FOR Barbara “Bambi” Gothong-Tan, everyone is family at the company she heads.
“They’re family. We, as much as possible, want to treat them as family. We try to go beyond,” Tan, president and chief executive officer of the A.D. Gothong Group of Companies, told SunStar Cebu.
Tan heads the group which is involved in 15 diversified businesses in manufacturing, hospitality, real estate, foundations and healthcare. She says her father, Albino Gothong, the founder, was the one who established the programs they have for their employees.
“A lot of the practices were there, even when my father was around. Like the rice grant and the (reward) for perfect attendance, so it’s really performance-based. If you perform, we also share our blessings,” Tan said.
“He’s known to be a philanthropist. So as much as possible, we want to continue his legacy of giving and sharing,” she added.
She said she and her husband, Dennis are hands-on when it comes to managing their different businesses like the A.D. Gothong Manufacturing Corp., one of the pioneers in making high quality oils and fats for baking.
Last Dec. 9, A.D. Gothong Manufacturing Corp. bagged the Gawad Linaw award, which recognizes innovative practices on labor and management relations in Mandaue City.
Tan said it served as an early Christmas gift for the company and in time for its 40th anniversary. “We were not expecting because there were so many other worthy competitors, and some were older and bigger than we are,” she said.
With a workforce of 250 to 300, Tan said that it’s to their advantage since it makes it easier for feedback to reach them, and it makes them act immediately. She added that addressing concerns is also personalized.
Tan said both she and her husband are visible in the plant, overseeing operations.
“Whatever feedback we get that we think is beneficial to the majority, we implement it and come up with the rules,” she said.
Rhea Carabio, vice president for finance, said the company is focused, not only on their employees, but also on the community and local government units.
“We pride ourselves that we may not be perfect, but we try as much as possible to be able to cater to the needs of the people by giving them basic needs that are beyond the statutory and the mandatory,” Carabio said.
She said their benefits are not viewed as obligations.
“Without the people, this (company) would not be where it is now,” she said.
In the health management aspect, the company offers a medical hospitalization program.
“Our employees have a non-contributory share. Meaning the insurance premium is paid for by the company such that when the employee gets hospitalized, they get admitted upfront,” she said. It’s also extended to family members while life insurance of P220,000 to P500,000 is also provided.
Another program is selling its second-hand vehicles to employees with good performance at a discounted price, with five to eight years’ payment.
“We try to do what the law requires plus a little extra. The Gawad Linaw award inspires us to try to come up with more innovative ways in looking after our people. We will not stop there, and we will continue looking for ways to improve,” Tan said. (JOB)