EMPOWER Women@Work with Jen Tongco: Leading Today’s Teams

by Elaine Cercado

Leading today’s teams is more challenging than ever. They come from 4 different generations, and have been experiencing rapid changes and life-altering crises lately, such as the pandemics from SARS to covid-19, and the global economic declines.

In the Philippines, the millennials or generation Ys make up half of the estimated 66+ million workforce. Many of them use digital technologies like second nature, network and express their views in social media, and travel the world for a hobby.

Jennifer “Jen” Capones-Tongco, CEO of Netrust Philippines, shares her insights and experiences on working effectively with the millennials, which currently make up 70% of her local team. Jen Tongco, who used to be based in Singapore, relocated back to Philippines with her family, since her company that started in Singapore, established its office in the Philippines. Netrust provides complete online identification and security infrastructure to enable secure electronic transactions, and delivers innovative security solutions that address the increasing threat of data breach.

In this EMPOWER Women@Work conversation, Jen shared 3 key learnings and tips to effectively lead today’s teams:

  1. Leverage the strengths of each generation. Her team used to be all millennials when they first started. She has learned that the mix of gen Ys, gen Xs and baby boomers actually worked better.
  2. Make the hiring process, particularly, the “interview” more practical and real-life based, using case studies and asking for sales presentations. It was more rigorous and time-consuming but worth it, as they were able to find real treasures to keep. In the process, Netrust was able to attract and retain key talents.
  3. Focus on principles and culture-building. Throughout our conversation, Jen emphasised the importance of values, culture and relationship building. She shared examples of how they cultivated this within Netrust through their Monday breakfasts and huddles.

When asked for practical advices for leaders to be successful in leading today’s teams, Jen suggested these:

  1. Understand your leadership brand.
  2. There’s no need to know all the answers. Be curious, be humble and ask questions.
  3. If you don’t like to communicate then don’t lead people. Leaders must communicate – and listen a lot!

Check out our full conversation with Jen Tongco in this 7th episode of Empower Women @ Work: Leading Today’s Teams.

* Do subscribe to POWERinU Team YouTube channel, and check Empower Bites playlistEmpower Women@Work playlist.

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