Great Place to Work® UAE reveals UAE’s top 10 companies to work for in 2012
Study also recognizes top UAE companies for Emiratis and women

Dubai, UAE, 8th February 2012: Great Place to Work® Institute UAE (GPTW UAE), part of a global research, training and consultancy firm that recognizes the best workplaces in over 45 countries worldwide, revealed its second annual list of ‘Top Companies to Work For in the UAE’ during an awards ceremony at The Monarch Dubai Hotel yesterday.

The annual benchmarking study – which assesses the level of credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie within an organization – forms part of the world’s largest employee survey. Most of a company’s score (two-thirds) is based on the confidential feedback of their staff, with an audit of management and HR practices by the Institute comprising the remainder of the score.

Climbing from second place in last year’s Top Companies list to number one in 2012 was FedEx Express. Its Purple Promise Award (PPA), which recognizes a team member who goes beyond the typical expectations to ensure the customer’s needs are met, was among the internal procedures recognized by the Institute as contributing to its leading result.

FedEx Express was followed by Microsoft, Marriott, PepsiCo and The One, rounding out the top five positions. They were joined by Omni, Merck UAE, Bayt, Dulsco and EMC who took the honors in the top 10.

In addition to its awards for overall workplace excellence, GPTW UAE gave special recognition to the country’s top companies for Emiratis and top companies for women.

General Electric and PepsiCo were acknowledged for implementing best practices in hiring, developing and retaining Emirati talent. According to GPTW UAE these companies’ programs hold valuable lessons for the UAE business community on how to develop the local workforce.

Globally the Institute recognizes the importance of creating work environments that address both the historical barriers that keep women from succeeding as well as supporting the needs of women workers. In the UAE General Electric, THE One and Omni were three companies commended for their efforts in enhancing the workplace experience for women.

Commenting on the Top Companies lists, Dr. Michael Burchell, Partner & Director of Great Place to Work Institute UAE said: “We would like to thank all the participants in this year’s program. We have seen remarkable development in HR practices in the UAE in the two years that we’ve been running the Top Companies to Work For study.

“We are pleased to see new companies make the list this year and that some of our previous list makers have improved their positions among the top 10. This shows they are applying what they learn from the research into models for continuous business improvement.”

Dr. Farrukh Kidwai, Partner & CEO of Great Place to Work Institute UAE added: “Following the completion of the evaluation procedures, we found there were companies implementing some very impressive practices for Emiratis and women. Although they are a small group this year, we believe it is important to recognize the efforts for these companies so that we can all learn from their examples. We look forward to recognizing more companies in the program next year”.

The Top Companies to Work For in the UAE 2012 are:

1. FedEx Express
Fed Ex’s P-S-P or “people-service-profit” philosophy guides all of their efforts. To thank employees who exemplify PSP, it uses the Purple Promise Award (PPA) which recognizes a team member who goes beyond the typical expectations for his or her job to ensure the customer’s needs are met. Sometimes the individual’s effort requires the assistance of coworkers. In such cases, more than one employee may receive a Purple Promise Award for the same endeavor.

2. Microsoft Gulf FZ LLC
While Microsoft has a business focused culture, it also works to create a sense of work/life balance. To that end, it introduced across multiple teams & businesses within Gulf the idea of having a visible Work-Life Balance Charter that the whole team prepares and signs together. This sets the principles that the team feels would assist in raising awareness of some of the key issues impacting an individual’s work/life balance.

3. Marriott
Employees at Marriott benefit from a culture of appreciation. As an example, a Certificate of Excellence comes in the name of the associate from the Corporate Headquarters in Washington DC, and signed by the Company Co-Founder J. Willard Marriott, if an associate receives a thank you note from a customer on excellent service.

4. Pepsi Co Asia, Middle East & Africa
Food & Beverage
Employees at PepsiCo benefit during welcoming from an assigned “functional onboarding coach” and a “culture coach.” These two mentors help the new employee adjust to the company and its culture.

5. THE One
At THE One, employees are invited to participate in the organization’s community involvement efforts. THE One set up THE Onederworld – a Sustainable Village Community programme with balanced quality Education at its heart. Presently, six classrooms of a brand new school have been built in the Pimbiniet community in Kenya in conjunction with Free The Children.

