provide employees with someone they can talk to during moments of distress caused by work, family, relationships or other personal concerns.
Here4U complements other support mechanisms currently in place, but is different in that it is run by employees for fellow employees.
In May, First Gen Corporation called for program volunteers across the Lopez Group companies. A month later, the Here4U core team members were introduced.
The 21 Here4U confidants, as they are called, are trained to provide employees with psychological first aid (PFA). They are here to be trusted and speak with you. Confidants give you undivided attention and let you express your emotions. They try to reduce your distress and instill hope, confidence and resilience. They can help you regain control and manage stressful situations.
Following the PFA, the confidants will try to help affirm your strengths, identify strategies for coping and link you to other sources of support if needed.
For all employees
All employees of the Lopez Group who recently experienced or are currently going through stressful situations can avail of PFA from any of the confidants.
These situations may be personal (anger, anxiety/stress, depression, grief/loss, relationships, self-confidence, abuse, addiction, trauma/crisis, significant life changes, illness); work-related (career direction, performance, job satisfaction, problems with coworkers/superiors, work-life balance); family (parenting, marital problems, relationships with family members, financial matters); or disaster-related (volcanic eruptions, floods/typhoons, earthquakes and other natural calamities).
To avail of assistance, simply email your chosen confidant to schedule a one-hour video call. Once you both agree on the schedule, your confidant will send you a link to a waiver and consent form; read, understand and return the form to the confidant.
Prepare for the online PFA session by finding a private space where you feel comfortable and safe enough to talk. Make sure you will be undisturbed by others during the session. Set up your device early so you will feel more relaxed and prepared. Check that your internet is up and running so you can optimize your session without having to restart your device.
Guidelines on availment
Employees must also note certain guidelines regarding schedules, venue logistics, agreement or consent, frequency and confidentiality of the sessions.
PFA sessions can be scheduled from Mondays to Fridays during working hours, as arranged with the confidant. In terms of venue logistics, the confidants will ensure a comfortable space for you to share your issue and/or emotions; all sessions will be highly confidential, with recordings by either party prohibited.
Before the first session, you will be asked to sign a waiver and consent form to confirm that you have read, understood and agreed to the scope of assistance, the processing of personal information and the waiver of liability.
You can avail of up to two sessions per issue or incident. If the confidant determines that you need further assistance after two sessions, they can refer you to appropriate support sources.
The confidant will not share your name, personal information or circumstances with HR or any other person or entity. However, HR shall keep track of and generate reports of availment, type of concern and feedback to improve the program.
Workings of EI
Meanwhile, certified coaching and mentoring professional April Salonga on July 27 took almost 200 participants through the workings of emotional intelligence (EI) in “Emotional Intelligence in Action,” the latest in FPH’s “Wellness Wednesday” webinar series.
The terms “emotional intelligence” and “emotional quotient” or EQ were first used in the 1980s. Before that, there was “multiple intelligences,” a concept introduced by Harvard professor Howard Gardner about a decade earlier.
EI as a concept took off in the 1990s with the release of Daniel Goleman’s book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ,” in 1995.
EI is defined as the “ability to recognize your emotions, understand them and see how they affect those around you” and “how you effectively manage yourself and your relationships.” It has become a major criterion in talent and leadership development and is considered a prized quality in employees. And while EQ remains pretty much static throughout life, EI can still be enhanced through personality tests or self-development exercises.
In his Emotional Intelligence Theory, Goleman presents the elements of EI in four quadrants that are connected to one another: self-awareness and social awareness which comprise the recognition quadrant; and self-management and relationship management under the regulation quadrant.
The quadrant may be used to develop oneself and other people, Salonga noted, adding that it all starts with self-awareness, which refers to “knowing one’s internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions.”
Being self-aware means not only looking at positive characteristics or strengths, but also acknowledging one’s negative traits as well. If you are self-aware, it is easier to manage yourself and to show empathy to others. Empathy—the ability to identify with other people and understand their needs, wants and viewpoints—is an important trait in a leader, Salonga stressed.
This leads to social awareness, which refers to “how people handle relationships, and awareness of others’ feelings, needs and concerns.”
In tackling the regulation quadrant, the participants were asked to imagine a workplace where there is no regulation and employees act however they want, say whatever they want. In such a scenario, Salonga said, attrition rates would rise, absenteeism would be rampant and individual motivation would be low. Eventually, it would not be a safe environment for employees.
On the flip side, she pointed out, positive emotions make teams more motivated, productive, creative and empathetic while creating a ripple effect throughout the company.
As for self-management, which includes managing one’s internal states, impulses and resources, Salonga shared a quote: “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” If you want the value of excellence, you must be excellent in all things, even if you think that activity is so mundane, she expounded.
When you master the first three elements—self-awareness, social awareness and self-management—you can achieve relationship management, where you are able to induce desirable responses in others.
Relationship management comes easy if the person sees you are credible or have integrity. If, for example, you ask someone to submit a report on time and you yourself don’t meet the deadline, then you will lose credibility as a leader.
That’s why one has to master the first three quadrants and relationship management will be the result of such, Salonga said.
In the end, high IQ (better comprehension, analytical skills and excellent memory) combined with high EI or EQ will translate to success, she added.