One of the major lessons learned in this pandemic is how transparency and communication are critical, even indispensable, in helping communities survive and cope.
Apparently this is one business practice that the Rockwell community in Makati has been trying to follow. Information gathering about the COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease) cases in its communities in Makati, at The Grove and in Santolan has become paramount.
This is coupled with its management of its service staff that agreed to stay within the premises.
In an email interview with Lifestyle, its top executives describe their perspective in managing the crisis and how it’s translated into procedures—indeed a lifestyle—to help build a sense of security and confidence among its residents in these uncertain times.
What special and personal measures did Rockwell initiate during the pandemic?
Aside from the daily improvement of the safety protocols that had to evolve as we learned more about the virus, we made sure our service to the residents in all our communities was uninterrupted despite limitations in manpower and movement.
Our clients used to trust us on their investments and property values, but this time, we need to give them the confidence that they can trust us more with their families and lives.
The measures we placed were focused on communication and touch points. Rockwell continued the services we promised our clients, the risk didn’t stop us from providing the clients’ needs.
As a believer in transparency amid the pandemic, Rockwell took information gathering and dissemination very seriously. Circulars were released each time a case was reported in its various properties. It is our way of not only letting residents know about the active count or statistics, but also to make them understand and learn from each case.
We provided a grocery service where residents can have their essentials delivered from Power Plant Mall to their units. This was especially helpful and crucial for residents who were isolated or quarantined.
We regularly coordinated with the City Health Office to monitor new safety policies and to keep updated on the status of the patients in our community.
Lessons derived from them?
Get protocols in place! It is efficient and easier to have a team, but with members who are working on their specific task that is clear to them, so you can accomplish more.
Whatever new protocols that seem urgent and important today may change tomorrow. The more we analyzed the cases in the community and the more we knew about the virus, there was always something new we had to implement to enhance the safety measures.
We needed to keep updated, we need to treat each case as if it was the first so we learn more ways to improve our protocols.
By fostering transparency and consistent information dissemination, Rockwell was able to encourage residents to likewise practice transparency in reporting cases and their health conditions. This made us have a sense of trust for both parties. The use of various communication channels also helped in delivering the information on time.
Eliminate potential super spreaders that can increase your risk of infection.
With so many experiences that are firsts for everyone, each one’s behavior is different. We have to prepare for how the community will react and respond to every new safety measure, to every new virus information. Everyone’s needs change and we have to anticipate that.
What did you do for your service employees who have to remain on duty?
We prioritize them because these people are our front-liners. To ensure safety and well-being of our service partners, Rockwell provided clean, comfortable and well-equipped temporary accommodations to ensure sustainability of our building operations. They were also all provided with the proper protective equipment to keep themselves safe at work.
To complement their shelter-in-place arrangements, food and other basic daily necessities such as toiletries were provided.
During the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), service partners who didn’t have work were given monetary assistance.
Those who wanted to visit their homes were provided care packages such as groceries, PPE (personal protective equipment) and disinfection products that they can bring to their families.
To allow them to go home without the risk of exposure in public transport, we have a transportation loan where they can choose between a bike or motorcycle that will be loaned, no interest.
What notable feedback did you get from residents?
At the height of the ECQ, it was most memorable to see the residents come together and do a weekly ceremony where they come out of their windows to clap for all the front-liners (service providers) who have been sacrificing for them.
The efforts are appreciated. This may be somewhat a general sentiment and as our clients rely on us during these unprecedented times and we need to step up as our fight against COVID-19 continues.
“I just want to say thank you for all the great work that you and your team do for the community. We are blessed to have you”—that was resident feedback.
It became common to receive heartwarming feedback from our residents since the start of the community quarantine, and what usually gets us is how some residents understand the weight of our tasks, and the decisions that we make to keep everybody safe, and sacrifice family time, but we still do it anyway.
One of the best feedback we received is how, without prodding, our supportive and generous residents were also quick to take action to donate essential goods and other forms of assistance to our service partners. This truly boosted the morale of our service partners.
They appreciated our transparency of reporting COVID-19 cases. They felt safer to know more about what’s happening in their community.
Several of our patients have shown their appreciation for how we supported and assisted them with their needs despite the health risks.
What has been the Rockwell lifestyle during the pandemic?
The Rockwell values of being helpful and showing “malasakit” still shows even during this time. You could see many residents sponsoring food for employees and working together to help tired employees even if it meant discomfort on their end.
Rockwell continues to strive to live up to its promise to do things beyond the ordinary, and top priority was safety. Protocols were designed with both safety and convenience of residents and customers in mind.
Though there are many changes in the daily routines and habits of the residents, it was heartwarming to see them all sacrifice some comfort to help protect the community.
Residents extended help to their neighbors to buy groceries especially for senior citizens, what they call “pasabuy” project.
The Rockwell lifestyle in this pandemic was “uncompromising service”—going above and beyond clients’ expectations.