- DHL named ‘Top Company to Work For in the UAE’ for fourth consecutive year
- Mr. Elie Khouri recognized as ‘Leader of the Year for 2016-2017’
Dubai, UAE, 8 March 2017: Great Place to Work® - a global research, training and consultancy firm that recognizes the best workplaces in over 50 countries worldwide - has revealed its seventh annual list of ‘Top Companies to Work For’ in the UAE. The 2016-2017 UAE list is the largest yet for Great Place to Work and recognizes the top 24 companies with outstanding workplace cultures.
Maintaining the number one position on the annual benchmarking list for the fourth consecutive year is DHL. The logistics company provides a family experience that makes employees want to stay and prosper within the organization. It places people first, above any other business practice, understanding that a motivated and engaged workforce is a productive and profitable one. DHL prioritizes living by its core values, nurturing employee development, creating a fun work environment, being transparent, listening and acting on employee feedback and celebrating successes. But what created the competitive advantage is DHL’s close monitoring of the application of these HR practices and policies, leaving no room for deviation or bias.
This year’s runner-up was Omnicom Media Group, which advanced one spot from last year, followed by Splash which also moved up one spot to take third. In fourth place was THE One, a position it has held since the list was launched, while Weber Shandwick came in fifth, climbing two places from 2016.
Ranking from sixth to 10th place on the list were Estee Lauder Companies, HILTI Emirates, FedEx, Hilton and MARS respectively. Rounding out the final 14 positions on the list were Biz Group, Hyatt, Eros Group, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Leminar, UAE Exchange, Al Fakher Tobacco, Dulsco, NMC Healthcare, Philips, Delta Partners, Danzas AEI Emirates, Mundi Pharma and Redington.
“The expansion of the 2016-2017 list is testament to the value UAE companies place on human capital development. Despite a challenging financial year, most companies that have been on the list previously maintained their position as great workplaces. This is an impressive accomplishment considering the high level of participation we had this year and the number of new companies entering the list. It’s great to see these organizations put into practice the lessons they have learnt from going through the Top Companies process. We’re definitely seeing a marked improvement in the standard of HR practices,” said Maha Zaatari, Managing Director of Great Place to Work in the UAE.
As the UAE works towards becoming the world’s happiest nation, Great Place to Work says employers are starting to recognize the crucial role their companies can play in achieving this goal.
“We are seeing among the Top Companies a greater emphasis on CSR initiatives as employers respond to employees’ desire for meaning, to be part of something bigger. People who have meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel more in control and get more out of what they do. They also experience less stress, anxiety and depression. Happiness in the workplace is carried into the home and the wider society so it really is a foundational piece in building the happiness of a nation,” said Zaatari.
In addition to its awards for overall workplace excellence, Great Place to Work® gave special recognition to Mr. Elie Khouri, CEO of Omnicom Media Group. Khouri was recognized as ‘Leader of the Year for 2016-2017’ for his efforts in keeping Omnicom Media Group on the Top Companies list for seven years and for achieving the highest Trust scores from direct reports amongst all leaders in the Top Companies program. His efforts to continuously improve Omnicom’s workplace experience has elevated employees’ perception of management and bettered the financial and non-financial performance of the company.
The Top Companies to Work For annual benchmarking study assesses the level of credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie within an organization, and forms part of the world’s largest employee survey. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the confidential feedback of their employees while the remaining score is attained from an audit of management and HR practices.
The ‘Top 24 Companies to Work For in the UAE’ are represented by a diverse number of industries including logistics, technology, finance, media, retail, FMCG, fashion, hospitality, healthcare, technology, health & beauty, pharmaceutical and manufacturing. New list makers among the Top 24 Companies in 2017 include Al-Fakher Tobacco, Biz Group, Danzas AEI Emirates, Delta Partners, MARS, Mundi Pharma, NMC Healthcare, Philips and Redington.
The ‘Top 24 Companies to work for in the UAE’ are:
- DHL - Logistics
DHL sets a record in the history of Great Place to Work® in the UAE by maintaining the position of number 1 company to work for in the UAE for 4 years. The logistics company is setting the standard today when it comes to providing the best employment experience and workplace culture.
DHL started its journey as an employer of choice by setting the right standards and developing the best policies, but what created the competitive advantage is DHL’s close monitoring of the application of these practices and policies, leaving no room for deviation or bias.
This proactive approach means DHL is prepared for any market change that may affect the employment experience and that they tackle those changes with the best attitude and practices.
