BUSINESSES have traditionally given out donations as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.
But companies are increasingly taking a more active role in giving back to the community by getting their employees to be directly involved with these efforts.
When safety products manufacturer Proguard Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd organises visits to a charitable organisation, the management makes it easy for its employees to participate.
“We want to involve everyone. We are targeting to spend a collective 2,000 hours for charity. So we let them take it as part of their work hours. When we go and visit a home, we will gather at the office, clock in, and travel together. Every time we go, we have 10 people,” said Proguard chief executive officer and chief financial officer Datin Cindy Choh.
The company targets to go to a home, usually an orphanage, once a month to give more of is workers a chance to join in the outings.
“We ask the homes what they want and we will provide them with daily use items. So we will get the items and go to the homes and play with the children. We go monthly.
“This is not just something we do at the headquarters. We also do it at our branches – in Penang, Miri and Johor.
“We also sponsor facilities for them. Last year, we sponsored a computer lab for mentally challenged children,” said chief operations officer Datuk Lee Ngai Mun.
Proguard also encourages its employees to give back to society by participating in events such as charity runs and blood donation drives.
Lee said the company would cover the cost for its employees if they want to participate in any marathon. Lee, himself, is an avid runner and is happy to join his workers on their runs.
Proguard also organises a yearly blood donation programme in the company. In 2017, they collectively donated over 70 pints of blood.
According to Choh, the blood donation programme started before 2009.
“Our employees are very supportive of our efforts. We also inform our partners, suppliers and friends to come and donate whenever we have this programme,” said Lee.
While it is important to be successful in business, Choh added that, “We must also love people in the process of running our business, and in return, be loved”.
Proguard took home the Platinum award for Best Employer at The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2017.
The company also won the prestigious Malaysian Business of the Year award for the above RM25mil revenue category as well as Best Brand (Gold) and Best in CSR (Silver) awards. Meanwhile, Choh won the Female Entrepreneur of the Year title.