Corporate wellness a key differentiator for top UAE employers

Sunday 14 August 2016
Dr. Michael Bitzer

Abu Dhabi - MENA Herald: MEED has revealed the finalists for the Daman Corporate Health Awards for 2016.
The number of award entrants increased by 32% compared to last year, with the finance, construction and hospitality sectors being represented. ‘’A well- executed corporate wellness plan can serve as an employer’s key differentiator in the market attracting new as well as retaining existing talent,’’ says awards judge, James Babb, Partner, Deloitte & Touche M.E.
Now in its third edition, the programme is the only initiative recognising UAE-based organisations for their corporate health initiatives.
The most hotly contested category is the Daman Corporate Health & Wellness Initiative Award, with Abu Dhabi Finance, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Transguard Group, Air Arabia, New York University Abu Dhabi, Seadrill, Expo 2020 and Mashreq all competing for the honour.
Commenting on the finalists and the state of corporate health and wellness programmes, Dr. Michael Bitzer, CEO of National Health Insurance Company – Daman and headline sponsor of the awards, says: “We are delighted with the progress that the concept of corporate wellness has made in the UAE through the platforms such as the Daman Corporate Health Awards. We would like to congratulate the finalists for creating a culture of wellbeing within their organisations and encouraging other businesses to follow suit.”
In all a total of 10 categories are being contested. Judging will take place this month and will be conducted by MEED’s independent panel of experts. The winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony to be held 9th November 2016 at the Westin, Abu Dhabi.
Business leaders are also competing to win the Corporate Wellness Leader of the Year 2016. Becky Crayman, Programme Director, Awards at MEED said “The number of leaders shortlisted as finalists has increased by 44% compared to 2015, which re-enforces the pride organisations are taking recognising their senior directors for their roles in driving corporate wellness”. Finalists include Christopher Taylor (Abu Dhabi Finance), Paddy O’Duda (Transguard Group), Nabil Al Alawi (Almansoori Specialized Engineering), Joseph Zakaria (Pepsi Cola International Limited), Thumbay Moideen (Thumbay Group), and H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair (Mashreq).
Teams and initiatives have also been honoured as nominees. Contenders for the Daman Award for Corporate Health & Wellness (Organisation) include TECOM Group, Child Early Intervention Medical Center, Seadrill, Mashreq, Study World Higher Education Services, Pepsi Cola International Limited and Almansoori Specialized Engineering.
Organisations that have taken up the challenge to improve health and wellness amongst their staff are competing for the Daman Award for Improved Corporate Health and Wellness Performance. Finalists for this category are Lamprell Energy Limited and Seadrill.
The CSR Employee Engagement of the Year Award recognises the organisation that has best incorporated corporate wellness into its corporate social responsibility plan. Atlantis - The Palm, DMCC, Al Hilal Bank, and Thumbay Group will now need to demonstrate to the judges examples of excellence that have been introduced or achieved during the last 12 months and position the business as a leader in CSR.
The Workplace of the Year award identifies the organisation demonstrating a commitment to make their physical environment and facility a great place to work. The three companies that will go head to head are Masdar, and Thumbay Group.
Meanwhile, ABB UAE, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), CH2M, Serco Middle East will compete for the Health & Safety Initiative of the Year.
When assessing the Corporate Wellness Team of the Year, judges will look for the team with the clearest understanding of the team’s place in the organisation as a whole and how its performance has impacted on corporate wellness and overall business objectives. Up for the accolade are the Employee Marketing team (Atlantis - The Palm) The Health, Safety and Environment team (Transguard Group), Well-Being Project Team (NYUAD), TECOM Wellness team (TECOM Group), and The Philips Health and Wellbeing Team (Philips).
Communications Campaign of the Year was open to internal company communication campaigns initiatives, covering all mediums, whether broadcast, print, outdoor, PR, digital, mobile or integrated multi-media. Competing for the disctinction are NMC Healthcare, Dubai Holding - Dubai Marathon, Dubai Holding - Quick Nutritious Cooking, and CH2M.
The Innovation in Work Culture category highlights companies that can show excellence in the way they have used innovation to improve employee performance and service to clients, such as performance, cost, health & safety, reliability or other factors. Adam Global,, and Tawam Hospital are all going for the win.
“Engagement and wellness have a causal relationship; if an employee is not healthy or is distracted by health issues they cannot be as productively engaged at work as they would otherwise be. Preventive, rather than reactive, wellness programs are of mutual benefit to the employee and the employer,” says Brad Boyson, Executive Director, Society for Human Resource Management MEA.
Dr. Bitzer adds: “The health of a person directly affects the productivity and performance of the individual and a corporate wellness programme is a great way to engage with employees in a collaborative manner on a subject that is important to them. By investing in the health of their employees, organisations are investing in their own future.”

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