• Pizza Hut's Philippines operations recognized for employee-first initiatives

MANILA, Philippines -- Pizza Hut operators here are demonstrating that chances for corporate success improve when employees are well trained and well rewarded.

According to the Manila Times, Pizza Hut operations in the island nation were recognized by Hewitt Associates and the Management Association of the Philippines as one of 2003's 10 Best Employers. The company ranked fifth among 40 Philippine companies considered in the awards.

Janet Ruth Solsoloy, vice president for human resource development for Pizza Hut's 104-store Philippine operations, said the award is a testament to numerous employee development programs it is undertaking to reduce turnover. Forty-five percent of the chain's current management staff started out as part-time workers, she said.

"We have great examples here of people rising from the ranks," Solsoloy told the Times. "Two of our current vice presidents actually started out as service crew."

The company encourages employees to pursue higher education to prepare them for managerial positions and arranges work schedules to accommodate class schedules. It also established Pizza Hut University, where employees are taught business basics, such as understanding profit-and-loss statements.

In addition to employee bonus programs, Pizza Hut has instituted a "walk-the-talk" rewards system, in which every employee is given a pocket-sized card to be filled in and signed by a superior for commendations like, "doing more than what is expected." A good comment is equivalent to one point, which the employee can exchange for various goods.

Rodel Lozada, 44, a 14-year pizza delivery veteran, said his five-hour-a-day job provides him adequate time and funds to care for his family. His son Lordelito, 21, also works part-time for the company while attending school.

Rosabel Bayona, a store general manager, said the company's open communication policy and employee focus is what has made her stay for nine years.

"Here you will be recognized for everything you accomplish, and anytime you have a problem, you can easily relay it to management," she said.

Solsoloy said Pizza Hut plans to open at least 12 stores in the Philippines this year and 15 more in 2004.

"Of course, we would also continue all the programs for our employees and hope they would stay with us," Solsoloy said. "Next year we don't want to be number five anymore but number one."

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