More than 57,000 employees across 42 companies, nine academic institutions and non-profit organisations took part in a Dubai Chamber-led campaign, which raised awareness about the importance of prioritising employee happiness and health.
The campaign, titled Let’s Create a Healthy and Happy Workplace, was organised as part of Dubai Chamber Sustainability Week 2020, held from November 8-12 under the theme Employee Health and Happiness. More than 417 projects, activities and events were organised during the week, attracting the participation of over 350 delegates from 221 local businesses.
The results of the campaign were unveiled at the closing ceremony of Dubai Chamber Sustainability Week 2020. During the virtual event, industry leaders shared their recommendations and noted that employee health and wellbeing should be a top priority for any organisation and a matter at the top of the human resources agenda.
Top management should lead the way by being visible, advocate for employee health and wellbeing, and manage with compassion and empathy during such unprecedented times, experts noted, adding that it is now an ideal time to embrace technological innovations in the fields of health and wellbeing.
However, they pointed out that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to adopting technological solutions for employee wellbeing as such initiatives should be tailored to the organisation’s specific needs.
Businesses must rethink the work environment and develop systems, skills and that empower employees to work from home. More than ever, organisations need to make employee engagement a front-and-centre issue and leaders need to learn to trust their employees more and avoid micromanaging them, the speakers noted.
The CEO Dialogue event was attended by high-level speakers and panellists, including H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber; Rola Abu Manneh, CEO, Standard Chartered, UAE; Stuart Harrison, CEO, Emrill Services LLC; Phil Malem, CEO, Serco Middle East; and Andrew Shaw, Group CEO, Ducab., who shared valuable insights on employee well-being and best practices in boosting employee engagement during Covid-19.
A roundtable shed light on the opportunities and challenges associated the physical, psychological and professional aspects of remote working during and post-Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the main suggestions made by participants were that the organisations should consider a hybrid work environment, a combination of office and remote working as a permanent feature and provide employees with the necessary tools, techniques and equipment’s for suitable work environment at home. The discussion was joined by representatives from Transworld Group, du, Six Construct and Paramount Computer Systems.
At the Multi stakeholder Dialogue, private and public sector stakeholders showcased various technological solutions designed to enhance employee wellness and wellbeing strategies, while they identified key benefits and challenges of using such technologies. Among the speakers were Alyaa Al Mulla – Director, National Program for Happiness & Wellbeing, Office of the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and representatives from Steppi and Cisco.
Dr Belaid Rettab, Chief Economist & Senior Director, Economic Research & Sustainable Business Development Sector, Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business, said the strong participation in Dubai Chamber Sustainability Week 2020 reflects the growing importance that companies in the UAE attach to employee health and wellbeing.
Throughout the week, participating industry leaders made a strong business case for investing in employee health and wellbeing and suggested that by doing so, companies could boost employee’s productivity, engagement and loyalty, and reduce the risk of talent attrition.
Dr Rettab added that the week-long initiative and campaign achieved its objectives of raising awareness about the benefits of prioritising employee health and happiness, and encouraging organisations to take practical actions and further their progress in this area.