Customer focus: When worker engagement elicits smiles among guests

Clowning around with three woven figures. (Stella A. Estremera)
Clowning around with three woven figures. (Stella A. Estremera)

THE level of engagement of workers of a company is directly linked to the strength of a company. While it will take a few surveys and some period of observation of the workplace to get a good grasp of this strength, you'll get a glimpse of this when you see focus, cheerfulness, and innovations among its workers.

In Davao City, the NCCC has made a name for its fair treatment of its people, thus when it went through its toughest challenge yet when its flagship mall in Ma-a burned down in December 2017 where 37 business process outsourcing company employees and one NCCC worker perished, the people and its workers rallied behind the beleaguered owners. They're not over the hump yet, but they're holding up.

Who would have thought that this same dedication would be observed among a group of workers in the NCCC-owned resort on Arrecife Island off Puerto Princesa in Palawan as guests come down the boat happily waving woven coconut leaves shaped into birds and roses and grasshoppers?

On the way back from a day tour at Dos Palmas Island Resort, a boatman handed a couple coconut leaves woven into a couple of birds with a midrib shaped into a heart. Delight was painted on the faces of the couple as they accepted the woven leaf.

They're lovebirds, boat crew Roquero Enrile explained, and they give these to couples.

At the back, another crew member was weaving yet another "lovebirds". Dhan Gogolin said the lovebirds take the longest time to make, around ten minutes. They also weave grasshoppers, ducks, turtles, helicopter, crabs, parrots, fish, ostrich, flowers, and starfish but the lovebirds are the most appreciated as they give these to couples.

"Sa mga couple, lalo na mga Koreans, kadalasan namin binibigay (We give them to couples, mostly Koreans)," he said. "Natutuwa talaga 'yan sila, nagpapapicture. Karamihan sa mga guests namin mga Koreans, mga couple talaga kaya ito ang ginagawa namin, parang pinaka souvenir nila pagpunta nila ng Dos Palmas (The couples love these, they have photos taken with them. That's why we weave these and give them as souvenirs of their visit to Dos Palmas)," he added.

Most boat crew knows how to weave coconut leaves, Gogolin said.

"Yung mga (boat) captain namin, bihira, hindi sila marunong (Most boat captains don't know how)," he said as boat captains have to operate the boat while the boat crew do nothing most of the trips as their major roles are when the boat is going in or out of the dock.

They thought of weaving coconut leaves to give to the guests because a boat ride to and from the island resort takes around an hour.

"Mahaba yung biyahe, kaya naisip naming gawin ito para matuwa ang mga guests, para meron kaming magawa (The trip is long, so we thought of doing something that will delight our guests and keep us busy)," he said.

They learned the basics from YouTube. Several of their designs are "upgraded" versions of what they saw in YouTube.

They could have opted to just be boat crew, ensuring that guests board and disembark safely, but they opted to do more and contribute to the satisfaction of their guests in a most innovative way, which in turn enables them to pass the time in a productive endeavor in between docks.


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