PJ Lhuillier, Inc. (PJLI)’s commitment to continuous learning and development is best symbolized by the Cebuana Lhuillier Academy, a four-hectare facility located at the heart of Antipolo City, dedicated exclusively for the use of its more than 9,000-strong workforce.
The company behind micro financial services giant Cebuana Lhuillier, established the Academy more than fifteen years ago to provide a dedicated space where its employees—from senior level executives to customer-facing frontliners—can attend and learn from the many seminars, workshops, and even team-building activities offered for free to its employees. With multiple classrooms that can accommodate small classes to a training hall that can fit more than a hundred attendees, its own swimming pool, an open space steeped in greenery, and its very own lodging facility that can comfortably accommodate close to 500 attendees at any given time, the facility serves as a haven for learning for Ka-Cebuanas nationwide.
Jean Henri Lhuillier, PJLI president & CEO, and himself a firm believer on the value of education, highlights emphasized, “As an organization, we believe that our employees should be given equal opportunities to succeed. That is why we have institutionalized continuous learning and education and made it an important aspect of our Ka-Cebuanas’ stay with us. As Ka-Cebuanas, there are courses and trainings that are readily available for them to take, whether online or face-to-face. We use these trainings to upgrade their skills, provide new knowledge, and prepare them for future bigger roles within the organization.”
Beyond the facility, the company’s learning curriculum is as diverse as the people who walk its halls. At the heart of the Learning and Development course is the soft-skills program which is firmly rooted in the company’s very own corporate values. These personality-development programs include classes in time management, interpersonal skills development, critical thinking, and self-care and stress management.
Equally important and at the core of Cebuana Lhuilliers push for excellence is its hard skills training program. The programs extend from the most junior frontliners and support staff up to the senior management, which includes the management committee (ManCom) and the most senior leaders.
Hard skills training is varied according to employee needs and assignments. Newly hired employees undergo Basic Client Servicing Training and Tatak Cebuana Workshop as part of their New Employee Orientation (NEO). Meanwhile, employees assigned to branch operations are given comprehensive Gold, Diamond, and Watch Appraising Workshops and Vault Inventory Management Orientation, while Supervisory Bootcamp and Basic Client Service trainings are made available to supervisors. Managers, meanwhile, receive leadership training, executive coaching, and Office Development Program. All these trainings come with a knowledge test, corresponding certification, and is measured as part of the employee’s key result area (KRA) evaluation done annually.
Lhuillier adds, “Like a university which follows its own curriculum, our employees have their own set of training programs specifically designed for them towards their professional growth and personal development. For this, we work with some of the biggest and most trusted learning & development locally, and even enter partnerships with international providers including IVY Teams and the Tom Oliver Group (TOG).”
Currently, TOG, a worldwide management consulting firm, is working together with Cebuana Lhuillier’s senior leadership and its next generation ManCom in establishing new and better strategies and approaches that will help them make Cebuana Lhuillier a future-ready organization. Recently, TOG and Cebuana Lhuillier also started rolling out a nationwide Sales Training workshop series for all its frontliners, sales team, and customer-facing positions. With 74 sessions spread out across the Philippines and throughout the year, the training program is expected to further improve the selling skills of its attendees.
At the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the learning academy quickly adapted with the introduction of Cebuana Lhuillier Academy Online (CLAO), an innovative online platform where employees can take courses and trainings for free at their own pace and convenience. Like the face-to-face curriculum, CLAO is personalized based on the employees’ profile and designation, as well as on their learning needs.
Cebuana Lhuillier also took the opportunity to partner with local and international training and continuous development providers to better serve the needs of its employees. With the availability of continuous learning opportunities, PJLI can keep its employees motivated and engaged.
Thanks to its commitment to learning and development, employees are developed and molded into high performers and future leaders whose performance also sends ripples within the company. Those who excel in their post enjoy the opportunity to move to a higher rank within the organization. This commitment to learning and constant growth within its workforce proved to be instrumental in propelling the growth of the company. From its vaulted position as the country’s most trusted pawnshop, Cebuana Lhuillier now enjoys the reputation of being the leader in the micro financial services industry—thanks to the unmatched skills, dedication to duty, and commitment to excellence of Ka-Cebuanas everywhere.