The Ortus

Handbook

Your guide to life within The Ortus Club

About Ortus

History

Ortus was founded by Jess and Sam in Singapore in 2015. Since then, we have hosted over 400 events, with +120 international clients and have grown into a team of +100 people.

Our first ever client was KMC Savills with a dinner discussion held in Sydney, Australia. Since then, the word spread fast and we hosted events all over the world from New York City to London, from Mumbai to Hong Kong.

Our clients choose to work with us because we provide an alternative and neutral way of networking that’s constructive for all participants. And guests trust us to provide them a constructive experience that’s based on knowledge sharing.

Ortus has been doubling in size (and number of events) year on year. Today, we are shifting our focus from growth to sustainability.

Intelligent automation bringing finance into the 21st century

Mission

To create advantageous events for both our clients and guests to build meaningful business relationships based on trust.

Vision

Encourage knowledge sharing at an executive level.

Values

SYNERGY

Working hand-in-hand with diverse, talented, and unique members to produce results that are greater than the sum of the individual parts.

TRANSPARENCY

We expect everyone to communicate efficiently and truthfully in order to work better as a team and ensure expectations are always managed.

RESOURCEFULNESS

Doing what it takes with what you are given and finding ways to make things happen.

INQUISITIVENESS

Understanding the reason for which certain things are done, helps us become more understanding, develop new processes and create deeper connections.

Management Team

The important stuff

What to expect once you have joined the club.

Working hours
Our work week consists of five (5) days from Mondays to Fridays, eight (8) working hours per day including a 1 hour lunch break. Our working hours are generally from 9 am – 6 pm, however, depending on the country of the project that you are working on, you may be asked to follow different time zones.

SoD and EoD
We encourage everyone to attend Start of Day and End of Day meetings unless client meetings clash with them. This is a chance for everyone to come together, talk, get to know each other and interact with everyone from different teams so make the most of it and have fun.

Probation
Depending on the region, when employees first start their adventure with us, they will be under probation for the first six (6) months. This period is focused on training and understanding the needs, and ins-and-outs of the job.

Location

We encourage everyone to join us in our virtual office on Discord as it helps with getting to know each other, morale, and knowledge sharing. Geographically, we believe in giving everyone the freedom to work from their location of choice however it is a good idea to let your teammates know where you are so we can be considerate of each other’s time zones and safety.

Our offices in Manila, Rome and Prishtina are open for employees to use to support each other, connect with one another, and for a stable internet connection, if needed. Although your presence on Discord will suffice, we highly encourage employees to report to the office for the reason above.

Manila Address: ClockIn, 3rd Floor, C2 Building, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig
Rome Address: Talent Garden Ostiense, Via Ostiense, 92, 00154 Roma RM
Prishtina Address: Rexhep Mala strt. 28A, 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo

Meals and Other Break Periods
You can choose to take this break as you please, please inform anyone you are working with when you are taking this time.

Offsetting Hours
There may be instances where employees must work later or earlier hours due to a project. For this reason, specifically, we allow employees to offset their hours. The offset may only be taken the day after or before your event and this must be discussed with their manager as soon as possible.

Classifications of Employment (Part-Time, Contract, Employed Etc.)
Our company works with people on a variety of bases. We have part-time workers, people under KMC, freelancers and contract-based.

Social Media Use
Personal and professional life are more interconnected than ever. Although social media is predominantly used for personal branding, we do not tolerate any racial or illegal behaviour that could jeopardise how our clients and guests see us. You are representing our company in all settings and our guests and clients must feel comfortable interacting with us.

Company Devices
As you start your adventure with The Ortus Club, you will be provided with a company laptop (a Macbook). It is your responsibility to pick up, take care of, and return this, and any other piece of equipment to the best condition possible.

Borrow Equipment Process:

1. Fill out a waiver with the serial number and model of the equipment (laptop and charger). You may find a google document template here. Please be sure to make a copy of the template and fill out that form. You may find an example of how to fill out this form here.

a. You may find a google document template here. Please be sure to make a copy of the template and fill out that form. You may find an example of how to fill out this form here.You may find your Mac’s serial number by clicking on the Apple Logo on the top left of your screen → “About This Mac” → Overview

b. You may find your charger’s serial number by looking into the charger box port (as shown in the picture below)

Borrow Equipment Process:

2. Save a copy of the waiver as a PDF with the file name “Full Name – Equipment Contract”

3. Upload the signed waiver to this folder here with the file name “Full Name – Equipment Contract”

4. Please send Donna Gonzales ([email protected]) the link to the specific PDF file to let her know that you have completed this step (right-click the specific file and share link).