DHL cares for its own employees like no other company on the list. It provides a family experience that makes employees want to stay and prosper within this family. Its culture can be summarized as the most Motivated People having their Best Day Every day! This is what makes a great workplace - respect as a DHL core value, nurturing employee career development, creating a fun work environment, being transparent, listening and acting on employee feedback and celebrating successes. Together with the more forward thinking initiatives such as the Certified International Specialist program, Global DHL’s Got Talent, Fitness Center and wellness at the office and the management team spending time with frontline employees (on courier rides/CS calls) DHL ensures that its employees know at every step that they are the key to DHL’s success and that of DHL’s customers.
The differentiator is that DHL does it consistently and always looks at ways of improving it every year. It believes its success as a workplace is because of a continuous focus to go from Good to Great. This is ingrained in DHL’s mindset and culture, and is enshrined in its philosophy “Everybody, Every day, Everywhere….A little bit better”. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company where they know they are empowered to make a difference to their colleagues, the business and their customers. And they have an opportunity to give back – the Spirit of Yellow CSR umbrella is run by employees who are passionate and inspire those around them to make a sustainable impact. This has made DHL stand out as an Employer of Choice and continuously drives the highest levels of engagement.
- Omnicom Media Group - Media
Moving up by one rank, Omnicom Media Group came second on the list this year which is a result of the leadership’s determined belief and action to always go the extra mile to make the team happy and engaged. Omnicom Media Group MENA’s people are the company’s biggest asset. It is they who set the organization apart from its competitors. This is why the communications group focuses so much on the continuous development and wellbeing of staff. It has become famous for its workplace culture; for adding purpose to the roles of its employees; for stimulating their growth through a comprehensive learning and development academy; and for promoting a healthier lifestyle with its corporate wellness program.
Among the latest initiatives introduced by the company is:
- Maternity leave extended to 90 days, way beyond the number of days stipulated by the UAE labour law
- An app called OMGene, a dedicated smartphone app for OMG employees. As part of their commitment to being one of the Great Places to Work in the UAE, the app was designed to strengthen OMG’s ability to connect with their employees. OMG wanted to find more ways to keep employees abreast of the latest developments within the company, gauge their feedback and ultimately add value to their relationship.
- Splash - Fashion
For the second year in a row, Splash has remained among the top 5 companies on the UAE list. Splash is an organization which is passionate about its people and ensures that they remain at the core of its business and strategy. Championing people by investing a significant amount of time listening to their feedback and bringing about change is the forte of Splash’s CEO. With programs like “Meet the CEO”, 'Retail Employees Day', 'IIM Leadership Development Program', “Hello HR”, “Goal 360” & “Spotlight” Splash has been able to instill an emotional connection that brings forth respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie within their people and the organization. Building an enriching career and empowering the team to excel is the key focus for this organization.
Splash is an organization that makes sure each employee has a sense of meaning of their jobs, and that’s why it invests in a lot of CSR activities that inspire employees and makes them feel part of a bigger cause.
- THE One - Retail
For the 7th year in a row, THE One maintains its position on the Great Place to Work ® list, which confirms its leadership’s commitment to deliver the best experience to their employees. Year after year THE One makes sure to raise the bar by adopting the best practices in the market.
THE One’s unique culture is rooted in the company’s Core Purpose of Changing the World Together through various CSR activities, including hiring challenged employees. This collaborative spirit is carried through into every aspect of the working environment, where employees feel they each make a difference as part of their daily job. This results in highly engaged staff, while reinforcing the company’s supportive family culture.
- Weber Shandwick - Communications
Third-time list maker and ranked 5th on the list is public relations firm Weber Shandwick. Its journey starts the moment employees join with programs that instill a sense of belonging and empowerment in the most friendly environment. Practices such yoga sessions, wellness workshops, health checkups and many more healthy initiatives are offered at the agency to promote a healthy lifestyle. Decorated areas and inspiration boards allow employees to enjoy a collaborative office layout. A dynamic online platform for career advancement, lunch & learn sessions, access to leading online learning portals and one-on-one coaching are among the tools employees can access for self-development. Internal awards recognize star talent. They include talented communicator of the year and spirit of the office, high achiever awards for members who have showcased extraordinary services and commitment to the team and the agency. The company also offers annual raffle prizes for extra leave, engages in pro-bono work and runs a very competitive Halloween costume contest.
