I often write about the people living and working with me on the island and call them my «Pef Family». You may start to think that this is just a word I use because I miss my real family in Switzerland. Or because I am trying to explain the feeling of togetherness we share here. And you may start to wonder if I’m not exaggerating a little.
They say, a crisis like this one, brings out the best and the worst in people. In our case, I think it’s the best. What does it really mean to be a «family» now? Is it just an empty phrase? In our case, I don’t think it is.
It all starts with Maya’s basic philosophy: treat your employees well and they will give it all back to you. Our staff all have good salaries for local standards, have a paid health insurance and pension fund and get a very generous holiday allowance. Their accommodation is simple, but clean and well maintained and the food is ample and delicious – which, I heard, is not always the case in other resorts in the area. And even now, during the biggest crisis this resort has know in its history, Maya refuses to let people go for financial reasons and continues to pay their insurances. On top of this, she cares about our staff’s families, which is why we started our «Raja4Rice» project.
On the other hand, all employees, including management, currently have to put up with salary cuts of up to 30%, depending on their salary level. And they do that without hesitation and a lot of understanding. Because they know that being able to keep their job in times like this is not for granted. Especially the ones from modest backgrounds are very grateful for working here. But even employees with university degrees and more senior positions keep thanking Maya for continuing to employ them, as sometimes they are the only one of their family who still has a job and who currently has to support them all financially.
It’s now that we realize: we really are a «family», caring for each other, accepting personal losses so that the resort will hopefully be able to survive financially and continue to employ us all. We are all pulling in the same direction. We try to do this in normal times too, but now even more so. Some of our employees don’t have much education but they understand that they are being treated very well here and that this is something they should not give up easily.
I have worked in many different companies during my career so far. Some were great employers, some much less. But I have never had an owner or a management that cared so much about their employees as here. I felt this from the moment I set foot on the island, and it was the main reason I wanted to work here. I think our guests feel it too, this is one of the reasons why many of them keep coming back to our resort instead of trying out another resort in the area.
It’s easy to be a good team when everything is running smoothly. But it takes a crisis to show you what your team is really worth.
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…