Today’s episode features Eileen Juan, a household name in the Philippines’ family photo industry.
Eileen is a Filipino and was schooled in Europe. She has a photography company called The Picture Company or TPC. Eileen will share with us today her management methods. She will also share with us her views on how to motivate people.
- The picture company is a creative portrait studio where kids get to play and TPC captures their stories and portraits through a fun and creative experience.
- TPC has been around for 15 years and a first in the industry.
- Getting the best out of people, for Eileen, is like finding out what really makes them tick, their passions matching it with their job.
- Eileen’s management style is about getting people to take ownership for their own actions and be innovative.
- Eileen’s employees write their own “rocks”, they make their own goals. After they see the entire three-year plan, they will study the one year plan and then they get to own a certain seat on the bus. So, every department is a seat, so HR is one seat, marketing is another seat. And all those seats need to be filled up by someone. There can’t be a seat with two people.
- Eileen’s company has a very good and friendly environment and very structured.
- Staff retention is an important issue because it takes a lot of time to hire and train people.
- Employees get to travel because they are given a travel incentives.
- In a world dominated by companies with very strict set of rules, it is important that we listen to our staff and get the best out them. Find out what their passionate about and match it with their jobs.
- Look for creative ways to motivate your staff like giving them travel incentives for an amount if work done.
- Leaders should be able to get their staff to take ownership for their own action and become innovative eventually.
Derek: Okay. Today, by the way welcome to outsource accelerator, my name is Derek Gallimore and today, I am really excited about our guest. We have Eileen Juan with us. She is a household name here in the Philippines with her photography company called The Picture Company or TPC for short.
Eileen is an incredible character. She was schooled in Europe and is a Filipino. But really has a strength in terms of her management ability of a team, getting people on board and really getting people behind the message that she is trying to put out there.
So, today, we are talking to Eileen, exactly that about getting the best out of people. We briefly cover her background with TPC and really just her views on how to motivate people. Now, that is relevant to management generally, but, we also then frame that in terms of working with Filipinos. And also, specifically, in Eileen’s’ case with young creative Filipinos which is, they have an average age of 21 in her company.
So, it’s a great episode and I take a lot of inspiration from Eileen and her methods.
Derek: Alright, so we are here today with Eileen Juan. Hi Eileen.
Eileen: Hi Derek.
Derek: Thanks for your time.
Today we are gonna talk about getting the best out of people. So, Eileen has the picture company, It’s a photographic company that’s almost a household name. A household name in the Philippines and with great fanfare.
And, she is widely known to get the best staff of her staff and have a great staffing system. So, we just wanna discuss a little bit about that today. We are just gonna quickly discuss four points.
Maybe you wanna just sort of introduce a little bit of background of the picture company and we can get into some key tips for getting the best out of people.
Eileen: So, the picture company is a creative portrait studio where kids get to play and we capture their stories and their portraits, through a fun and creative experience. And we have stores in the malls and we also recently opened a branch that does on-location photography as well.
Derek: Nice, fantastic. And how long have you been going?
Eileen: So, Picture Company has been around for fifteen years, we were the first in the industry, in the Philippines.
Derek: And, I am blown away by your Facebook followers; how many Facebook followers?
Eileen: So, we are now at 380-something.
Eileen: Three hundred and eighty thousand followers. (380,000)
Okay, so, what are your tips? And you have got a lot of staff, you have got a lot of, particularly, young creative staff and what are your key tricks then, for getting the best out of these people.
Eileen: Getting the best out of people, for me, it’s like finding out what really makes them tick, what their passions are and matching it with their job. So, the first thing we do is create a score card for them, so they know what’s expected of them and how they are going to be measured in terms of scoring.
And we give them ‘clear rocks’ for their first three months that they are with us and they know how they will be graded. So, the reward is very clear and the goal is very clear. And I think that’s the most important part that we do, we top grade, we use score cards and we also let them know that, they are going to get a reward if they get the items on their score card.
Derek: So, is it a lot clarity in what they need to do, to please, to basically produce their output.
