A FOR-PROFIT-AND-REFORM business is planning to increase the take-home pay of its employees this year, proof that working in a social enterprise is not only fulfilling, but also financially rewarding.
“Our goal is to pay double the minimum wage by year-end,” said Anna Meloto-Wilk, president and cofounder of Gandang Kalikasan Inc. [GKI], the company behind the Human Nature brand. All GKI regular employees, including cleaners and messengers, currently receive P750 per day, 61-percent above minimum wage.
This is inclusive of allowances plus health care. As per the National Wages and Productivity Commission of the Department of Labor and Employment, minimum daily wage in the National Capital Region stands at between P429 and P466. The company also enforces a “no firing” policy for regularized workers. Going beyond just legal labor compliance, the firm’s managers also provide financial mentorship with warehouse, merchandizers and other staff. They are urged to be active in their Gawad Kalinga (GK) communities and programs.
Given these, Meloto-Wilk said GKI exemplifies a business that is rooted in a “strong social mission” by addressing the needs of the poor while making locally produced and chemical-free personal care, cosmetic and home-care products accessible.
While most companies lure potential talents with perks like incentives and freebies, GKI attracts employees by showing them the social impact of their work, according to COO and Cofounder Dylan Wilk. “As a social enterprise, we optimize our profits to do what its best for the Philippines and the poor.
We put emphasis on cost-effective operations and putting out competitive, high-quality products but our end goal is not to rake in the most profit for the stockholders but to be able to use that profit to affect social change,” he said, citing that GKI has enabled to attract talents even from multinationals and top brands, with some agreeing to take an initial pay cut to support its business philosophy.
Since its inception in 2009, GKI has grown from 17 employees to 255 at present. More than 30 percent of the employees come from the villages built GK, a Filipino movement that aims to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024. The company is looking at hiring more people to fill jobs still available for its manufacturing and retail operations.
“Beyond what’s listed on an applicant’s résumé, we look for shared vision and values—those are two things that will fuel employees through the challenges of working in a social enterprise. We want people who love and dare to dream big for the Philippines,” said Eena Meloto, GKI’s head of recruitment.
Roderick L. Abad