Best Companies to Work for in UAE 2017

The winners of the 2017 Top Employers in UAE based on wellbeing at workplace. - Arabian Gazette
The winners of the 2017 Top Employers in UAE based on wellbeing at workplace. Photo-supplied
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Top UAE employers revealed based on their outstanding employee wellbeing initiatives

Daman Corporate Health Awards 2017 has revealed the UAE’s best employers when it comes to employee wellness at the workplace initiatives.

Awards are a testament to the UAE’s continued role as a top business hub, and a preferred destination for expatriate job seekers.

Dubai Airports, Expo 2020 Dubai, Mashreq, Schneider Electric, Gulftainer, Khidmah and Eternity are the winners at Daman Corporate Health Awards 2017. The award is in recognition for the employee wellness initiatives.

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Dubai Airports and Expo 2020 Dubai are leading the way in promoting world-class corporate wellness practices in the UAE as the two government firms scooped top honours.

Dubai Airports flew high on awards night winning two trophies. The corporate wellness team at Dubai Airports has been promoting wellness initiatives that have helped employees embark on a path to better health, happy life and productivity. For its outstanding achievements, the team was recognized with Corporate Wellness Team of the Year award.

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Meanwhile, the resounding success of its CSR project “Your Sight, Our Happiness” – a plane pulling contest that raised millions of dirhams for ORBIS, and was overwhelmingly supported by Dubai Airport employees, stakeholders and the management team, earned for the Dubai Airports the CSR Employee Engagement of the Year honour.

In addition, the team was also credited for its tireless efforts in arranging more than 24 CSR innovative initiatives covering cultural, sports as well as health & wellness programmes that benefited more than 3,000 of its employees in addition to external stakeholders and the general public.

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The Daman Award for Corporate Health & Wellness (Organisation) trophy was given to Expo 2020 Dubai, whose wellness programme, building on current international best practices, aims to empower its employees with the knowledge and support to make lasting and lifelong changes in six key areas: physical; nutritional; emotional; social; environmental; and intellectual wellbeing.

“The commitment our winners have shown towards employee wellbeing, as a corporate philosophy, bodes well for the long-term success of the UAE as a commercial and business hub. Here, where employee happiness and wellness are of paramount interest to government and corporate leaders, we can be assured of a productive and motivated workforce that will only strengthen the competitiveness of the business sector in the UAE, and strengthen its reputation as a regional leader in corporate wellness,” says Dr. Michael Bitzer, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Insurance Company – Daman.

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO, Mashreq, won the evening’s highest individual honour when he was named the Corporate Wellness Leader of the Year. Al Ghurair likes to walk the talk, and his commitment to fitness is legendary within the bank. He has demonstrated, both through words and action, that investment in personal wellness is a fruitful and productive investment that has benefits not just for the company, but also for individual staff in the organisation.

Mashreq received a second distinction when it was given the Communications Campaign of the Year award for its renowned and internationally acclaimed Sahtak wellness programme.

Schneider Electric was also a big winner, picking up two important accolades – Workplace of the Year and the Daman Award for Biggest Impact for putting employee wellbeing at the heart of its corporate priorities, and for creating smart, safe, attractive and energising workplaces where people like to work, collaborate, innovate and share ideas.

Sharing the limelight as UAE corporate wellness champions were Clare Patterson, Haddins Fitness (Corporate Wellness Professional of the Year); Gulftainer (Daman Award for Corporate Health and Wellness Initiative); Khidmah (Health & Safety Initiative of the Year) and Eternity (Corporate Wellness Partner of the Year).

Wellness Programs

Gulftainer’s ‘Positive Pulse’ program focused on the tangible benefits a happy and healthy work environment can bring to companies.

Positive Pulse encompassed a range of activities focused on health and fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and team-building. The program implemented back in February 2017 had a widespread positive impact on employee well-being. According to a survey of the participants, 30 per cent of employees have consulted a dietician since the launch of Positive Pulse, while 20 per cent of those who did not participate in any regular physical activity have started exercising. In addition, 10 per cent of smokers have now quit the habit.

Wellness Initiatives in Action in the UAE

• 100% – Top-level management are in mostly in agreement that to be a high performer and to sustain high performance, an employee needs an environment which promotes healthy mind and a healthy body
• 80% – of a company’s staff, on average, participate in wellness programmes; three out of four, report positive long-term impact on personal wellbeing
• 5 – ways that wellness teams within organisations get more employees engaged:

1) get top management buy-in;
2) communicate regularly and creatively (some have performance commitments photographed and placed on key areas within the company);
3) organise competitions (e.g., most weight lost; most number of steps in a day);
4) combine wellness programme with a charitable project;
5) set up an in-house games room or gym

• 3 – some of the popular wellness programmes include activities and workshops on

1) healthy eating and nutrition;
2) exercise and physical fitness;
3) yoga and meditation

• The average number of sick days has been reduced to just over a day, compared with three days before wellness programmes have been set in place
• Wellness programmes don’t have to cost. A weekly exercise programme can be organised by employees or a simple walking programme can be initiated within company premises; or the pantry can be replaced with healthier alternatives. Some costs are minimal, such as organising football tournaments within the organisation.

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