- Estee Lauder Companies - Health and beauty
Estée Lauder Companies has been recognized as a great place to work for three consecutive years with a culture driven by diversity and dynamic team members operating in its Dubai regional headquarter. The Estée Lauder Companies Middle East believes its success is thanks to the fantastic group of people who work in its Middle East affiliate. Additionally, the company is always looking at new ways to provide the best workplace possible for its employees, whether this be through its employee-led Corporate Responsibility team, flexible working practices or ongoing open door sessions with employees that foster important two-way dialogue. This unique and innovative program has offered terrific opportunities for both millennials and senior leaders to learn from each other by enabling the company’s leadership to partner with a new generation of consumers and to learn firsthand from the digitally-savvy millennial. The insights that have been revealed through these partnerships are already being applied to enhance the consumer experience across of all of its brands.
- HILTI Emirates - Technology
For the second year, Hilti remains on the list. Integrity, courage, teamwork and commitment are the strong values staff truly embrace by on a daily basis at Hilti Emirates.
Obeya Room committee is a group represented by employees serving as the ambassadors of Hilti’s values, culture and the living of the key success elements outlined in its 2020 vision.
At Hilti director roles, irrespective of what functions they represent, participate in two field rides activities per month. It helps to stay in touch with challenges that employees face out in the field as well as stay in tune with the market. Hilti Emirates values each and every employee, therefore everyone has the opportunity to share their views, ideas and give feedback on the work environment through regular listening breakfasts and lunches, employee camps, kick-off events, team dinners as well as through Hilti Emirates formal annual engagement survey called GEOS (Global Employee Opinion Survey). Staff also have a thorough career development platform that allows their management team to look on a yearly basis at each employee’s performance, their strengths and development areas and find where their abilities, skills and career aspirations best match with the organization’s requirements. The combination of caring for its employees and the society they live in and the drive to outperform, sets Hilti Emirates apart as a great company to work for.
- FedEx - Logistics
As a global company, FedEx has a value driven and supportive culture that promotes inclusivity and diversity every step of the way. People are the main source of inspiration at FedEx and this corporate philosophy is evident in the positive attitude and team spirit of each member. The company boasts a significant and highly developed list of awards to celebrate people excellence ranging from company-wide awards to peer-to-peer recognition, train the managers of tomorrow, to tuition assistance schemes for employees. Its engaging Open Door policy allows employees to speak directly and openly to their management about general issues without fear of discrimination. FedEx employees come from different paths of life and everyone is given equal opportunities.
- Hilton - Hospitality
It is Hilton’s second year on the UAE list. Hilton’s mission is to be the most hospitable company in the world — by creating heartfelt experiences for guests, meaningful opportunities for team members, high value for owners, and a positive impact in its communities.
Hospitality is much more than just service. It is embedded in all that Hilton does. It is the chance to connect, to share an authentic moment, and to bring more joy to the lives of others. Hilton’s passion for Hospitality is the common thread that ties its diverse team together all around the world.
That’s why Hilton offers the same high level of hospitality to its team members as it offers to guests.
Hilton strives to create a welcoming and positive environment where everyone is heard, valued, and celebrated. It also provides nurturing and collaborative workplaces, with countless opportunities for team members to thrive and achieve both personal and professional goals.
Hilton’s team members are at the heart of all the brand’s success.
Hilton continuously listens to what is on its employees’ minds, through different channels, and responds to their feedback by making the improvements that matter most to them. In fact, team members have been the inspiration behind Hilton’s most exciting and valuable initiatives, such as the industry-leading discounted travel and parental leave, leadership development and GED assistance programs, and its commitment to diversity and building a great environment.
During the process of revising the vision and mission of the company, Hilton involved team members by creating the Purpose Council A staff survey sought employee feedback on their view of their individual job meaning, which helped redefine the vision and mission.
- MARS - FMCG
MARS has been on Great Place to Work Lists in different countries around the world, but this is the first year on the UAE Top Companies List. MARS is a family company, and believes every Associate is an extension of the MARS family. The MARS Five Principles of Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom are the foundation of its culture and approach to business. They are the golden thread throughout the business and unites staff across generations, geographies, languages and cultures. MARS’ Five Principles are synonymous with MARS and have been guiding MARS Associates throughout most of the company’s history. Every day, they do their best to put these principles into action through their work and relationships with consumers, customers, business partners, communities, and above all their own employees.
MARS has a unique onboarding & orientation program that spans across the first 90 days and is customized to address the needs for the new Associates depending on whether they are New to MARS, New to Country, New to Site, New to Segment, New to Role, New to Line Management. This customization is done for both external hires and internal moves. This is incorporated into its Global Onboarding Program, which includes an intuitive, self-guided Web Portal with all the information and resources needed by new Associates and their Line Managers, and serves as a central point for Onboarding resources and process for all MARS Associates.
