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Responsibility to Staff
Communication and motivation: To maintain teamwork and build solidarity among staff and between staff and management, Amret organized several events and social activities including the annual managers seminar, Khmer New Year party, enjoyable tour on Women’s Day, and the CEO Football Cup Tournament. These recreational events give employees the chance to get to know each other better and help create a working environment that fosters clear communication, team spirit, solidarity and collaboration.
Capacity development The Learning and Development Department (L&DD) provided training to 2,715 staff at all levels, including coaching for 698. Trainees comprised 520 new recruits, 1,339 branch staff and 568 promotees. The team also delivered a further 42 training courses covering functional, cross-functional, behavioural, and leadership and managerial skills to 264 staff. Digital learning and video conferencing are the main channels used to deliver training at Amret. Through these channels, L&DD can provide customized training for support and network staff while achieving cost and resource efficiencies. At the same time, we can maintain the quality and relevance of training, make it more accessible and improve outcomes. Online training and learning will surely be a great benefit to Amret.
Positive work environment: Clearly defined Corporate Culture, Corporate Values, Code of Conduct, Sexual Harassment Policy and Whistle Blowing Policy are fully embedded into Amret’s operational culture to ensure all staff are treated fairly and to maintain supportive workplace relationships. Amret pays careful attention to staff health, safety and welfare, ensuring offices have adequate space, ventilation, lighting and facilities, including drinking water and a rest room. Amret employs a full-time nurse consultant who is responsible for first aid equipment and treatment, and coordination of staff health insurance claims.
Talent development: All staff members have the opportunity to improve their job skills and knowledge and develop new skills and expertise for future work assignments. In 2017, 60 branch management staff took part in the Front Line Management Program to prepare them for new and greater challenges and responsibilities. A further 40 support staff will join the Young Talent Program in 2018. These programs are designed to upgrade and maintain the skills and motivation of managers and staff, and to build awareness and capability in support of organizational change as Amret transitions to Amret Plus.
Staff representation: Employees can voice their concerns, complaints and grievances, whether individual or collective, relating to wages, working conditions, labour law and general regulations through staff representatives. After receiving requests or complaints from staff, a committee or Amret’s management identify the root cause and determine how to resolve the issue.
Employee ambition: Amret encourages employees to pursue their goals and ambitions by making low-interest loans available to full-time staff, 2,284 of whom benefitted from this support in 2017.
Diversity and inclusiveness: Amret ensures transparency and accountability in human resource management by adhering to non-discriminatory principles. The important factors determining staff selection and internal staff promotion are competencies and work ethics. Employees can be confident that they have equal opportunities for progression and promotion, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, age, gender or political affiliation. Promoting gender equality to address the remaining gender gaps remains a major priority for Amret to strengthen its workforce.
Responsibility to the Community
Volunteer and internship program: : Amret provided work placements for 160 national and international university students and fresh graduates. The program offers aspiring young people the employment opportunity to work with knowledgeable professionals and gain real-life experience of working in the microfinance sector, and supports undergraduates in their study of Amret’s evolution and the contribution of microfinance to inclusive economic growth as part of their degree program.
Social contribution activities: Amret actively seeks to support local initiatives that enrich the quality of life and improve social welfare. In 2017 Amret engaged in a wide range of social contribution activities, as follows:
• Donated funds to the Cambodian Red Cross to support the survivors of traffic accidents, who often suffer life-changing injuries and disabilities, as well as the widows and orphans of road crash victims.
• Provided financial support for a girl requiring hospital treatment for a severe nose injury.
• Sponsored the National Bank of Cambodia to promote the riel on the 37th Anniversary of the Reintroduction of the Riel.
• Sponsored the 67th International Children’s Day, this year on the theme “Children’s Songs”.
• Funded the Association of Kratie Students to launch a Social Development Workshop.
• Provided financial support to ICO Cambodia for the project “The Rescue of Children Living in Difficult Situations in the Community”.
• Contributed materials to Prek Leap Agriculture University’s sports tournament, including parasols, T-shirts, flyers, calendars and eco-bags.
• Provided benches and parasols in Kampong Chhnang, Svay Rieng, Kampot and Banteay Meanchey provinces.
• Funded “TVET Day 2017”, which was organized by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Education to give students career guidance so they have a clearer idea of their skills and preferences, and to enable them to meet and explore new opportunities with employers and companies.
• Organized a voluntary blood donation event at Amret’s head office during which 35 employees donated blood, and donated money to the National Blood Transfusion Center.
• Organized Green Exercise Day in Kampong Cham to encourage and improve community health and wellness by raising awareness about the benefits of regular physical activity and keeping public spaces clean. Amret provided the Department of Environment with garbage bins, and Amret staff handed out T-shirts and took part in a community litter pick to clean up the city.
• Provided T-shirts, eco-bags, pens and financial support for an Education Forum, which is run by an expert agency with the approval of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES
Incorporating environmental protection and environmental education into business practices to minimize the environmental impact of Amret’s operations and its clients’ business activities is the main environmental performance objective. To that end, Amret’s Social and Environmental Policy sets out the guidelines and standards employees are expected to apply in their daily work. Clients who want to borrow KHR40,000,000 (USD10,000) or more for business or commercial purposes are screened and evaluated to identify associated environmental and social risks. Those whose business activities, if left unchecked, could harm the environment and society are required to sign an environmental and social contract and have a risk mitigation plan.
Amret’s exclusion list: This list is used to screen applicants and reject those whose activities have adverse impacts on the environment and society. The list excludes prohibited activities or businesses in accordance with international conventions, national legislation and regulations pertaining to exploitative forms of forced or child labour, trade in weapons and munitions, gambling, sex trafficking, trade in wildlife or wildlife products as regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife and Flora (CITES), production, trade, storage or transport of radioactive materials or significant volumes of hazardous chemicals, illegal fishing, illegal commercial logging, tobacco-related business, and other illegal activities.
Clean energy: Amret continues to encourage rural clients to take advantage of the Biodigester Loan and install a household biodigester, as doing so can help reduce energy costs, enhance living standards and improve indoor air quality. This loan not only helps low-income households increase their economic welfare but also contributes to environmental conservation by reducing deforestation, protecting natural resources and lowering methane emissions. Credit Officers actively promote this loan product in all Amret’s operational areas.
Ecological literacy: Amret focuses on ecological education by delivering training courses developed to urge employees and clients to protect the environment through their everyday choices, as well as to use scarce, nonrenewable resources and materials (water, electricity, woodfuel, paper, plastic bags) effectively.
Environmental activities: In 2017, Amret participated in the following conservation activities:
• Provided garbage bins, banners and other materials to promote environmental education in Siem Reap, Thbong Khmom, Kampng Chhnang, Svay Rieng, Kampot and Banteay Meanchey provinces.
• Provided financial support for a study tour for university students and Amret staff in Stung Treng province on the topic “Understanding Environmental Issues”.
• Supported a charity fundraising campaign for a recycling program to promote environmental protection.
• Provided study materials to 200 students and financial support for a tree planting program in Kampong Leng district, Kampong Chhnang province.