Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Service awards and recognition program held for staff

The Gems of IRRI: Annual Service Awards and Recognition Program was held on 19 December 2013 to honor employees with 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service to the Institute and to recognize the winners of the Mid-year 2013 Semi-Annual Team Awards and the Manager’s Discretionary Awards.

The program kicked-off with a welcoming video message from the Director General Robert Zeigler, who is a 15-year service awardee. A special video about IRRI’s values and its people was also presented.

Deputy Director General for Management Services Norman Macdonald and Director for Human Resource Services Fiona Farrell presented a plaque of recognition to 117 service award recipients and a certificate of recognition for one team, consisting of 10 members, for the SATA and 17 MDA winners.

During the ceremony, three of the selected service award representatives were invited on stage to share their inspiring experiences of working at IRRI:

Leonido Angeles
Research Technician
Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology
40-year service award representative

“Forty years or four decades have past, which I have not noticed.  I have realized how much time I have served IRRI as a Field Laborer, Field Aide, Field Assistant, and now as Research Technician. It was in 1973 when I started working at IRRI. I was a young man then at 19 years old. Exactly thirteen years after IRRI was established here in Los BaƱos, which is my hometown. This was my first job. It feels great to become a Laborer during my time because of direct and hands-on training I got from top caliber Scientist and Assistant Scientists…Forty years, I can no longer count the number of my personal learning and professional experiences. Well, think about how much lessons you will learn in an hour of classroom training. But with forty years...that’s about how many hours of training? As a Research Technician, my role is to inspect different rice varieties. I consider myself already a veteran in my job.  I can even perform my duties with my eyes closed. I have already lost count how many varieties of rice I have passed through my reading.  There is no doubt, there were too many! I learned that even rice plants have diseases too, like human beings. And from my job, I have most importantly learned the importance of PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE. The need to work under the scorching heat of sun or at any circumstances is part of the usual. Through my daily experiences, PROFESSIONALISM grew inside me. These were all made possible and real by the people that surround me and give meaning into my whole career life…”

Erlinda Oracion
Officer - Administrative Coordination
Experiment Station
35-year service award representative

…It never occurred to my mind that I would be employed in this famous Institute considering my humble beginning. I went through college as a working student at PCARRD, UPLB and here at IRRI…After my college graduation, I got employed in a private consultancy firm for almost 5 years before entering the Institute.  It was here at IRRI that I began fulfilling my dreams and promised to do my best in every given opportunity… What’s good with IRRI is that it provides you with all the necessary tools and knowledge that we all gained from training, workshops, seminars, lectures, and many others. During my long period of stay at IRRI, I faced many challenges that enhanced my strong determination, flexibility and firm decision in handling difficult situations…I would like to share some essentials to help anyone stay longer in their jobs: 1) Courage: when facing high caliber people or officials don’t be scared nor be ashamed; 2) Willingness to learn: New experiences will always come. Learn to enjoy it; 3) Hard work:  You need to exert more effort than the usual. Your employer will keep you if you work hard and show a great quality of work; 4) Resourcefulness:  You have to meet a lot of people and know more information. You have to organize your resources and build a network; 5) Patience: You will meet various types of people–laborers, researchers, scholars, co-workers, and even senior personnel that may give you some challenges. The way to deal with them is to understand and extend help…”

Enrique Delos Reyes
Physical Plant Services
30-year service award representative

“I joined IRRI on June 23, 1983 as a construction supervisor, wondering what will be my future at IRRI. I asked silently to myself, what experience shall I have? …From the first day of my work even until now, I just simply work and work without so much expectation, now I am still here at IRRI happy, inspired with complete satisfaction because I believe that the opportunity of doing better is here in fulfilling the Institute’s mission and vision.  My first blessing is being accepted to work at IRRI working with diversified group of people from top management, great scientist, experienced managers, reliable support personnel, supportive janitors and dedicated laborers. Interactions with these people have provided me some valuable experience to continuously improve not only my technical skills but also my behavioral competencies including people management. In my 30 years at IRRI, there are many challenges. I am tasked to deliver major responsibilities on time (renovation of GTL, construction of MSS Hall, construction of C4 green houses), attend to emergencies like broken pipe mostly at staff housing, recovery after typhoon (mostly on screen houses, greenhouses and major one, a land slide restoration at staff housing). Challenges of course are not always good. There were occasions of sacrificing my personal time with my family for most of the instances that I attended to emergency occasions, my safety was at risk. But there is also good thing about challenges. The reward is almost immediate, I get to serve the IRRI community in particular and how my contributions impact the organization in general…”

After the ceremony, a Celebration Treat was held for the program participants. HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services Business Partner Joyce Finegan and Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships Bruce Tolentino gave the welcome greetings and opening remarks.

The awards and recognition program includes special performances by Marius Strings and the IRRI Choir. The event was hosted by Joshua Mendoza and Margeorie Vasquez of the HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services (HRS-WRAS).

For inquiries on employee rewards and recognition program, please contact the HRS-WRAS team at x2363 or send email to irrihrs-wras@irri.org. Workplace Communications Article No. 2014-001

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