Dubai’s Majid al-Futtaim has been named as the UAE’s best employer at this year’s Daman Corporate Health Awards. 

The retail arm of the Dubai-based company, which scooped the Health and Wellness Organisation of the Year Award 2018, was one of 10 companies recognised for their achievements in promoting employee health and wellness at the gala awards ceremony held on 24 October at the Westin Hotel & Golf Resort Abu Dhabi.  

Launched by MEED in 2013, the Daman Corporate Health Awards aim to promote health and wellness at work by recognising and celebrating the best initiatives by companies in the UAE to improve employee work/life balance and encourage a healthier lifestyle. 

In awarding the Corporate Health and Wellness Organisation of the Year Award to Majid al-Futtaim, the judges said they had been impressed by the company’s “well-thought-out immersive approach that was clearly in line with the main company objectives and fed into a clear management strategy”.

Winning big

The biggest winners of the night were the American Center for Psychiatry & Neurology and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture & Tourism, which each scooped two awards.

The American Center for Psychiatry & Neurology won the awards for Corporate Health Communications Campaign of the Year 2018 and Corporate Wellness Partner of the Year 2018.

The Department of Culture & Tourism Abu Dhabi landed the Public Sector Corporate Happiness Award 2018 and the Corporate Wellness Leader of the Year Award 2018, which was presented to Tanya Lush, its leader for People Performance and Projects.

MEED’s Daman Corporate Health Awards are the only awards in the region that recognise corporate health and wellness.

UAE-based national health insurance company Daman has been the headline sponsor of the awards since their launch.

“In honouring workplace wellness initiatives, we hope to encourage others to follow their lead and realise that achieving business success begins with taking care of a company’s most important asset – its employees,”  says Daman CEO Michael Bitzer. “For the companies and organisation we have recognised this year, employees come first – their wellbeing, productivity and happiness.”

Wellness winners

Workplace of the Year honours went to Canon Middle East, which undertook a major renovation effort as part of initiatives to enhance employee comfort and productivity, as well as creativity.

Beyond the office redevelopment, Canon launched Space360, where everything from the design, lighting, materials and accents has added value, catering specifically to its employees’ wellbeing, happiness and ability to be innovative in their work. As a result of these initiatives, there has been a noticeable change in the mindset of employees, as well as in their productivity and happy dispositions.

The Daman Award for Corporate Health and Wellness Initiative was given to Ambulatory Healthcare Services – Seha for its pioneering Inta Gadha programme, the biggest health competition in Abu Dhabi.

The project was aimed at providing creative and innovative solutions to fight increasing obesity rates in the UAE. The initiative targeted 30 government entities with the participation of more than 1,200 individuals overseen by a team of 12 dieticians.

By visiting government employees in their respective workplaces, Inta Gadha enabled contestants to participate without having to take time off work and it provided non-Thiqa insurance card holders with free access to dietician services.

Among the success metrics achieved by the competition that impressed the judges were the 1,700 kilos dropped by participants during the programme. About 94 per cent of competitors responding to the closing survey said the competition improved their lives, while about 91 per cent stated they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the competition. Government entities participating in the competition expressed their satisfaction and gratitude, and noted that the competition changed the working environment in their organisation.

Other winners included Dubai Islamic, which won the Daman Award for Biggest Impact, and Dubai-based telecoms company du, which received the Health & Safety Initiative of the Year Award.

Dubai-based bank Mashreq won the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Employee Engagement of the Year trophy, while the Corporate Happiness Award for the Private Sector was given to Tristar Transport.

“In choosing this year’s winners, we looked at how corporate and individual efforts are empowering employees through creative and high-impact programmes that boost employee wellbeing, knowing that a happy, inspired and well-developed workforce ultimately drives long-term competitiveness and business success,” said John Emmerson, events director at MEED, the leading business intelligence provider in the Middle East and organiser of the Daman Corporate Health Awards.

Communications Campaign of the Year Award
American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology

What the judges said:

“The engagement from clients was a clear sign of success, and they loved the employee assistance programme.”

Corporate Happiness Award – Private Sector
Tristar Transport
What the judges said:

“Tristar worked really hard to pick things that would have the greatest impact for their workforce, and they were low cost, which makes them sustainable.  Its initiatives penetrated their whole workforce, not just the head office.”

Corporate Happiness Award – Public Sector
Department of Culture & Tourism Abu Dhabi
What the judges said:

“The Department of Culture & Tourism were streets ahead, with the granular detail of metrics being tracked particularly of note, which informs their strategy moving forward … The judges were very impressed.”

Corporate Wellness Leader of the Year Award
Tanya Lush, Department of Culture & Tourism Abu Dhabi
What the judges said:

“Tania was very clear on what she was trying to achieve. The judges were particularly impressed with how she has galvanised her organisation behind her plans …”

Corporate Wellness Partner of the Year Award
American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology
What the judges said:

“The judges were very impressed with their retention rates, and loved the fact they took the time to reflect on the impact on their clients.”

CSR Employee Engagement of the Year Award
Mashreq
What the judges said:

“Mashreq were quite simply head and shoulders above the other entries, with exceptional commitment and the experience to keep it going. They are serial winners of these awards after all!  Their 5,000-hour initiative was very ambitious and they more than doubled that target – hugely impressive.”

Daman Award for Biggest Impact
Dubai Islamic Bank
What the judges said:

“Dubai Islamic Bank succeeded in establishing a clear strategic framework within their organisation that provides a platform to support and enable a programme of wellness initiatives across a large, diverse organisation that previously had depended on random initiatives driven by individual actions. Establishing the new framework enabled wellness events to become embedded in the organisation, while still being owned by the employees rather than becoming management driven. The impact was an increase in employee engagement, higher levels of productivity, and the opportunity to identify and encourage leadership …”

Daman Award for Corporate Health and Wellness Initiative
Ambulatory Healthcare Services – Seha
What the judges said:

“This was a very hotly contested category with several outstanding entries. Seha really stood out for excellence in producing a well-conceptualised initiative aimed at helping Abu Dhabi government employees lose weight and start a healthy lifestyle … The judges were impressed by the well-thought-out plan that played to the strengths of the organisation, and by the excellent execution of the plan that was able to maintain a laser-like focus on its core objectives.”

Health & Safety Initiative of the Year Award
Du
What the judges said:

“Du were the standout on this shortlist for the panel of judges. The sheer volume of facts and figures that they presented to support their entry showed that not only did they have successful strategies in place, they also had the tracking mechanisms to support them.”

Workplace of the Year Award
Canon Middle East
What the judges said:

“Superb. Canon’s innovative approach to its workplace led to efficiencies and creativity.”

Daman Health and Wellness Organisation of the Year Award
Majid al-Futtaim – Retail
What the judges said:

“The judges were impressed by Majid al-Futtaim’s well-thought-out immersive approach that was clearly in line with the main company objectives and fed into a clear management strategy.”