Learn about Union Management Relations
The following is an excerpt from The 50: HR Leaders Reimagining the Filipino Organization. Authored by Paolo Abadillo, this chapter is titled, “Giving Hospital Workers the Care That They Give to Their Patrons.” In it, Atty. Glecy Silva Mendoza, Human Resource Management VP at Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, is interviewed about how the organization executes its strategy in proper care of their employees.
Care doesn’t just stop at healthcare
Glecy Mendoza may be a lawyer by profession, but she certainly handles her role as Vice President for Human Resource Management at the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center (CGHMC) quite well. Since 2002 up to the present, she has been using her legal background, handling the myriad aspects of the hospital human resource management. She made sure that employee relations are among the strengths of her management style by ensuring the execution of various beneficial initiatives she had in place for the medical and non-medical staff of CGHMC.
Among these initiatives focused on career growth and talent development for the employees. As the healthcare workers in their institution provided care for patients, CGHMC cared for its medical and non-medical staff too, not only in terms of providing complete healthcare benefits for the employee as well as their dependents—which is already a given—but by creating multiple career growth opportunities for them as well.
“Basically, we go beyond and above our employee's needs because we value their service. The hospital, which is owned and operated by the oldest charitable institution in the country, would not be able to survive for over a century without our dedicated and talented healthcare professionals,” she said. “We emphasized to every medical professional under our wing—whether they are doctors, nurses, technicians, or admin staff—that we are working not just as a hospital but as a compassionate institution.” The hospital is steeped in the tradition of humanitarian and charitable work, Mendoza explained.
People are still the best asset of a company, thus the hospital heavily invested in its employees’ talent development in terms of computer training and application, and written and oral communication skills of their staff through regular training sessions and business seminars. On top of these programs, the institution hosted professional enhancement training and customer services and business etiquette exercises. Aside from the in-house training, which was facilitated both by company trainers and third-party professionals and experts, CGHMC also sends employees outside for further professional and technical training for medical workers.
The hospital has a comprehensive range of internship, residency, and fellowship medical training programs based on the medical specialty that the medical staff would like to go into facilitated by the Medical Education Department of the hospital. The hospital has also partnered with the Ateneo Graduate School of Business for its professional education program, the Masters in Business Administration in Health (MBAH), for 23 of its department heads from the medical and administrative departments as part of its succession planning program. This is also in partnership with United Laboratories which covered part of the cost of this premiere health management professional training program.
All in all, the hospital conducts about 34 soft skills training in a year, which is enough to say that CGHMC is truly being proactive in shaping their employees and doctors to be the best medical workers they can be.
Aside from these talent development programs, CGHMC also cared for its employees through additional benefits, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which plunged our country into health and economic uncertainty. Knowing that their employees work as front liners in different forms, CGHMC gave assistance in the form of hazard pay and distributed 5 tranches of essential goods and items as assistance to its employees and other service workers primarily through the efforts of its President, Dr. James G. Dy, and the members of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, Inc., owner and operator of Chinese General Hospital & Medical Center. Living quarters with meals were provided for staff members who cannot go home, as well as shuttle services since March for those who can go home but have no means to travel to and from work.
“These are just things we normally do, not just during this pandemic but whenever there is a need to help our employees in case of natural and man-made calamities because in CGHMC, we believe that charity begins at home, and I think employees understand that their welfare is always a concern of the management,” Mendoza said.
The hospital is a unionized environment and ‘Atty. Glecy,’ as she is fondly called by her colleagues, has handled three collective bargaining agreements over the course of her 17-year career in labor-management, preserving industrial peace in the process for the approximately 1,800 employees of the hospital. Mendoza said about 80% of them are rank-and-file employees who are union members; this number does not include the facilities and maintenance staff, security guards, and other service staff. Her good relations with the employee union is actually something that she was proud of as well.
Her labor and corporate relations perspective gave her a more comprehensive view on how to manage labor and industrial relations well. She said, “I am sure all human resource professionals consult with company lawyers on a daily basis, because labor relations go hand in hand in human resource management, especially in a unionized environment.” Her advantage was her legal training and people management skills, which provided her a more comprehensive overview of how to approach a human resource issue that will be for the best interest of the hospital and the employees from a human relations standpoint.
She was also thankful for adequate management support over the years that allowed her to implement the programs for the benefit of the employees of the hospital.
She recalled that she started her career in human resources without any prior training when she first joined the hospital. Though she also went back to school in the process to earn her Diploma in Industrial Relations from the University of the Philippines School of Labor & Industrial Relations (UP-SOLAIR), and attended countless human resource management seminars locally and abroad to equip herself about the job. Mendoza said that she was proud of what she achieved at the hospital, especially in having good relationships with the employees, who she considered her second family.
“This is not a career I was looking for when I finished law school and passed the bar, I was keen on the practice of law back then. But when I was a practicing lawyer, I realized that legal practice was physically, mentally, and psychologically too taxing for me,” Mendoza said. “When I joined CGHMC, I initially had no idea what to do but I learned along the way. I was able to do my job well through the daily lessons that I got being with the employees, dealing with management, and balancing issues for the good of both the hospital and the employees.” She is passionate about the welfare of the employees and ensures the continued success of the hospital through its talented and dedicated people.
To get more insights from other HR leaders like Atty. Glecy Silva Mendoza, please check out the full book, available for purchase here.
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