- BizGroup - Training and Consulting
Biz Group has entered the Top Companies list for the first time, but has been nominated twice on the SME top companies list in previous years. Biz Group’s management takes sincere care of all people working in the organization and they walk the talk of their values on a daily basis making sure to let their team know how much they care for them through a set of people centered initiatives and practices. The dream wall is a great example, which is basically a wall where employees have the chance to post their personal dreams and then the management, along with other team members, work in collaboration to make that dream come true. Developing is also an area where Biz Group stands out as it makes sure to invest the right amount of time and money to for its people career plans.
- Hyatt - Hospitality
This is Hyatt’s fourth year on the list. Its unique philosophy of hospitality and care for people, relationship and community sets Hyatt apart from others, and is demonstrated in the daily activities and actions of each employee. There are so many inspirational stories about members achieving the company’s mission of making a difference in the life of a guest or colleague. A culture of authenticity and transparency is displayed across all management levels. Its Path to Leadership, Future-leadership Committee, pre-promotion programs and many other practices are evidence of Hyatt’s philosophy of growing from within in UAE. A diverse workplace with 75 + nationalities currently employed, mixed with its sharp focus on sparking innovation and new ways of thinking within the associate community, combine to create opportunities for Hyatt in this dynamic and fast moving business environment while setting a precedence for others.
- Eros Group - Technology
Eros Group has a culture built on transparency, integrity and trust. It invests in building pride in the roles that each employee plays in bringing value to external and internal clients. Key communications are clearly cascaded through different communication methods such as regular open forums like “Breakfast with CEO” and a confidential whistleblower program – “MyEros”. Eros Group takes pride in the reward and recognition quarterly programs like “champions of excellence” for these who show excellence and have gone beyond the limit of their duty. “e-Live” a comprehensive platform to invest in the health and wellbeing of the employees providing team members with guidance on adopting a healthier lifestyle; from workplace yoga to Zumba classes and other initiatives. Yearly get-togethers for “Eros Sports Day” and “Eros Got Talent” are a fun day out for staff and contribute to a more cohesive workforce.
- WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff - Engineering, professional services
For the third year in a row WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff maintains its position on the list. The employee experience at the company starts with a unique hiring process that focuses on bringing the best talent in the market and makes sure to give them the best onboarding program that introduces them to the set of values that the company lives by. It provides counselling to employees following tragic incidents. It also provides external financial advice to employees who are at risk of legal proceedings under the Middle East laws that forbid debt. The company provides iSoS membership to provide international support and guidance in the event of an emergency.
Employees are also encouraged to take days off to participate in volunteering activities.
- Leminar - Industrial
Leminar has successfully maintained its presence on the top companies to work for in UAE list. It has an inspiring leadership team that truly believe in valuing employees from the first day on the job. Form its cultural fit approach when recruiting to nurturing through its ‘Mentoring Program’ initiative, where a mentor is assigned for each new employee who helps in settling into the new role and perhaps new country. Awards are presented annually for People’s Choice, career growth recognition and valuing individuals for their contribution. Leminar’s annual event also brings together employees’ families and children to make them feel part of the big family. Online feedback and suggestions for continuous improvement are automated through online channels and suggestion boxes on site. Leminar is an office of cultural diversity and every festive occasion is celebrated with revelry.
- UAE Exchange - Finance
Its second year on the List, UAE Exchange strongly believes that highly engaged employees create better business outputs, more loyal customers and better financial performance. Toward this and along with many other engagement programs and initiatives such as talent talk and moment of pride, is a unique platform available for employees to share innovative ideas on product and service enhancement. Suggestions that are feasible and practical are rewarded, which encourages employees to share their ideas and participate. Various interactive initiatives that are morally driven energize and empower each of the employees to do their best. The leadership team truly believes that success lies in the employee’s ownership of responsibilities and listening to the employee’s voice plays a major role in contributing to the work culture. All these resulted in increasing client retention year over year, improved business performance and market share.
- Al Fakher Tobacco - Manufacturing and Production
Al-Fakher recognizes its talented and diverse workforce as a key competitive advantage. Business success is a reflection of the quality and skill of its people. A key aspect of Al-Fakher’s culture is that “every person matters.” One person can change the company for better or for worse, and no one person is more important than someone else.