Outside Employment & Conflicts of Interest
Ortus encourages entrepreneurship and employment outside of the company. However, this must strictly not cause any conflict of interest.

Attire and Appearance

We are quite relaxed when it comes to working attire, especially with remote working but always ensure a professional look on camera. You should always be able to attend a meeting with clients and comfortably put your camera on.

Tobacco, E-Cigarettes, Alcohol and other drugs
Please refrain from using or mentioning any of these on camera unless it’s a social setting.

Communication
As mentioned above, The Ortus Club works in a hybrid work environment, allowing our employees to choose to work from the office or from home. If employees decide to work from home, it’s important that they are reachable during their working hours. Below are some of our communication options:

Discord

Although we are spread across the world we stay connected through Discord. This platform acts as our virtual office and we highly encourage everyone to be on Discord as much as possible as it allows employees to be part of important conversations and so that they may support each other whenever needed.

You may find our Discord server here.

Skype

Skype is one of our main forms of direct communication to one another and with our teams. Please make sure that you put your hours (and if you’re on leave) as your Skype status!

Email

Your professional email will be given to you by HR.

Motivation and Encouragement
We are colleagues first. Although meaningful friendships are often created within the team, we must always be inspirational to everyone we work with and motivate those around us to do their best. To do this, a positive attitude is key. Bad days are inevitable but there’s a time, a place and a way to express these.

Preventing misinformation and pointing out negativity
It’s important that we do our best to stop misinformation as soon as we see it. If anyone approaches you with something that sounds like gossip “this person thinks this of you, this person said this to this person” and it has the potential to affect you or anyone else negatively, please be sure to:

1) Assess whether this is information or potential misinformation
2) Ask the person approaching you where they got this information, what the context is and why they’re sharing this with you – could this confuse you, put someone down or cause negativity?
3) Encourage them to stop this behaviour and get answers from TLs or management
4) Additionally, if you are also having doubts and would like clarity, approach TL or Management

It’s never a good idea to go on to a group chat and spread annoyance and confusion or message others in your batch or level to spread the misinformation further. We can all be that person who stops gossip or potential negativity.

Forms
Please take note and bookmark the important forms below:

  • If you are planning to work on a holiday due to an event or whatever reason, please fill out the Working on Holiday Form
  • For those in the PH, to ensure our safety throughout these difficult times, please indicate when you report to the office by filling out the Contact Tracing Form

Leave Process
If you plan on taking a leave, please follow the process below:
1. Send a calendar invite to HR ([email protected]), HR Leaves ([email protected]), your team lead, and your teammates (including your guesting/client director) for the day(s) you wish to be off so that everyone is aware.
2. The title of the calendar invite should be TYPE: NAME (ex: Personal Leave: Brian)
3. Please put your reason for your leave application in the description portion of your calendar invite.
4. Wait for calendar approval from your team lead or manager.

        a. Calendar approval from HR Leaves does not count as an approved leave.

5. For Philippines team, once approved, please apply for a leave on Sprout, our HRIS.

        a. On the dashboard, click on “My Requests” then “My Leaves”

Amount of Leaves (For KMC Philippine members only)
You have two types of leave credits: standard and compulsory time off (CTO)

  • Standard – these are your default leaves and are accredited to you as follows:
    Year 0: prorated of 10
    Depending on when you sign on with KMC during the year, 1st year employees are accredited a portion of 10 leaves.
    For example: if you start in October, you may only get 1.5-2 leave credits available for you for the rest of that year; while someone who started in June would get more leave credits available
    January, Year 1: 20 leaves
    January, Year 2: 30 leaves
    January, Year 3: 35 leaves
    Max of 10 unused standard leave credits can be monetised by the end of the year
    Standard leaves cannot be carried over to the following year.
  • CTO – these are leave credits you gain when you work on a holiday
    Please fill out the Work on Holiday Form (attached above) when you work on a holiday so you may gain a CTO credit.
    CTO leaves are not monetised by the end of the year
    CTO leaves cannot be carried over to the following year
  • You may check the number of leaves available to you through Sprout, the HRIS we use. The steps are as follows:
    Click on your name on the top right of the screen, then “My Profile”
    Scroll down and click on “Leave Plans and Usage”. Here you will see the number of leave credits available to you.
  • If you are leaving the company, the amount of leaves that will be available to you will be prorated for that year.
    You may only avail leave credits that you have earned up to that point in the year.

Amount of Leaves (non-KMC)

  • You are accredited 20 leaves annually
  • You may gain a leave by working on a holiday. Please fill out the Work on Holiday form (attached above)
  • These leaves are not monetised at the end of the year
  • These leaves cannot be carried over to the following year.

