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Manulife Phl, tech leaders share how SMEs can thrive post-pandemic

In the Philippines, small and medium enterprises are among the key pillars of our economy and employ majority of our population, and were among the hardest hits during the pandemic. By engaging startups who have managed to weather market disruption through agility, responsiveness and customer-centricity, Manulife aims to empower other businesses with valuable insights that can help them face today’s challenging landscape, as well as introduce them to innovative tools and technologies to bring their ventures forward.

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Photo by Prateek Katyal from Unsplash.com

Manulife Philippines collaborated with some of the Philippines’ leading tech startups to host a webinar aiming to help local businesses start, bounce back or keep going despite the continuing pandemic.  

At the Manulife webinar titled “Getting Back to Business: Starting or restarting a business in the new normal,” Jacqueline Lim, Head of GrabExpress, Grab Philippines, Martha Sazon, President & CEO, Mynt, and Ragde Falcis, CEO and Founder, ChatGenie.PH offered practical tips to guide entrepreneurs into the new realities brought by COVID-19 to local businesses. 

In the Philippines, small and medium enterprises are among the key pillars of our economy and employ majority of our population, and were among the hardest hits during the pandemic. By engaging startups who have managed to weather market disruption through agility, responsiveness and customer-centricity, Manulife aims to empower other businesses with valuable insights that can help them face today’s challenging landscape, as well as introduce them to innovative tools and technologies to bring their ventures forward.         

As social distancing measures have prevented businesses from servicing customers in their physical stores, many have embraced digital transformation and shifted their attention and resources to e-commerce to keep themselves afloat. To support them, the webinar touched on three crucial components of online selling: logistics and fulfillment, customer support, and digital payments.

Manulife invited GrabExpress, Grab Philippines’ same day parcel and courier delivery service, to share how businesses can take advantage of the services of their fleet, and to offer tips on how to manage delivery of their goods.  Meanwhile, to help businesses drive profitability as they make and keep their customers happy, Manulife partnered with ChatGenie.PH, a mini app development company that harnesses Facebook Messenger for easier communications and transactions.  

Manulife also reached out to GCash, an e-wallet service provider from Globe Telecom’s financial venture Mynt, to educate businesses on how they can offer convenient online payment services for their customers, and even salary disbursements for their employees, safely, securely, and seamlessly.

Through this webinar, Manulife hopes to support entrepreneurs from all walks of life – whether they are a solo-preneur or part of a family enterprise, a startup founder or a veteran in the field – as they reimagine the way they do things, so that they can continue to make a living, serve others, and make every day better.   

To find out more, Filipinos can watch the full webinar on this link for free. To know more about their upcoming seminars on health, investment, and business needs, you may visit www.manulife.com.ph

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Poor management the biggest risk factor for workplace bullying

Workplace bullying undermines the functioning of employees and organizations alike. It leads to mental health problems, post-traumatic stress symptoms, emotional exhaustion, poor job satisfaction, high staff turnover, low productivity, sleep problems and even suicide risks.

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Workplace bullying affects one in 10 employees, costing global employers billions of dollars every year in absenteeism, stress leave and lost productivity. 

Now, Australian researchers have developed an evidence-based screening tool that identifies nine major risk areas for workplace bullying embedded in day-to-day practices, putting the onus on organizations to address the problem.

In a paper published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, lead author University of South Australia Professor Michelle Tuckey and colleagues from the Centre for Workplace Excellence,  the University of Queensland and Auburn University in the United States offer a new way of tackling bullying at work.

They analyzed 342 real-life bullying complaints lodged with SafeWork SA, 60 per cent of them from female employees. The highest number of complaints were from health and community services, property and business, and the retail sector. The complaints revealed the risk areas for bullying in organizations.

“Workplace bullying predominantly shows up in how people are managed,” Prof Tuckey says. “Managing work performance, co-ordinating working hours and entitlements, and shaping workplace relationships are key areas that organizations need to focus on. It can be tempting to see bullying as a behavioral problem between individuals, but the evidence suggests that bullying actually reflects structural risks in the organizations themselves.”

The major organizational risks have now been identified and built into a screening tool that has been validated in a hospital setting.

“The tool predicts both individual-level and team-level workplace bullying risks that jeopardize the psychological health of employees,” Prof Tuckey says.

The researchers say that existing strategies, such as anti-bullying policies, bullying awareness training, incident reporting and investigating complaints, focus on behavior between individuals and overlook workplace structures.

“Workplace bullying undermines the functioning of employees and organizations alike. It leads to mental health problems, post-traumatic stress symptoms, emotional exhaustion, poor job satisfaction, high staff turnover, low productivity, sleep problems and even suicide risks,” Prof Tuckey says. “To prevent bullying, organizations must proactively assess and mitigate the underlying risk factors, like other systematic risk management processes. Only then will an organization thrive.”

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Horrible bosses cause ‘race to the bottom’ – study

A new study has found that hostile behaviors from “abusive” bosses can lead to co-workers adopting similar behavior, leading to a toxic atmosphere of insecurity and exhaustion in the workplace.

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A new study has found that hostile behaviors from “abusive” bosses can lead to co-workers adopting similar behavior, leading to a toxic atmosphere of insecurity and exhaustion in the workplace.

