Maintain high standards of trust in difficult times


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There is no doubt that businesses are going through difficult times as they navigate an environment of low consumer confidence and diminished investor confidence in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, they need to balance the expectations of all stakeholders in their organizations.

Gaining stakeholder confidence in these times would be a daunting task for some, but two companies – Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and Sime Darby Property Bhd – have succeeded. Their efforts to establish a corporate culture based on trust earned them the top two accolades at the recently held PwC Malaysia 2021 Building Trust Awards.

Maybank was named winner in the FBM KLCI category – the third time the nation’s largest banking group has won this award after past wins in 2019 and top awards in 2015. Sime Darby Property was named winner in the category FBM Mid 70 Index.

It takes into account how companies communicate about value creation, as well as how they are seen to be building trust through the prism of their stakeholders. The awards continue to be independent, as no nominations or submissions are accepted, and an independent jury makes the final decision on the winners in a virtual meeting.

The awards were designed by PwC to recognize and celebrate companies that have made significant efforts to build stakeholder confidence.

“Our path to pricing is part of how we play our role as a responsible corporate citizen, and in doing so, we help foster a stronger, trust-based capital market. And, as we have seen over the past couple of years, there is a need for companies to build trust with their stakeholders at a time when it is both more fragile and more complicated to gain, ”Soo Hoo said. Khoon Yean, Managing Partner of Pwc Malaysia. Edge in an email response.

He adds that the company’s investment in its Building Trust program aligns with PwC’s new global strategy – “The New Equation” – which recognizes the major changes shaping the world and is a testament to PwC’s commitment to providing lasting results to its customers and the community for a positive result. and lasting impact.

“As our journey towards these awards unfolded in 2020 and 2021, key events and developments defining the market landscape have shaped how we have improved our measurement of trust-building efforts. A few key priorities included the emerging focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

“By expanding the scope of companies qualifying for the awards to mid-sized companies listed on the FBM Mid 70 index, we were able to achieve our goal of integrating more segments of Malaysian business,” says Soo Hoo.

He adds that the winning companies, unsurprisingly, performed well in all aspects of the rewards methodology, and the judges could see that they had gone to great lengths to go beyond short-term financial gains. .

“The winning companies were able to take into account what is important to all their stakeholders, beyond just investors, and demonstrated that the key attributes of capacity, accountability and transparency help build trust with all their stakeholders, ”he said.

Maybank sets the tone

Maybank Group Chairman and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Farid Alias ​​said the banking group’s victory is a testament to the remarkable success of its employees in establishing and maintaining trust in its various commitments and channels of stakeholders, internal and external.

“Maybank believes in honest, open and transparent communications, which has clearly served us well in the public eye and even internally, as evidenced by the multiple wins since the inception of these awards in 2015. Although none of our actions aims to garner rewards and recognition, we remain true to our mission to humanize financial services and our TIGER values ​​(teamwork, integrity, growth, excellence and efficiency, relationship building) because it is the right thing to do, ”he said in an email response to The Bord.

So how did Maybank continue to build confidence in these difficult times? Abdul Farid says the banking group – which was founded in 1960 – has had more than six decades to refine its practice of building trust by learning from its shortcomings and striving to improve themselves.

“It is only by being open to positive and negative feedback that we can learn to grow and improve for the better. It is certainly not an easy task and it is human nature to be on the defensive, but if we anchor ourselves around our mission statement then we are reminded of why we are in this business in the first place. It’s about serving our customers and broader stakeholder groups. Open and transparent communication is therefore absolutely essential to build trust, ”says Abdul Farid.


He adds that the pandemic has been a catalyst for Maybank to emerge even stronger in its efforts to reach and support its stakeholder groups through targeted initiatives.

“It was about leading by example. Our top priority has been to ensure the well-being of our customers and employees. For our clients, we have worked closely to offer repayment assistance programs as well as various other notable initiatives to address the cash flow challenges brought on by the pandemic, ”he said.

“For our employees, we have deployed various programs internally to promote mental, physical and social well-being given the new remote working environment. “

On why it is important for Maybank to build trust, Abdul Farid says trust is the foundation on which any successful and lasting relationship is built. “Once established, it will bring out the best in everyone, whether it’s within a team, an organization, a community or even a country.

“There is a positive correlation between trust and organizational performance, which is why the Maybank culture is aligned with our mission statement and helps us always do the right thing, especially when no one is watching. “

Regarding efforts to build confidence in the future, Abdul Farid reiterates that there must always be alignment between actions and words. “Speak and communicate the same way. Trust cannot be taken for granted or abused, not even for a fraction of a second. When we align our actions and words with our mission statement, it serves as a good anchor to guide us forward.

“It’s about always doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. As long as this is clear in our minds, everything else we do will be achieving the goal of protecting and improving the organization and our stakeholders. “

Sime Darby Property – building trust through its products

As a real estate developer responsible for the construction of over 100,000 homes in the Klang Valley, Negeri Sembilan and Johor, Sime Darby Property believes it is important to maintain the trust it has built over the years with many generations of Malaysians.

“Buying a new home or business space is usually one of the most important financial or investment decisions our buyers make. To develop and maintain trust, we strive to provide the best products and services to our customers. The quality that we promise through our products is essential to earn their trust, ”Sime Darby Property Group Managing Director Datuk Azmir Merican said in an email response to The Edge.

Azmir states that the group is proud to have been recognized by PwC Malaysia as the winner in the FBM Mid 70 Index category. “Trust is a very important element in our business and to be honored with this distinction is a testament to the way we conduct our business with transparency and accountability. We will remain committed to maintaining the trust all of our stakeholders have in Sime Darby Property today and in the years to come. “

The past year and a half has been a difficult one for Sime Darby Property and their team has had to redouble their efforts to ensure that the group continues to deliver value to all of its stakeholders and maintain their trust.


“We had the opportunity to rethink how we can continue to connect with our customers while addressing one of the biggest challenges in the industry. It drove us to innovate and be creative in problem solving and reaching out to customers when they couldn’t come to us.

“We have introduced our in-house developed online reservation system, which allows our clients to view and reserve their potential homes, as well as perform secure online payment transactions. We also introduced the Virtual Sales Gallery which offered a new in-home viewing experience and we stepped up our social media engagements, ”said Azmir.

On how Sime Darby Property will continue to build trust in the future, Azmir says the group is determined to be a ‘force for good’ and will continually engage with its stakeholders to gain critical feedback, as well as to optimize the opportunities to integrate sustainability into its operations. .

“We have taken steps to change the way we conduct our business to minimize the impact of our operations by integrating ESG principles into our operations, in order to remain transparent to our stakeholders.

“We build our resilience through biodiversity, design, products and communities; and will continue to provide value creation efforts that contribute to the betterment of society, play an active role in reducing our carbon footprint and create long-term economic value in a responsible manner, ”he said declared.

PwC will continue to champion the trust agenda

Soo Hoo says PwC is committed to continuing on its journey to promote trust between businesses. “We are encouraged by what we are seeing – businesses building trust in different ways, from rolling out initiatives to promote small businesses, coming together to support the national Covid-19 vaccination campaign and responding important customer needs, including the recognition of errors. These are important steps in advancing confidence in business. And we want to encourage companies to continue to build trust in the way they engage with their stakeholders, influence the younger generation, and address important societal issues.

“Because we can’t do it alone, we hope to see more companies, beyond our award winners, join us in giving confidence a voice. It is through our combined voices that trust will flourish, having a lasting impact on our community. “

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