KUALA LUMPUR: Companies should include employees’ involvement in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives when assessing their performances and determining annual salary increments or bonuses. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said this would motivate and encourage the employees to actively participate in CSR activities.
He told businesses that helping society could also be a profitable proposition. “It is in your own best interests to bring the poorest and least privileged into mainstream economic activities.” Najib said this when presenting the Prime Minister’s CSR Awards 2009 here yesterday.
The winners were recognised for their CSR initiatives in Education (Petronas), Environment (Intel Technologies), Culture and Heritage (Petronas), Community and Social Welfare (CIMB Group), Small Company CSR (The Truly Loving Company), Empowerment of Women (Rampai Niaga Sdn Bhd) and Media Coverage (Special Award – TV3).
Petronas was also given the Overall Winner award.
Najib said fundamental changes taking place globally were making responsible corporate behaviour “an absolute must” for every company.
He said society and its expectations were changing. “Consumers are developing higher expectations of the companies they engage with.
“They are much more aware of and concerned about the behaviour of corporations whose products and services they purchase,” he said, adding that people were already beginning to express a preference for products and services from socially-responsible companies.
There was also a growing consensus, he said, that the corporate sector could make a huge difference in solving social and environmental problems.
Najib added that investors, too, were playing an increasingly important role in encouraging corporate social responsibility.
Malaysia, he said, had a long way to go in putting CSR strategies at the heart of its efforts to create a more sustainable and socially inclusive future.
“There are more than 600,000 businesses registered in Malaysia. But fewer than 200 participated in this awards programme.
“It is clear we need to move CSR up the business agenda and embed it into the DNA of every comp a ny, ” Najib said, adding that while it was a huge challenge, it was also an opportunity to get things right from the start.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Senator Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who also attended, described CSR as the basis for national cohesion and cooperation across ethnic, social and economic divides.
She said the CSR awards required chief executives to think about putting all stakeholders, instead of just shareholders, on top of their corporate agenda.
“Why? Because long-term corporate success and sustainability lie in aligning society’s interests with a competitive business edge.”