Endearing strength

Published May 7, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Fil C. Sionil

New recruits almost always look up to their bosses to guide and mentor them through the whole gamut of business operations. Although this is not always the case, there are companies and people who excel in mentoring, described as a “relationship between two people with the goal of professional and personal development.”

Training and mentoring are two major strengths of the Philippine National Bank (PNB) in its pursuit to attract newl personnel. The bank plants the seed, cultivates, and nurtures their growth. This ability of PNB to provide opportunities to talents from all over the country has endeared it to its workforce, thus, fostering loyalty.

It’s no wonder, therefore, that PNB topped a survey conducted by the professional networking site, LinkedIn, last December as one of the best places to work in the country.

CNBC.com posted on Friday the result of the survey that mainly focused on the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore as measured across seven key factors: ability to advance, skills growth, company stability, external opportunity, company affinity, gender diversity, and educational background.

Based on the outcome, four universal banks were included in the list as the country’s 15 best companies to work for with PNB ranking first. The Land Bank of the Philippines took sixth place.

Banking giants Metrobank and BDO Universal Bank were 8th and 14th on the list, respectively.

“We recruit nationwide and ensure they are given opportunities to be trained and mentored. PNB talents are well sought after in the banking community,” explained PNB president and chief executive officer Jose Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso.

On a personal note, Mr. Wick, one of the best treasurers in the industry when I was starting up as an economic journalist, was among my mentors, painstakingly guiding me through the ups and downs of the government securities and forex markets. It’s no surprise then that a good number of his people in the previous financial institution he worked for followed him shortly after he joined PNB.

Likewise, it wasn’t a bit of a surprise that because of this endearing quality, Mr. Wick was acknowledged by ASEAN Banker’s as 2019’s Best CEO for his excellence in taking the necessary actions to keep the wheels of banking in motion amidst chaos brought about by the pandemic lockdown. PNB was also judged as the best managed bank.

With banking stalwart Federico “Ding” Pascual as the new chairman, this will further build up PNB’s emotional quotient with its workforce, which is one of its endearing strengths of  Mr. Ding who has been and forever will be a Philnabanker.

Smart Communications was the second best company in the survey. The telecommunication giant was “recognized for its response to the COVID-19 crisis,” taking the necessary steps to help its clientele base to access internet services with the paradigm shift to work-from-home.

Ranking third in the list is Manila Water which recognized the need to address the psychological impact of the lockdown by offering mental wellness counseling and financial assistance programs to its workforce, including learning and development opportunities.

While we’re on the subject of mental wellness, Manila Water’s sister company, Globe Telecom is offering a toll-free Hopeline that its subscribers who are suffering from emotional crisis can access. This is to ensure that Filipinos are able to cope with mental and physical health concerns brought about by the pandemic.

“The uncertainties that surround us are a cause for anxiety and concern for many which could take its toll on our mental well-being. We intend for Hopeline to serve as a lifeline to those in need of support, and eventually help ease their burden,” explained Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP for Corporate Communications.

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