Leaves as You Resign

The number of leaves will be pro-rated based on the separation month should the employee pre-maturely exit from the company. In this regard, Sprout may reflect a whole year’s worth of leave credits, but upon separation, we will only honour those that the employee has “earned” based on the pro-ration; and deduct any excess leaves utilised outside of it from their final pay.

For example:
You send your notice of resignation in the month of June. Due to the timing of your resignation, the only leaves available to you will be the amount of leaves you’ve earned up to that point in the year (~5). If you use more than 5, those excess leaves will be deducted from your final pay.

If you have any questions regarding this, please reach out to Xandrine

Additional Notes Regarding Leaves

  • Your leave credits reset at the beginning of each year, not your anniversary.
  • Offsetting is different from a leave. Only fill out the form if you will be taking a leave.
  • Holidays are not counted towards your leave entitlement.

Working on Holiday Process
If you plan on working on a holiday, please follow the process below:
1. Send a calendar invite to HR ([email protected]), HR Leaves ([email protected]), your team lead, and your teammates (including your guesting/client director) for the holiday you wish to be working on so that everyone is aware.
2. The title of the calendar invite should be WoH: NAME (ex: WoH: Denise).
3. Please input what you plan to be working on during the day in the description portion of your calendar invite.
4. Wait for (at least a verbal) approval from your team lead.
5. Once approved, please fill out the Working on Holiday Form

NOTE: At least 4 hours of work is required to be considered so you may gain a half-day (0.5) CTO credit; 8 hours of work is required to be considered so you may gain a full day (1) CTO credit.

Who is KMC?
KMC Solutions is a company that provides staff-leasing services in The Philippines; however, to The Ortus Club, they are our HR business partner based in the Philippines. As The Ortus Club is a Singaporean company, employees based in The Philippines are represented by KMC. Furthermore, KMC helps The Ortus Club process HR-related items such as: leaves, taxes, government mandated benefits (SSS, Pagibig, Philhealth), HMO, and other comp-and-ben articles. 

What is Sprout?
Sprout is the HRIS that we use with KMC. Through Sprout, you can do actions such as check and request your leaves and sign up for their health services (explained below).
You may access your sprout through here.
To set up Sprout, KMC will have sent your login credentials to your personal email. The email is titled “Your HR HUB account has been created.”
If you have any issues or questions about this please reach out to our KMC HR business partner, Xandrine Diolata at [email protected]

Compensation, Bonuses & Commissions

Our company partners with KMC Solutions for all our employee compensation and benefits.
For all compensation details, please view the KMC Onboarding Deck here.
For details on our healthcare program (HMO) with Maxicare click here.
For the list of hospital partners partnered with Maxicare click here.
For the list of Maxicare physicians click here.

If you have any issues or questions about this please reach out to our KMC HR business partner, Xandrine Diolata at [email protected]

Basic Salary Schedule
Employees under KMC are paid on the 10th and 25th of every month.
The payout for the 25th covers 1-15th of that month.
The payout for the 10th covers 16-31st of the month prior.
E.g. October 25 payout (October 1-15th) & November 10 payout (October 16-31st)

Those not signed under KMC are paid by the 27th of every month.

Transition Pay
You will be compensated from Trial Week up until your KMC signing date under Transition Pay.
Your Transition Pay along with your KMC pay will all be reflected in your first paycheck.
E.g. Trial Week Start Date: October 4, 2021
KMC Sign Date: October 25, 2021
First Payout: Nov 10, 2021(October 4-31st)

Government Benefits
Social Security System (SSS)
This benefit provides a replacement of income lost on account for the list provided below. You may click on each item for more information:

 

Pag-IBIG

This benefit is a Philippine national savings program that offers assistance to Filipino workers by providing affordable financing for their housing needs. For more information, please click here.

PhilHealth
This is a government-owned benefit that provides social health insurance. For more information regarding the benefits they offer, please click here.

If you have any issues or questions about this please reach out to our KMC HR business partner, Xandrine Diolata at [email protected]

Health Services
Through Sprout, the HRIS we use, there are a number of online services focused on mental health that you may use:

Consultation – A lot on your mind? Let it all out through a session with trained therapists that are chosen depending on your needs! These sessions are confidential. If you decide to go back for more sessions, you’ll be paired with the same therapist unless specified otherwise.
Meditation – Feeling tired, stressed, or burned out? Breathe in and out as you release those negative feelings through these guided meditation classes!
Yoga – Find your inner peace and strengthen your body through these guided yoga classes.

You may schedule your appointments through Sprout’s Wellness Center. You can find the Wellness Center by clicking on the following logo in the bottom right of the page.

