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Jones Lang LaSalle clearly demonstrates its culture of learning and service excellence
In the Philippine office of Jones Lang LaSalle, the world’s leading real estate consultancy, corporate hierarchy is not very evident.
For one, its offices at the Equitable Bank Tower along Paseo de Roxas in Makati City hardly have any dividers and are laid out like a study hall more than your usual business headquarters. The absence of walls and private cubicles and offices clearly reflect a flat and open organization not focused on rank but on performance and getting the job done as a team. Not even the country head has an office to himself. Everyone calls each other by his first name and employees stroll freely to a colleague’s desk when any consultation is in order.
Notwithstanding the casual ambience of the firm, which operates as Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu in the Philippines, it is the largest international property services firm in the country. It accounts for over 50% market share in the country’s top-end office leasing market, and manages commercial properties and facilities in excess of 1.2 million square meters for the country’s top corporate occupiers and multinational corporations.
With a keen understanding of the local real estate market and exemplary leadership of the management committee, the high energy of the young work force (whose median age is in the low 30s) has clearly propelled the organization forward since its establishment in the Philippines 15 years ago. In the last five years, employee population grew at least 300% and the business jumped 46% year-over-year. In addition, the expertise infused by the 60-country Jones Lang LaSalle global organization has contributed significantly to the Firm’s strength in the Philippine market.
As a diverse multinational organization, Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu offers a wide range of learning and career opportunities for its Philippines-based employees, according to David Leechiu, Country Head. “Many of our clients in the Philippines are likewise multinationals with high service standards. This means our employees are exposed to a wide spectrum of customers who require nothing less than excellence. Employees are constantly challenged and passionate about innovation in service delivery and adding value to our clients.”
New employees at Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu are closely mentored by a seasoned colleague in a particular area of expertise, according to Tessa Rivera, Head of Human Resources. In fact, coaching one’s team member is so ingrained in the corporate culture – the Firm’s corporate values clearly state that supporting its people is as important as two other core values – serving its clients and aspiring to leadership.
“Our performance standards clearly spell out that our people will receive career development, guidance, counseling and feedback on their performance,” says Rivera. At the beginning of the year, every employee is required to set his goals in consultation with his supervisor. At mid-year, individual development plans are assessed and then measured at year-end.
In addition, learning opportunities abound. Online training programs are available to all through Jones Lang LaSalle’s robust IT platform which closely links countries to one another via an intranet aptly called Connect. Top performers and high potential employees are regularly sent to regional learning programs. To deepen employee knowledge in certain real estate disciplines and spanning several time zones, webinars are a way of life. As clients demand consistent standards across multiple countries or cultures, employees have the opportunity to be seconded to other cities or countries, according to where their talents can be best applied. In fact, the challenge for any employee is how to maximize the wealth of knowledge and opportunities available to him.
Jones Lang LaSalle’s Connect intranet offers sites where all employees can research best practice. “When an employee begins a new project, he can look up Connect to learn what other countries have done to accomplish similar projects,” explains Rivera. One can also easily ring up a colleague in another country and contact each other via instant messaging to benchmark country best practice, as if the colleague was just next door.
At the same time, teamwork is highly emphasized. Rivera discloses that the Jones Lang LaSalle work code spells out that “the primary accountability of a manager will be team success; individual contributions will be of secondary importance.”
It is said that excellent work is usually rewarded with even more work. At Jones Lang LaSalle, clients constantly knock on their doors for expanded services. As a result, Human Resources is in a constant search for talent – sales and leasing agents, research and valuation consultants, property and facilities managers, building engineers and administration support staff. Rivera adds, “Whether or not you are actively searching for a job now, we invite you to send in your resume via HR.Phils@ap.jll.com.”