Manager Jose D. Tomas Sr. of Tam-an Banaue Multi-Purpose Co-operative has an uncanny way of managing his co-op. To start with, he does not believe in second chances, that is, as far as his employees and staff are concerned. According to him, with just one mistake (I failed to ask if this includes minor ones), it could cause your job. (Again, I failed to inquire if he is facing legal issues regarding this). He requires the highest degree of integrity, excellence, passion and commitment to the job and to the co-op.
He believes in having fun though. He is not an “all work and no play” kind of leader. He wants the employees to enjoy and have fun in their work. Well, I observed that everyone working there greet every guest or customer they meet within the co-op compound. They smile every time you look them in the eye. The Manager even boasts that their co-op is full of positive people. “A happy person is a productive person”, he emphasized.
For validation purposes we interviewed one employee. He did not only confirm the manager’s claims but also volunteered one of their practices that I believe could and should be copied by other organizations, not only co-ops. It is about enhancing your skills. The level of your skill set at the time of employment should be raised and it is your responsibility to make it happen. For example, if you are employed as a janitor, you go out knowledgeable in housekeeping. If you are a lifeguard at the pool, you can become a security guard if you want to learn. Manager Tomas could be tough with his employees but he believes in improving their lives.
We also observed that employees help one another. They do not only stick to their work areas focusing only on their work. They try to assist whenever they can to other staff especially to those who need help. During our seminar, the one in charge of the sound system went out of his chair to help in serving the food to the guests. Even the assistant manager of the resort, rather than standing and giving commands, was busy lending a hand to the food servers, with a smile of course.
Manager Tomas likewise made sure that the staff will not encounter problems in case of unannounced vacancy or absence. The next immediate employee automatically gets in charge and is already trained to know what to do. For example, the COO is already oriented and trained about the functions of the CEO. In case of a long absence, the COO can take charge with confidence. In fact, every subordinate knows the functions of the immediate superior. In this manner, whatever happens, there will be no disruption of work.
This manager does his thinking and planning early in the morning but he could not sleep during the night if he will not write an idea he had just conceived and right then and there, he calls the chairman of the board to ask for a special board meeting ASAP to discuss to them what he had just thought of. More on this next time.