After performing “tremendously well” for the “turbulent” year of 2020, local supermarket Sheng Siong announced that its employees will be receiving bonuses of up to 16 months, inclusive of the annual wage supplement (AWS).
Sheng Siong reported a 54.4 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit to S$31.8 million for the third quarter of last year, ending on 30 September, as stated on its website.
Its revenue jumped 28.9 per cent to S$327.3 million in the third quarter of last year, which was mainly driven by demand arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an internal company circular sent out last week, it was stated that all eligible employees are entitled to 20 per cent of the Sheng Siong Group’s profit before tax as variable bonus.
The total bonuses for staff ranged from 4.68 months for part-time staff, inclusive of AWS, to 15.72 months for employees holding the positions of assistant manager and above.
After this news came to light, The Straits Times (ST) re-shared an interview it conducted with the supermarket’s boss, Lim Hock Chee, back in 2019.
The article highlighted the pork-seller-turned-tycoon’s simple and down-to-earth nature, as well as how he works extremely hard at the company.
“I always tell them: I’m CEO, so we have to be more hard-working than others, faster than others, start work earlier than others, go home later than others. This is the most fundamental rule. If not, I won’t be able to manage a company,” said the chief executive of the mainboard-listed Sheng Siong Group, which has 54 supermarkets across Singapore.
One of the fundamental approaches that he believes in is that “customer is boss”.
“Colleagues, family members, suppliers, customers… People can change everything,” said Mr Lim, adding that the company pays competitive salaries and has bursaries, long service awards, and retirement schemes for employees.
He also noted that he publicised his mobile number in outlets so customers can personally reach out to him, reiterating his stance that “customer is boss”.
According to Mr Lim, at first he did it because he wanted to respond quickly to feedback on service or products. But then, he realised that this made his staff work harder to minimise complaints as customers has the opportunity to contact Mr Lim immediately if they are unhappy with anything at the stores.
He went on to say that he doesn’t believe in constantly monitoring his employees and that he doesn’t go to the stores frequently. “No need. All our workers are very hard-working and we must have mutual trust.”
Netizens applaud Mr Lim for his hard-working, generous nature
Over on social media, online users congratulated Mr Lim for his job well done in giving such high bonuses to his employees.
Penning their thought on the Facebook page of ST, netizens called him a man with “heart of gold” and a “good boss” who works very hard, as well as someone who keeps his employees in mind.
A handful of online users also highlighted that Mr Lim is “inspiring and generous”, and should be viewed as an “example” to other employers out there. They also applauded him for striving to perform well during this pandemic where most businesses are struggling to even stay afloat.
One user said that he would have “sleepless nights, tearing” if he had such a wonderful boss like Mr Lim.
Several others noted that workers at Sheng Siong are very hard working, friendly, and offer top-notch services during the circuit breaker period. They also praised the supermarket for being different and for putting people first.
Another user highlighted that the company even employed people with stroke, which once again showcase Mr Lim’s good nature.