The study, carried out by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK as well as researchers in Pakistan, China and the United States, surveyed 323 employees about their experiences of abusive behavior from superiors and peers, and also their job security and level of emotional exhaustion.

Examples of hostile behavior in the workplace considered by the researchers included use of inappropriate language, sexual harassment, outbursts, humiliation and misuse of power.

Researchers uncovered a significant association between abusive leader behavior and abusive behavior from co-workers. Of the 323 people involved in the study, 68% who had experienced hostile behavior from a leader had also witnessed interpersonal aggression from the general workforce.

The study also reported an association between experiencing hostile behavior from leaders and emotional exhaustion and job insecurity, suggesting that mistreatment from peers can damage employees’ confidence in their job and their role within an organization.

Of those who had experienced hostile behavior from a leader, 35% had faced abusive peer behavior themselves, 52% had suffered emotional exhaustion and 77% had concerns about job security.

Co-author Dr Nadeem Khalid, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Strategy at ARU, said: “It’s clear from our study that hostile behavior at the top of a workplace is not only likely to be damaging to individuals in terms of their emotional exhaustion and job security, it is also likely to encourage other employees to act in unethical ways, creating a toxic environment across the entire organization.

“This mirroring of negative behavior may have its roots in the reciprocal relationship between leaders and employees. An employee who is mistreated may feel the only way to get ahead in their job is to treat others as they have been treated themselves – this may not always be intentional but it results in a race to the bottom among employees and damages job security and leads to stress and exhaustion.

“Previous studies have shown that abusive behavior from leaders is associated with a lack of commitment from employees, and has a negative effect on emotional wellbeing. Our study suggests that the situation could be exacerbated by the negative behavior of general workers as well as the leader.”

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LinkedIn lists top startups in PH, highlights rise of digital entrepreneurship, entertainment, education

The Philippines has always had a strong MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises) sector. The pandemic further propelled its growth as Filipinos embarked on micro or solo entrepreneurship to augment their income and overcome financial challenges.

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LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, revealed its inaugural Top Startups in the Philippines list, which highlights the local startups that have shown resilience in an uncertain market environment and are continuing to innovate in 2022.  

LinkedIn analyzed data across four pillars to compile the list: employee growth, jobseeker interest, the attraction of top talent, and engagement with the company’s LinkedIn page and its employees. This is the first time LinkedIn has introduced the Top Startups list in the Philippines.

Satoshi Ebitani, Senior Managing Editor, LinkedIn News, said: “In an uncertain financial climate, what has proven resilient time and time again is the enterprising spirit that startups embody, especially those on this year’s LinkedIn Top Startups list. In the Philippines, we see a diverse mix in sectors such as e-commerce, education, and entertainment, which continue to lead the way in the future of skills by embracing innovation and attracting top talent with their robust cultures. Through this list, we hope to spark meaningful conversations surrounding the future of work and inspire professionals to equip themselves with the necessary skills to thrive, no matter the headwinds.”

New era of entrepreneurship

The Philippines has always had a strong MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises) sector. The pandemic further propelled its growth as Filipinos embarked on micro or solo entrepreneurship to augment their income and overcome financial challenges. This new class of entrepreneurs behind startups such as SariSuki (#2), Shoppertainment Live (#3), Edamama (#5), Growsari (#6), Peddlr (#9), and Prosperna (#10) met opportunities to respond to the demands of the times.

Entertainment, E-sports, and Education companies are thriving 

The success of the live-streaming platform Kumu (#4), led by local creatives and talent, highlights the country’s growing demand for innovative and interactive digital entertainment that champions Filipino voices and perspectives. Meanwhile, gaming and e-sports company Tier One Entertainment (#1) shows the unique potential of this lucrative industry by investing in talent and technology.

“Investing in automation, the right people, and experienced leadership who are open to feedback and the ever-changing status quo of our industry was key for surviving and growing during the pandemic. Pivoting quickly through setbacks is vital to survival in these times,” Tryke Gutierrez, Co-Founder and CEO of Tier One Entertainment, said. “LinkedIn has helped us tell our story to the world. We’re able to share more long-form content that isn’t as readily digestible on other social media platforms to an audience that is more open to serious or nuanced discussion,” he added.

Education technology (Edtech) platform Edukasyon.ph (#8) saw an opportunity to be of service in response to the disruption in the education sector and emerging concerns about the future readiness of today’s youth.

Growth areas in digital finance

As digital finance becomes more mainstream in the Philippines, the rise of  PDAX (Philippine Digital Asset Exchange) (#7), a homegrown cryptocurrency exchange, indicates the Filipinos’ growing interest in exploring new frontiers in personal finance and investments to diversify and optimize their portfolios, navigate the current economic climate, and benefit from future growth potential.     

The top 10 startups in the Philippines are:

  1. Tier One Entertainment
  2. SariSuki
  3. Shoppertainment Live
  4. Kumu
  5. Edamama
  6. GrowSari
  7. PDAX (Philippine Digital Asset Exchange)
  8. Edukasyon.ph
  9. Peddlr
  10. Prosperna

More details on the LinkedIn Top Startups list in the Philippines are found here.

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