The Forefront of supplying 20,000 lessons a day Autonomous Management by Filipino Directors in the COVID-19 pandemic situation – Part I
Even though their work is difficult to see, our service can’t be delivered to our customers without their hard work.
The RareJob Group has many organizations to help our service, one of them is RareJob Philippines, Inc (hereafter, “RJPH”).
RJPH, operated by many professionals such as engineers and developers for teaching materials, is responsible for hiring, training, and managing more than 6,000 tutors and operates the service in collaboration with the headquarters in Japan. RJPH is always required to provide a balanced operation in the Philippines while the service level should meet what Japanese customers expect.
There is approximately 3,000 kilometers distance between Japan and the Philippines, so it’s not easy to come and go. In addition, we have different cultures and values. Furthermore, the Japanese CEO has no choice but to manage RJPH remotely from Japan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It isn’t difficult to see how difficult providing lessons stably is in Filipino society with a more fragile social infrastructure and medical system than Japanese ones under the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three Filipino Directors are in charge of autonomous management, making unprecedented decisions and judgments in daily operation and management.
Unexpectedly started the COVID-19 pandemic
They kept moving forward while searching.
March 16, 2020.
In the midst of the global confusion and fear caused by the spread of the COVID-19, the Philippine government declared a lockdown of the entire Luzon.
Anna, who manages the Corporate Division including the administrative and Finance departments recalled, “No one was prepared for such a situation, and RJPH was no exception.”
Anna said, “It was necessary to provide laptops to all staff to introduce the WFH system. We arranged to procure laptops for all of us while we were horrified by the COVID-19. In the finance department, deadlines for the income tax and financial statement were approaching the following April, so we had no choice but to get it done under a lot of anxieties and difficulties.”
Kiara, who just took over the HR Division at that time also recalled, “The first few months were really tough.” She was required to make many important and quick decisions as the chief of the COVID-19 Response Team under the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kiara stated, “Every decision cannot exclude a chance of risk under the threat of an unknown virus. But I couldn’t afford to take a long time to make decisions, because any delay would directly lead to a loss of productivity of RJPH. Many staff were worried that they might lose their jobs. As the COVID-19 Response Team, we had to develop a policy to maintain productivity even in unusual situations. At the same time, I had to keep sending out a clear message that business is in operation as usual as the head of the HR department.”
“In the beginning, rules had changed in every moment as the situation changed, so it was difficult to explain them every time. As the situation has lingered, we should focus on taking care of our members and reviewing how we work. We couldn’t continue to demand the same communication as we did in the office in the WFH system. I strongly felt the need for a discussion to optimize the situation and we should not stick to conventional practices or ways of thinking.”, Marvin said.
Marvin, in charge of the Product and Engineering Division, proactively reformed operational methods to reduce anxiety of staff and enable them to work from home easily. He replaced communication tools, increased the number of meetings while shortening the duration of each meeting and clarified priority of each task based on issued tickets to set up topics and discussion. Other changes included setting up committees and product teams, changing goal-setting criteria. He constructed the system flexibly to achieve goals in our operation without losing productivity and teamwork.
Rather than standing still in search of the 100% correct answer, they were willing to take actions to do their best. Their beliefs and actions keep RJPH moving forward and our service in operation stably.
Click here for Part 2