The attitude of gratitude

Published January 21, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

Trixie Whyte Chairwoman and Founder Q2 HR Solutions
Trixie Whyte
Chairwoman and Founder
Q2 HR Solutions

 

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Talking to TRIXIE WHYTE, founder and chairwoman of the country’s leading human resource solutions provider Q2 HR Solutions, is being like in a philosophy class, but heartwarming and inspiring.

Given her background in human resource, Trixie and husband Brendan, a half Irish, half English, started an executive search company on hopes of helping uplift Filipinos by providing them gainful employment. The husband and wife venture grew to become the country’s leading HR solutions provider with global reach.

THE COMPANY

When the couple started to conceptualize the human resource solutions business in September 2000, they made sure that the name of their company speaks of what they are: Quality.

“My husband loved Latin and he felt there would be gravitas (influence) if we used a Latin term to name the company. We thought of ‘Quaerito Qualitas,’ which means to seek quality, and that has been our company’s dictum from the onset.
It was quite a mouthful though, so we shortened it to Q2 – close to sounding like U2, my husband’s favorite band (he was English-Irish after all). The name stuck and we never looked back,” recalls Trixie, who has had extensive exposure in HR and recruitment.

The company, which was founded in the spare room of a house in Makati, was initially called Q2 Executive Search as they concentrated on hiring top company executives for multinational firms and big local companies.

GROWTH

Q2 started growing when the BPO industry opened. “I remember we were called upon to fill all those positions for call center agents. This industry started from scratch, and now look at how it has grown. Many of the companies started with an expat management; now, there is no difficulty in finding Filipino talent to fill the management positions because the industry was able to develop the local workforce to take on the executive roles,” says Trixie, who was born and raised in the Philippines, and remains a Filipino citizen.

Q2 HR has grown to become a full-service HR company with diversified portfolio to include Recruitment by Design, a business unit handling executive search, permanent placement, and recruitment process outsourcing. Its HR by Design business unit offers strategic HR consulting, interim HR, organizational development and design, and assessments, and other bespoke HR solutions. They also have Allied Service partners in People4People for managed services, as well as build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, and Hiring Basix for background verification. It currently has more than 3,000 deployed employees, and to date has served over 1,000 clients.

Under the BOT model, Q2 can be the Philippine entity for the foreign firm to hire and manage the employees, ensuring they are productive, and turn over the workforce to the company when it is ready.

“This is good for our country because it brings in investments and more employment opportunities,” says Trixie, who earned her Philosophy degree from the De La Salle University and completed the Executive Program at the Asian Institute of Management.

EMPLOYER

Starting with their first three multinational clients in the banking and pharmaceutical industry sectors that have remained with them to this day, they’ve added several of the country’s top corporations in telecommunications, transportation, business process outsourcing, e-commerce, retail and manufacturing industries to name a few, to their list of happy clients. Over the years, Q2 has deployed more than 10,000 workers across these industries.
These workers are under the payroll of Q2 with complete government mandated benefits. It is a smooth model because employers need not worry about staffing and they can concentrate on their core business.

As Q2 HR Solutions helps put in more people, they made sure they provide productive workers to clients. To shortcut the learning process, Q2 hires experts in a particular industry to train the new hires.

“Since then I realized that what I do is really uplifting the bottom of the pyramid,” says Trixie citing their deployment to a Davao coconut-based company with people who otherwise have very little chances but have found jobs through them.

“I am their employer so we do the service correctly. We provide good service to the product so clients productivity improves because if they go down, we don’t have jobs but if we do our job well, we have more people to employ. It is a chain reaction so when I talk to clients, I really impressed on them how important talent is whether one is picking or managing. So, if these pickers are looked after, we pay their benefits and pay them on time and making sure their needs are covered, they can help them grow the business,” she points out.

“We deal with people not machines, provide them livelihood so they can send their children to school and roofs on their head, which are very basic needs,” she adds noting these are the things that makes her look for very good partner companies. To protect their company partners, they also require applicants character references.

Many of its competitors get money from candidates for placements. “I do not do that. Client pays for candidates. I don’t ask the worker to pay so I can place her but our competitors do that and that is not uplifting the lives of people, that is out of our compass,” says Trixie.

As a result, Q2 also earns well. “For me it is profit with honor because we are responsible to provide for the less fortunate. I am a full profit company, because of it I am helping others,” says Trixie who makes an analogy to a standard airline reminder to passengers that in times of emergencies they should help themselves first before helping others.

On the client side, Q2 HR helps them navigate through changes. In March this year, Q2 will hold its annual conference with the title “Accelerate: Advancing Organizational Growth in Disruptive Times”.

As companies are being disruptive by technologies, AI and cryptocurrencies, among others, Q2 urged clients to embrace the new era with openness so they can be more productive and attain higher growth.

EXPANSION

As it marks its 20-year anniversary in September 2020, Q2 has earmarked an aggressive growth plan that includes expanding their managed services internationally to create demand for their various business lines.