Derek: Fantastic, and I know your management style particularly as well as is all about getting people to take ownership for their own actions and being innovative to a point of, if they have an issue proposing a solution and finding a solution.
Eileen: Yes. So, I really lead a bunch of people and tell them everything or how to do things. So, I actually make them write their own rocks, so they make their own goals. After they see the whole three year plan, we now study the one year plan and then they get to own a certain seat on the bus. So, every department is a seat, so HR is one seat, marketing is another seat. And all those seats need to be filled up by someone and there cannot be a seat with two people on the bus, or I mean two people on that seat.
Derek: No sharing.
Eileen: Yeah, no sharing or they can’t fill two seats. So, that way, it’s very clear what they are on. And when they know what they are on, they actually have to write what they are gonna get to try to… What they are going to do for that quarter and how they are going to go about it.
And then we go through a dash board for thirteen weeks. They just have to report red, yellow, or green every week. So, like today, they showed where they are in the quarter, and that allows them to make decisions because what I am concerned about is where they are gonna go after a quarter or what they reach after a quarter.
Derek: Interestingly, I remember you saying this before but you have to stance with your employees that you are not a university and it’s about them bringing… You are not there to…
Eileen: To teach any of them. Your practice ground.
Derek: I mean, you are giving them a fantastic environment, obviously, and very structured environment but you seek to hire experts and you seek to hire good grade people, because, you know, you’re not an endless resource where you can keep on pushing into people.
Eileen: Yeah, I think, in fact, a lot of kids use to come to us so that they can have an experience of being in a creative environment, but then, they don’t take it so seriously, so, they think they can just come and play. But then, there’s an aspect in their job that actually needs seriousness, so, we are learning as we go along but we also need to hire people who actually know what they are doing rather than just getting all the young creative people but then if they don’t feel like finishing up a project, they don’t…
Derek: Yeah, it’s not just about having bums on seat, it’s actually about getting the expert into…
Eileen: And being productive.
Derek: Right. And also, a set of interesting position you take is, staff retention is a really important issue because it takes so long to recruit and train people, but you have a more realistic approach that we are not trying to keep people forever. Especially, maybe the demographic that you have which is the younger more creative types, but you set a goal is it to keep people for two to three years and everyone is being realistic about that.
Eileen: Yeah. I used to get insecure that people will leave after two or three years, thinking that in every company people should be staying for ten years or twelve years. I realize that if I need to hire people in their twenties, I mean, I need to keep a staff that’s young, then naturally, they should leave after few years.
So, I said okay, what if I just keep it a goal to have people for two to three years. So now, it’s called twenty-twenty vision, like leading with clarity, all the way up to January 2020. So, it’s clear what numbers we have to meet, it’s clear what kind of people we need, the key players.
So, all of those key players are enrolled in a freer vision. And it’s not just about the vision of where we want to take the company but where their career will go. So, by 2020, if somebody, a photographer wants to be a managing stores, then she can have that too. So, it’s like everybody has a road map; how to get to January 2020
Derek: Nice, and that goes back to their goals being aligned with the company goals, I mean, a clear pathway.
Derek: Fantastic. Just quickly, lastly, there is a big aspiration I think in the Philippines for the young and trendy to wanna go traveling and see the world, and you have seen that a lot within your company and your staffing, I mean is that right, how have you worked in travelers and incentives.
Eileen: It’s funny that travel is such a big thing now, and people actually move back to their parent’s home, so that they can use their salaries for travel. So, we try to help them with their dreams of traveling and being exposed, by giving them a travel incentive. So, rather than working for… “If I reach X amount, I am going to get X” amount in pesos incentive.
Now, they are not working for the money, they are working for Bali trip or they are working for a Singapore trip.
Derek: Hard work before a Singapore trip. Fantastic.
Okay, excellent. Thank you Eileen, that’s an incredible advice.
Derek: Okay, I hope you enjoyed that chat, there are some good insight in there.
If you want any of the show notes, please go to our website, that is outsourceaccelerator.com/podcast/episode3, and all of the information for finding Eileen and her company and know more about her, her Facebook pages etcetera, is all there.
So, check out the show notes, and, see you next time.