Top 10 Companies to work for in the UAE revealed Microsoft Gulf takes the Gold

The Great Place to Work Institute, a global research and management consultancy that recognizes the best workplaces in over 45 countries worldwide, today released its inaugural list of ‘Top Companies to Work for in the UAE‘. The official list, published in the January issue of Gulf Business Magazine, is a ranking of the nation’s 10 best employers based on the confidential feedback of their staff and an independent culture audit of their HR practices by the Institute.

The benchmarking study assesses what companies do on a daily basis to earn and sustain the trust and respect of their people. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the Institute’s proprietary Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about management’s credibility, job satisfaction, and workplace camaraderie. The other third of the scoring is based on the company’s responses to the Institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring, communication, and diversity.

UAE-based companies from a wide range of industry sectors participated in the program in 2010. In accordance with the practices of the Great Place to Work Institute, only those companies recognized for their exemplary employee management and engagement processes are recognized on the list of “Top Companies”.

A total of 10 companies made it onto the inaugural ’2011 Top Companies to Work for in the UAE’ list with the results showing an even split between local firms and multinational companies. The Institute says the final results point to a maturing HR sector in the UAE while providing examples of best practice from which other companies can learn.

Securing the number one position on the 2011 list by recording the highest levels of employee trust, pride and camaraderie, was Microsoft Gulf FZ LLC. Its “worklife balance charter”, an “onboarding roadmap” for new hires, a Gulf-based “employee experience” committee and community engagement CSR program, were among the internal procedures recognized by the Institute as contributing to its leading result.

Commenting on the Top Companies list, Dr. Michael Burchell, Partner & Director of Great Place to Work Institute UAE said: “We would firstly like to thank everybody that participated in the program and congratulate each of the 10 companies that have been recognized as top companies to work for in the UAE. We are also very pleased to see that half the companies on our inaugural UAE list are homegrown firms. While there is an expectation that multinationals will have more sophisticated HR practices, these results suggest there is a growing understanding within the UAE market of the direct correlation between workplace culture, employee satisfaction and business performance.”

“Our Top Companies program measures the strength of an employer’s brand. By evaluating levels of credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie between employees and their managers, their jobs and their colleagues, we are able to help organizations improve their productivity and profitability. It is important that we celebrate and recognize those companies that have mastered this tricky balance of high performance with people centric management so that other businesses can learn from their experience,” he added.

David Robert, also a Partner & Director of Great Place to Work Institute UAE commented further: “Another important finding was a shared understanding among the companies that sustainability reaches far beyond a company’s impact on the surrounding natural resources to include the impact on its human resources. The balance between high performance and people centric management does not mean accepting something less than the best. Instead, the right balance can be used to uncover hidden potential, elevate the overall performance of the company, and ultimately strengthen the company’s relationships with its customers.”