Businesses that value family, education, faith, health and wellness, and basic needs are more likely to keep their employees, according to a human resources (HR) professional. 

“We need to go back to our shared Filipino values to [also] preserve our national heritage and enhance our national image,” said Sonnie E. Santos, co-founder of HR Kolektivs, a company that offers HR services to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), in a June 12 episode of The HR Café, a talk show program by the Philippines HR Group (PHILHRG Inc.) 

In a year-long study titled “What is important for Filipinos” conducted in 2020, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts identified 19 common and shared values, the top five of which are mentioned above.

Mr. Santos related that the reason why he did not migrate when he had chances was because all these opportunities did not allow him to bring along his family.   

“Employees work for their families,” he said. “If ang family malalagay sa alanganin [would be compromised] because of work, then we know what the employee’s decision would be.”  

Companies can show that their priorities are aligned with their employees’ by developing training programs that extend to other family members, or by offering health benefits that cover dependents. 

“Whenever my clients extend HMO (health maintenance organization) coverage to their employees, the question employees usually ask is, ‘Can we also enroll our dependents?’” he said. 

Including employee dependents helps in employee retention, and also reduces cash advance requests when a family member falls ill, Mr. Santos added in the vernacular.  

Asked for initiatives to cope with rising inflation, Mr. Santos presented three options: a hybrid work arrangement; a temporary inflationary allowance; and perks for those working onsite, such as unlimited rice from the office pantry. 

Empathy, he added, does not mean ignoring company policy. In the case of tardiness because of long commutes, he said, the option might be for management to offer different shifts (e.g., 7 a.m.–3 p.m.; 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; and 11 a.m.–7 p.m.)  

A separate study by Singapore-based market research firm Milieu Insight, showed that honesty and integrity were valued the most by Filipino workers. 

Katapatan [Honesty] is important. It causes unnecessary stress among Filipinos if they belong to a certain group that is not aboveboard in their practices,” Mr. Santos said. — Patricia B. Mirasol