Building a good atmosphere in the workplace is no easy feat – it takes a lot of dedication, effort, and time to be able to establish an effective employee engagement / appreciation program. For SRPH, we are lucky that we have Ms. Cristina Cariaga, the head of our GWP (Great Work Place) committee, to make sure that SRPH employees have the time to have fun with their teammates and colleagues.
Get to know more about her and her philosophy on what makes a great work place below:
Cristina: I work as a Senior Designer in SRPH, but I mostly do project and people management.
I am a project lead for Samsung Privacy so I manage a team of developers. For that project I mostly work on the project documents and translate development requirements into a UX document so that the developers and testers can identify the tasks that they need to do accordingly.
I also manage a team of designers who work on different projects in SRPH. From time to time, I still work on some projects myself, but most of my time is spent working with designers, reviewing their work, and mentoring them. I also love teaching and sharing my design experiences in Samsung, so I teach a lot of design courses through our internal education program.
Outside of project tasks, I lead a team of creative individuals to help make SRPH a great work place. We think of different ways to provide a good balance of work and non-work activities in SRPH so our colleagues don't get burned out.
Cristina with her project team (6th from left)
Cristina: For me, I think that a great work place is a company where you love what you do, you have a good working relationship with your colleagues, where there are good opportunities for learning and growth, and there is work-life balance. It sounds too perfect, but looking at some people I look up to who are happy where they work, I really think it is possible. It's important for companies to strive to be a great work place because I believe it is the ultimate key to retaining people. There are a lot of great companies out there but if you are really in a great work place and you're happy, you wouldn't think about looking at other opportunities.
SRPH 2018 Halloween Activity
Cristina: As cliché as it may sound, our inspiration is the employees of SRPH. Every time we are preparing for a new activity I always tell my program lead that we need to do it better than the last. We personally ask the experiences of our colleagues regarding the last activity (or for annual activities, we ask about the year before) and use that to work on improvements and think of more creative ideas. From time to time, we also use viral videos or trending topics as our inspiration in coming up with an activity idea, such as the recent rise of community pantries here in the Philippines. Based on that, we now have Community Funtry starting this month where employees can exchange items they no longer need for something that they need. It's a fun way to promote reducing and repurposing clutter.
Cristina: This is a very nice question. Pre-pandemic, I would have answered the annual summer activity. It's the only time of the year where all employees come together to bond and get to know people from other departments. We do it during work hours for one whole day so everyone is forced to take some time off work in order to relax and talk to other people. But ever since we started working from home, my perspective kind of changed as well. It has been very challenging thinking of creative ways to conduct GWP activities remotely. My favorite activity right now is our virtual year end party last December (travel themed with a different flight per day, for 12 days) since the entire team really worked hard on delivering the "travel experience" to everyone. It was fun seeing the feedback each day and how the employees would talk about what their favorite "flight" is. I have also seen some comments where they thought it really felt like they were on a flight and I'm so proud of our team for being able to deliver that. Until now I still don't know how to beat that for our next year end party (if ever it will still be virtual).
SRPH 2018 Summer Activity
Cristina: Personally, my vision for GWP is to touch the professional lives of the employees in such a way that they view SRPH as the best place to work. I would love to see SRPH one day with employees who are truly happy where they are and feel that this where they belong. I think that the opportunities in SRPH in terms of career growth and learning new skills is very good, and our benefits are pretty impressive compared to other companies, but I think a social aspect in the workplace is very important to make the employees truly happy.
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