6. Omnicom Media Group
The Circle of Excellence is the OMG forum for thinking “outside the box”. It is championed by a senior and provides a confidential forum in which to brainstorm solutions to challenges in business, personal and family life for themselves and on behalf of their colleagues. Participants are asked to share their commitment to maintaining a life-long focus on progress toward their long and short-term goals.

7. Merck UAE
Effective communication is important to Merck UAE. It developed an “Employee Council” where every 15 employees elect one member to be their voice to senior managers. The employee council meets directly with the managing director of the organization, the HR director and the VP of the region. In this meeting, all issues are discussed openly and there are no barriers to topics. Direct feedback is given to the employee council who transfer the message back and answer all queries of their respective teams.

Bayt works hard at creating an employee-centric culture. In developing employees, for example, it conducts a daily training. These 30 to 40 minutes training sessions are called STARS training and the content is prepared by a baythead and the same content is shared across the offices each day.

9. Dulsco LLC
HR & Industrial Services
Dulsco actively listens to employees. Its open door and ‘open office’ model facilitates two way communication, especially down-up, and it also has Suggestion Boxes across every location/department to encourage suggestions through awards and recognition. The GPTW employee satisfaction survey is conducted each year to understand the areas of strengths and weaknesses and to understand how it fairs against other companies. The results are shared with the management and plans are designed for improvement in the following year. Results are announced to the entire organization along with the improvement plans.

10. EMC
Information Technology
EMC works hard to provide a caring culture, going beyond what is required. For example, it grants paternity leave, marriage leave, compassionate leave, even though it is not required to do so by labor law. And it grants public holidays in excess of government announcements.

Top Companies For Emiratis in the UAE 2012 are:

General Electric (GE)
Manufacturing & Production
GE has developed strong relationships with key universities in order to build a robust and sustainable talent pipeline, and supports Emirati leadership development.

Food & Beverage
Emiratis at PepsiCo benefit from a strong assessment, coaching and mentoring, career guidance and counseling program.

Top Companies For Women in the UAE 2012 are:

General Electric (GE)
Manufacturing & Production
The Women’s Affinity Group bolsters women’s appreciation of GE’s fair work environment.

Women are role models at THE One – 40% of managers and executive managers are female.

Omnicom Media Group
Women on maternity leave need not worry about the impact of taking leave; they are automatically included and considered for salary changes and bonuses while away.

FedEx Express Named Top Company to Work For in the UAE

About Great Place to Work® Institute
The Great Place to Work® Institute is a global research and management consultancy that recognizes the best workplaces in over 45 countries worldwide and provides premier business and advisory services. Its mission is to improve peoples’ lives and create a better society by improving the workplace experience. The Institute was founded in 1991 to provide a simple, research-driven methodology that could be widely used to understand and assess organizations. A proprietary employee survey and assessment of HR policies form the foundation of the Institute’s research and consulting services and has been used by companies from all over the world to create strong workplace cultures based on trusting relationships. The Great Place to Work® Institute believes that in a society of great workplaces, employees feel respected, proud, and trust that management is committed to “doing the right thing.”

Following increased demand from the GCC countries for its workplace evaluation services, Great Place to Work® Institute expanded to the UAE in March 2010 as a licensed division of Best Companies Group. The UAE operation serves as the regional headquarters for the Middle East, with consultants and sales staff to be appointed in each market.

About the List
Any UAE company with 50 or more employees is eligible to participate in the fee-based program. Any company that appears on the list is selected primarily on the basis of their employees’ responses to the Great Place to Work® Trust Index©, a proprietary employee survey developed by the Great Place to Work® Institute. In addition, the Institute evaluates materials submitted by the company, including the company’s response to the Great Place to Work® Culture Audit©, any accompanying materials submitted by the company for consideration, as well as information gathered from other reputable sources such as media stories about the company. Organizations are able to apply from now and until October 2012 for the 2013 Top Companies list.

Companies interested in applying for the 2013 To Companies list may register their interest at

FedEx Express Named Top Company to Work For in the UAE

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