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Employee-oriented culture crucial to business success

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, today (November 23) noted that the key for an enterprise to succeed lies in the implementation of family-friendly employment practices under corporate social responsibility.

     Speaking at the Corporate Social Responsibility Hong Kong Conference 2009 organised by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Mr Cheung said that employees are the most valuable asset of an enterprise. Taking up corporate social responsibility not only helped enterprises establish good reputations, but also enabled them to remain competitive through improved staff morale and efficiency. Many leading enterprises are also shining examples of best employers.

     Mr Cheung said, "Fulfilling corporate social responsibility should start with the employees. First, employers should enhance communication and co-operation amongst staff through 'empathy'.

     "Second, employers should show care in understanding the circumstances of the employees and their families and provide support.

     "Third, employers should listen to employees' views and criticism with patience and make improvements accordingly.

     "Noting the sincerity and willingness of the employers in identifying their needs, employees will work harder in return."

     Mr Cheung noted that there was a family behind every employee and that family harmony was the foundation of social harmony. Family-friendly employment practices allowed employees to attain work-life balance.

     "Corporate social responsibility has nothing to do with the size of a company. With a heart and innovative ideas, enterprises can implement family-friendly employment practices in accordance with their own size, resources and culture in a flexible way," he stressed.

     Family-friendly measures commonly adopted include flexible work arrangements like a five-day week, work from home and job sharing; special leave to meet family needs such as marriage leave, compassionate leave and parental leave; and the provision of support services such as child care services and counselling services.

     Mr Cheung said, "There are more than 270,000 small and medium enterprises employing more than 1.17 million people in Hong Kong. This makes up more than 98% of the businesses in the territory. The participation of these enterprises in promoting family-friendly employment practices is of paramount importance."

     He said he was pleased to see that many enterprises implement employee-oriented measures even during difficult times. "This is evidence that our enterprises are caring employers and that the Government's efforts in promoting family-friendly employment practices have been effective," he added.

     Last but not least, Mr Cheung said he hoped the concept of corporate social responsibility could take root in Hong Kong and thanked the Hong Kong Council of Social Service for proactively advocating this meaningful cause.

Ends/Monday, November 23, 2009
Issued at HKT 16:33


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