Sprout icon

If you have any issues or questions about this please reach out to our KMC HR business partner, Xandrine Diolata at [email protected]

Throughout your time here at The Ortus Club, we want to make sure that everyone’s on the same page regarding your growth within the company. That being said, you will be receiving performance evaluations at these intervals:

  • Quarterly one on one with HR – Through these discussions, HR and your Team Lead will check in with you so that everyone is kept in the loop, issues are resolved, and so that you may grow within your role(s). In preparation for the 1on1s, feedback will be collected from all those you work with, so that we may get the most accurate and unbiased insight regarding you and your work. Other tools may be used as supporting material depending on your department and role (ex: GD Appraisal Scores and Event Score for Project Coordinators). 1on1 conversations generally follow this outline:

Feedback on The Ortus Club generally
Feedback on your department and job
Your Assessment
Where you see your future

  • KMC 3rd and 5th Month Appraisal – To keep KMC in the loop of our new employees’ progress, we send KMC-specific Appraisal forms. HR will reach out to you in regards to these forms, and may schedule a check-in meeting if deemed necessary.

For KMC Employees, The Code of Employee Discipline is designed to help ensure that proper corrective actions and/or procedural guidelines are implemented to address employee misconduct, performance deficiencies, violations of items stipulated in the Code of Business Conduct as well as other relevant policies, guidelines and provisions promulgated and implemented by the Company and Philippine laws.

So you’re thinking of leaving…

Step One: think about the reason
A lot of reasons may conclude with one’s decision to leave a job. And it is very important for this reason to be formulated in one’s head to ensure the direction is right. Try thinking about the following:

  • What are you looking for in a role?
  • Is it a lack of financial reward? And is this not being matched?
  • Is the work no longer exciting? Could your role change?
  • Are you not able to fulfil your life in some other aspects?
  • Do you think you’re working too much thus not being able to dedicate enough time to family, friends and hobbies?

List down what you look for in a job and come up with some ideas on how you see yourself changing that role in a way that works for you. Then, have an informal conversation about it with your supervisor or team lead.

Understand the reasons you’re unhappy. Make sure you’re honest with yourself. What’s changed? Is it something outside of your control, or is it something more fundamental about yourself? If you can understand what’s really going on, you’ll make a better decision and possibly take a course of action that involves a slightly less dramatic outcome than if you quit your job.

Step Two: think about the timing

Let’s think about timing. Does right now make the most sense for you? Is now the best time for you to leave? Are you up for a promotion or a title change soon? Are you waiting for commissions? Would it make more sense to wait a few months until then? Will your manager, colleagues and team be ok without you?

Step Three: figure out your finances
Am I willing and able to forego benefits like health insurance and retirement contributions?
Ortus is a company that has allocated a lot of bonus schemes around their processes, especially in operations. All of these will be forfeited upon resignation. Do you know what your bonuses look like and when you will be receiving them? Do you know what you’re forfeiting? You may want to double-check.

Please note: Once you send in your resignation (not the day you leave), you automatically forfeit any bonuses you would receive for that quarter.

Step Four: think about who is going to replace you
Ortus has a strong sense of teamwork and every member contributes to this camaraderie.
Do your best to make this transition go well.

Step Five: come up with a plan:
If you are thinking of quitting without a new job, assess your alternatives and explore some options first.

Step Six: schedule a meeting with your manager/team lead
Team Leads are there to support guesting directors and will be able to guide you. In doubt, speak to Brian first. Go through all the points above and come up with a clear exit plan that will leave good memories to all.

Step Seven: get some recommendations 
Keep It Nice and Polite: Do not badmouth management or staff. People have long memories about criticism, and you never know when inquiries about your performance will be made by future employers. Even if you hated your job or your boss, there’s no point in saying so.

Step Eight: resign to your manager or KMC cc’ing HR and your manager in, and write a thank you letter to your colleagues
Leaving in good terms should be the ultimate goal and positivity is key regardless of where you are mentally. You might have negative feelings towards the company or your bosses today, but one day you might look back and encounter them again. As an example, you might want to work on a project basis.

Xandrine, KMC HR Business Partner: [email protected]
Denise, Head of Internal HR: [email protected]
If you’re part of the Operations team, cc Ardi, Head of Operations: [email protected]
If you’re part of the Marketing team, cc Hannah, Head of Marketing: [email protected]
If you’re part of the Sales team, cc Petra, Head of Sales (EUR): [email protected]
If you’re part of the Sales team, cc Yoko, Head of Sales (APAC): [email protected]

Thank you for reading this HR Handbook

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to [email protected]