Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority Develops Internal ‘Happiest People’ Initiative into Full-fledged Strategy for Tech-Park

Saturday 14 May 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, today announced fundamental changes to its ‘Happiest People’ initiative that was conceptualized in 2013, launched in 2014, and shaped into a comprehensive strategy in 2015.
Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Happiest People initiative has evolved from being a mere internal program into a strong strategic component of the DSOA 2021 Strategy that aims to proactively contribute to the goals set by the Dubai Plan 2021.
Commenting on the strategy, Ghanim Al Falasi, Senior VP Corporate Services at DSOA, said: “We have proudly implemented this concept since its announcement and made all necessary efforts to ensure its success. To guarantee the complete engagement of our employees, DSOA invited them to share their thoughts and opinions and put forward innovative proposals that could contribute to improving happiness levels among them.”
He added: “Articulating the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we are proud to become the first entity in the UAE to have launched the Happiest People Strategy in 2015 after pioneering it as an initiative in early 2014. Today DSOA reiterates its continued commitment to optimizing the comfort, satisfaction, stability and happiness of employees by making Happiest People a core pillar of DSOA’s 2021 Strategy and a stand-alone concept in itself.”
Quoting the inspiring words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum - A happy employee is more productive, more energetic and more creative, hence the importance of creating a happy environment within every institution - Dr Ghanim added that his own firm conviction in these words encouraged him to rename the Human Resources Department ‘Happiest People’.
Ghanim Al Falasi further noted: “The United Arab Emirates has ranked first among the Arab and GCC countries and 20th globally, in the World Happiness Report 2015 issued by the United Nations. This commendable achievement can be largely attributed to the efforts of the UAE’s government and public sector institutions in establishing principles and standards of transparency and accountability.
“Furthermore, the indicators used to measure happiness, satisfaction, human development, social welfare, economic prosperity and good governance signify the strong position of the UAE under its wise leadership and its strategic vision and planning. The happiness and well-being of the population serve as key drivers that inspire the country’s enabling developments and operations.”
The Happiest People Strategy revolves around six core pillars: a corporate happiness framework, happiness big data, a Dubai happiness Forum, happiness lab, a happiness diploma, and a ladies council. These pillars will play a leading role in the achievement of the strategy’s objectives across three primary areas: culture – to maximize the value of people, development – to encourage people’s overall development, and personal re-invention – to prioritize and manage the various dimensions of life.
Corporate Happiness Framework
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has implemented a seven-star corporate happiness framework that will be used as a measurement tool within the entity and among its departments and employees. In addition, the authority has incorporated out-of-office activities to help employees achieve optimum work-life balance and ensure their continued development and growth within the organization.
The first star is life balance, as part of which DSO seeks to provide employees with the ideal environment to divide their time and energy equally between work, family and health through hosting a number of workshops. The second star in the framework is engagement, as part of which a number of initiatives have been developed to strengthen the link between DSOA and its personnel and give employees a sense of ownership and belonging. The third star within the framework focuses on recognition and retention - DSOA will honor and reward outstanding employees through varied means of compensation for their excellence.
The fourth component of the corporate happiness framework revolves around retaining outstanding employees through different programs that promote loyalty and strengthen the bonds between them and DSOA. The fifth component is productivity that is measured through a methodically precise equation aimed at identifying talented employees in order to honor and recognize their efforts. The sixth factor of the framework highlights career development, which is of great importance to the employees personally and professionally - making it a priority for DSOA.
The seventh star within the corporate happiness framework is innovation – as part of its efforts to promote the spirit of creativity among its employees, DSOA continually launches initiatives and activities such as the allocation of an innovation lab where personnel can propose, discuss and develop creative ideas.
Happiness Big Data
Through this pillar, DSOA collects information related to the hobbies, talents and interests of its employees and compiles the data to conceptualize and launch more targeted and personalized initiatives - these in turn will contribute to raising the happiness of employees.
Dubai Happiness Forum
Through this forum, DSOA organizes seminars and workshops every three months to allow the staff and community members to share and exchange ideas and experiences in the field of organizational happiness. These events will also draw the participation of experts from different spheres of life that promote an individual’s happiness.
Happiness Lab
These labs have been established to devise and develop new initiatives towards making DSO an ideal work-place. A core team from DSOA will visit various universities and colleges, in order to communicate with the students and listen to their opinions and suggestions to help identify the ideal work environment they would seek following the completion of their academic programs.
Happiness Diploma
Through launching a happiness diploma, DSOA aims to popularize the concept of happiness within the entity and across other organizations in the emirate. The program will develop its employees’ organizational happiness skills and achieve higher levels of happiness within external institutions as well. DSO will also aim to share this concept with HR departments of various government entities and institutions in order to exchange knowledge and expertise on the new concept of organizational happiness.
Ladies Council
Setting up this council aims to continue women empowerment within the high-tech park through innovative initiatives. The council will help identify the needs of women employees and get their points of views in order to provide a suitable work environment that contributes to their career development and supports them in assuming leadership roles.
Furthermore, a reward system has been put in place by DSOA for the highest ranking division with the happiest employees. To qualify for this reward, divisions within DSOA will be required to measure the happiness of their employees according to the seven-star criteria. Divisions achieving 4+ stars will win a number of awards.
In line with this mandate, DSO continually works to step-up staff engagement in events, policy-development, services, tools, and taskforces with a view to increasing employees’ sense of ownership and loyalty towards the organization.
A wholly-owned entity of the government of Dubai, DSO operates as a free zone technology park for large enterprises, medium and small companies looking to set up their offices in Dubai.

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