Part of what Al-Fakher offers to employees is an onsite “nap Room” to let a fatigued employees take a short power nap when the need arises and is intended to encourage a mental and physical break from the daily workload at the office. Benefits expected by taking a short nap are relaxation, reduced fatigue, reduced stress, improved mood, and a boost to mental and physical capabilities. Employees’ children that excel in their academic studies are provided with 100% university education scholarship as part of the education assistance program offered by the company, among other practices that define the culture of Al Fakher company.
- Dulsco - HR & Industrial Services
Ranked 18 on the list, Dulsco believes leadership is not about designation, it is about impact, influence and inspiration. Workplace policies, practices and initiatives support this concept by conveying company values and leading by example. Greater frequency of communication with leadership keeps employees personally engaged and encourages them to share new perspectives and innovative ideas to help the company grow. Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) practices include:
- Annual QHSE Week
- Regular clean up campaigns
- Health camps and fitness challenges for the employees to have a blend of healthy body and mind
- Coffee with Chairman and Managing Director is an activity under the rewards & recognition scheme
- Dulsco Toastmasters Club provides a learning experience to develop communication and leadership skills
- CSR activities such as Dulsco’s association with Al Noor Training Centre & Building Schools in Nepal
- Recycling campaigns
- Regular employee entertainment & sporting activities
- Haj/Umrah assistance
- Open house session with employees
- NMC Healthcare - Health Care
NMC is the first healthcare provider to enter the UAE Top Companies List, which it owes to its strong core values of “PRIDE” (P-Professional, R-Respect, I-Integrity, D-Diversity, E-Excellence). Recognizing its employees and the wider society as the most important stakeholders in its business cycle, NMC facilitates various initiatives aimed at creating a positive impact on the society. Guided by a CSR policy, NMC actively pursues the interests and values of individuals and the local and global community and environment. These ‘moral obligations’ include:
- Actively promoting preventive and supportive healthcare programs and organizations designed to improve the health and quality of life of residents across UAE
- Proactive environmental practices such as conserving energy and water, recycling, environmentally friendly procurement of products and services, eco-friendly workplace policy and support for local environmental projects
- Healthcare related learning, education and research and the annual Health Index for the UAE
- Healthcare related donations and aid to countries and communities of interest that experience natural disaster
- Philips - Healthcare Technology
Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care.
Philips makes it for the first time on the Great Place to Work® UAE Top Companies list. It is recognized for several practices such as its hiring and welcoming process that’s emphasizes hiring people with the same passion and values of the company.
Philips’ management makes sure there are enough communications tools and channels maintained with their team members to attain high levels of credibility. For example a process referred to as ‘’Our Team Heartbeat’’ captures team feedback to reflect on how effectively different Philips teams function.
“Think Out Loud” Sessions with the Middle East and Turkey CEO are organized on a regular basis, where he meets with a small group of employees for coffee and discusses the overall strategy framework by reviewing the market opportunities in HealthTech.
- Delta Partners - Management Consulting
Delta Partners is a leading advisory and investment firm specialized in the telecoms, media and digital (TMD) industry. The company enters the UAE Top Companies List for the first time with a high Trust Index score, indicating a high level of engagement and trust among all team members.
Delta Partners introduced the “7 Maxim’s” core values which best represent the company and its culture. There is a dedicated 7 Maxim’s team who regularly organizes events that promote the Maxim’s core values. Living these values on daily basis and aligning them to work practices and events made it clear that Delta Partners is determined to be a great workplace.
- Danzas AEI Emirates - Logistics
Danzas is a joint venture between Al Tayer Group and DHL. A highly diversified company with 100+ nationalities, Danzas’ core values are demonstrated daily with a fundamental belief that meaningful recognition for work well done is a core part of who they are at Danzas. This widely accepted ethos is a key component for fostering a healthy working environment.
- Mundi Pharma - Pharmaceuticals
Mundi Pharma id a specialty pharmaceutical company helping to improve the quality of people’s life across the globe. The company’s philosophy is everything starts and ends with people so leadership must walk the talk as a means to inspire workforce. Regular meetings across all functions are held to foster a culture of transparency about the strategy, development areas and suggested initiatives to help employees perform their best.
- Redington - Supply Chain
Redington enters the UAE Top Companies List for the first time this year. Redington sees it as a collective responsibility to ensure that the company and its people contribute in their own way to making society better for everybody.
The true essence of business is to create value for everyone involved. That however should be done ethically and with fairness which has been portrayed through different initiative provided to their team members.