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It is difficult for any company’s senior leadership to manage in the best of times, what more when the Covid-19 pandemic created an entirely new set of challenges and only recently to add on another set of challenges i.e. to navigate a flood crisis when Covid-19 is hardly over.
The floods that recently hit our nation in December 2021 have also brought about circumstances which were impossible to foresee. Our teams were juggling unprecedented influx of requests from customers whose premises have been impacted by the floods. Needless to say, these were all urgent requests! At maclean we quickly activated our Disaster Recovery Plan; spontaneously carried out by our teams. In no time, our crews were mobilized to aid in the post flood clean up. We are ever grateful to our teams.
To put the damage in perspective, the recent floods have brought between *RM5.3bil and RM6.5bil in losses that affected 50 districts (according to the Statistics Department of Malaysia). According to the National Disaster Management Agency, a total of **125,490 people were displaced.
It is most unfortunate that some of our colleagues were not spared and were part of the statistics above. They could relate that the experience as one of the darkest times for them and their families. While some colleagues were trapped for days in their homes before any relief could reach them, some managed to be evacuated to relief centres.
Colleagues who were trapped in their houses had to go without food, sleep and even electricity. Whatever they could scour as food was given to their children first. The food eventually ran out. The aftermath left by the floods was equally shocking, some colleagues returned homes to find them covered in mud and totally wrecked. It was almost a sight of ground zero, an empty shelter.
The beds were gone; furniture soaked in mud and most of the electrical appliances were completely beyond repair. Their vehicles were totally damaged, having been submerged in flood water for days. There was no way of salvaging their precious belongings in time as most were washed away swiftly by the strong currents. It was a devastating sight that no one deserves to be in.
While having to manage and attend to our customers’ urgent requests, there sits at the back of all our minds, with great concern over colleagues and their families who were impacted by the floods. As part of any company’s leadership team, it is our responsibility to ensure not only our clients, but our colleagues are well taken care of in both the best and worst of times.
We can derive many lessons from the recent floods but amidst all of them is to see our teams rise above the circumstances. We are most grateful by the increased camaraderie among our colleagues and the ability to care which resonated within our company.
Many of our colleagues came together to contribute their personal time and money to aid colleagues who were in need. In addition to these contributions, the management certainly welcomed and highly commend the efforts of the team in setting up “Misi Bantuan Kemanusiaan”, a project that reaches out to colleagues who were impacted by the floods with food and necessities and any forms of immediate relief.
Maclean places utmost importance on the welfare of their employees. A Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) has been set up long before the Covid-19 pandemic and/or the recent floods. The DRF is a collective fund, set up to provide means of support in times of hardships and emergencies faced by employees. As soon as the flood areas were safe to enter, our people set out in droves to dispense aid to colleagues affected by the flood. Care packages like food, drinks, medicines and clean clothing were distributed to them.
The Disaster Relief Fund was able to provide financial aid to 28 affected colleagues’ homes. In tandem, maclean’s management provided additional financial aid to each colleague’s home that has suffered extensive damage.
According to Azmie, maclean’s Misi Bantuan Kemanusian project relief representative said it was truly a heartwarming moment in that heart-breaking situation and to see the relief on the faces of our colleagues who were plagued by the disaster.
“Our colleagues were so grateful and thankful for the timely assistance rendered by maclean and our dedicated team. Even their neighbors were singing praises as they had witnessed the caring ways in which maclean was able to help restore the staffs’ livelihoods and return to normalcy in a relatively short time," said Azmie.
The efforts, time and focus that were spent in navigating the floods can be overwhelming, definitely an unprecedented test of our resolve and resilience. While we lead with our heads with all the planning and disaster recovery in place; we also guide with our hearts. Doing what’s right will resonate well not only with those in need but the entire workforce. Lastly, we don’t stop, as a company we continue to keep moving forward and persevere through every challenge together.