Through Orange International Recruitment, an overseas placement firm with a license to source and deploy Filipino professionals and skilled workers abroad in various industries including healthcare and construction, Q2 has already established a presence in Australia with The People Expert, a new subsidiary of the Q2 HR Solutions Group of Companies, which aims to deploy health care workers. They also sent nurses to England via a partnership with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and has established People4People’s managed service.

Q2 was the biggest supplier of close to a thousand nurses to UK’s NHS hospitals. “Filipino nurses are so happy, many of them send us very heart-warming messages for helping them realize their dreams,” says Trixie. Plans are in place for expansion in Japan, Sweden and Canada.

They also deployed nurses to government hospitals in the Middle East, construction, engineering, retail and store specialists, hospital front desk workers, bartenders and housekeepers.

In 2011, they were recognized by the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) as Employer of the Year for the SME category, in their commitment to nurture their people as the backbone of their business.

By 2014, Q2 HR Solutions was selected by Randstad, a global leader in the HR services industry based in the Netherlands, as its exclusive Philippine partner. This partnership has led to several projects with various multinational firms seeking to find valuable talent in the country. Its first clients were multinational companies that remain loyal customers to this day.
The commitment to quality service and global standards has made Q2 HR Solutions the first Filipino company awarded a Platinum Accreditation in 2016 by Investors in People outside of the UK.

VALUES

At the core of the business are their Filipino values and the commitment to help uplift Filipino lives through gainful employment. “We live by our core values,” says Trixie citing its Core Values IMaGIn. I stands for Impact.
“We create a positive impact in everything we do and we are proud of our core purpose of uplifting lives,” says Trixie.

Ma stands for “Malasakit.” “We foster a genuine care and commitment to the welfare of our customers, company and people. Malasakit can be demonstrated in simple ways like turning off the lights when no one is using or picking up a dirt on the floor. Malasakit comes from the heart, not from the pocket,” says Trixie.

The third value G stands for grit. “All of us go through tough times, Trixie realized a big blow when her husband died leaving her and their three young kids and their company. The death of her father followed that same year.

“2007 was the most terrible year in my life. I was relying on God and I think that is God’s gift because when you trust in God you see the hand of God in the things that you do,” says Trixie recalling how she called on God all the time to give her strength.

During those very trying times, she pulled herself up to honor her husband’s legacy as she knocked on the doors of their clients. In 2009, the hemorrhaging company turned positive.
The fifth value In stands for Innovation. “We embrace change and challenge convention by taking creative action through non-stop learning and looking beyond the current state. We would not be where we are now if we did not innovate,” she adds.

GRATITUDE

Thus, when people asked her secret in business, she would say, “It is having a business with a heart and knowing there is a bigger purpose for us because it is not easy to be 20 years in business. But because of the hand of God, we are grateful. I welcome things that happen and I believe that things will fall into place and the future looks bright.”

“I always have that attitude of gratitude. We are grateful, we celebrate life and make the most of what we have and we aim to pay it forward,” says Trixie, who says she may not be religious, but she is very spiritual.

In fact, Trixie keeps a “Gratitude Journal.” “Having a grateful heart makes all the difference, no complaining no bitterness, just a grateful heart because the beauty of life includes challenges. I would not have learned so much of myself if those things did not happen to me so I have this gratitude. How grateful I am for this life that I have to help so others become an instrument of good,” says Trixie.

She is driven by a servant leadership style and soft power. “I see adversities as gifts in disguises but one must have an open mind to be able to see the ‘gift’ in difficult situations. I believe that gratitude is key to happiness and contentment,” says Trixie.

“My journey is not outside but inside my head and my heart is making sure that my head serves my heart,” adds the thought leader in HR with vast experience starting from her previous jobs with Coca-Cola Bottlers, Philippines to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which awarded her a grant for a Masters in Hotel Management at SHATEC Singapore.

Trixie whose leadership and management style is very much about “empowering and inspiring people,” believes that when the right people are in the right seats this creates an environment of accountability and trust. Empowerment then becomes the fuel of growth.

She draws inspiration from Dr. Emerita Quito, one of the leaders of Philosophy in this country, who taught her how to question: “Learn how to ask questions, the good and the interesting questions not answers because that will make you think. Ask the right questions.”

Trixie holds “President’s Hour” where she meets with a small group at a time for an intimate discussion to share stories, gratitude lists as well as their life’s purpose and their passions, a great way to get to know the men and women who make up Q2 up close and personal.

“I also tell my children about what I learn at work or from life in general. I tell them that in order to succeed – whether it’s in business, career, or personal life – one has to have the right perspective and a heart of gratitude; these go a long way. Life teaches us about ourselves. I am strong not because I haven’t experienced tough times but because I have come through many and learnt along the way,” shares Trixie, who loves yoga and travelling with family.

“My feelings of fulfillment lie in being part of a system where I feel I have made a meaningful contribution by enriching the lives of the Filipino people through my company. I feel grateful and blessed that I’m given this opportunity to help others and uplift lives and businesses,” she added.

Ultimately, Trixie believes that the true measure of success is not in how much wealth we have accumulated, or the power we’ve gained. “It should be measured by the number of lives we’ve touched, the people we’ve inspired, the families whose lives we’ve enriched and the communities we’ve built,” Trixie concludes.

 
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