We are aware of the benefits associated with a highly engaged workforce, and as such, our efforts are geared towards actively listening to our employees and ensuring we have the best practices in place to boost their engagement and productivity. In 2015, we received the Gallup Great Workplace award for the second consecutive year in recognition of our continuous efforts to improve engagement.
In the past year, 1,500 of our colleagues attended over 200 Action Planning sessions by the end of the first quarter. Most business units also went beyond this to actively discuss the outcomes of these sessions and company performance at quarterly “town hall” meetings. One of our other focus areas was related to improving collaboration and coordination between various departments. The launch of our ‘Be Our Guest’ programme was instrumental in achieving this by allowing our colleagues to rotate among departments and thus, learn more about other job functions.
Our management also encourages innovative thinking throughout the company. Last year, we took our existing innovative ideas initiative one step further by adding a more organised structure and incentivising idea generation through a rewards and recognition scheme. The success of our ‘Ideas UK Platinum’ accredited scheme is evident through the results; over the course of 12 months, our colleagues generated over 4,000 ideas, of which more than 1,100 were accepted, and approximately 700 implemented within the year.
We have a robust employee grievance mechanism that aims to resolve any complaints without discrimination, and in keeping with the UAE’s Labour Law. In 2015, we had five grievances filed, none of which were appraisal related or taken to the Labour Court. This is a 70% reduction in the total number of grievances against 2014. Our initiatives to enhance our colleagues’ understanding of their role expectations through clearer objectives and our Employee Performance Management System (EPMS) are key contributors to the reduction in grievances. We are now working to further develop our grievance process and communicate this to our staff, while also ensuring that there is absolute confidentiality maintained about any raised grievances.