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Aon Reveals 9 Best Employers in the Middle East for 2018
Aon Announces Return of Best Employers in the Middle East, with 26% Increase in Number of Participants
Organizations in the GCC Revamping Benefit Offerings to Remain Competitive, Aon Study Finds
Employees in the MENA Region are Among the Most Engaged in the World
Aon announces strategic partnership with leading Emiratization Advisory Firm


Aon Reveals 9 Best Employers in the Middle East for 2018

  • Most comprehensive employer benchmarking study in the Middle East sees nine organizations stand out across a range of sectors
  • Best Employers Middle East demonstrate 3.5 times lower attrition rates compared to market average
  • Best Employers Middle East rank 17 percentage points higher than the general market for employee engagement

Dubai, UAE, 30 October, 2018Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has announced the results of its Best Employers Middle East study for 2018.
 
The most comprehensive employer benchmarking program of its kind in the region, the study has revealed that Best Employers in the Middle East once again lead across a number of business-critical indices, including organizational agility (85% versus 69% market average), engaging leadership (83% versus 69%) and talent focus (82% versus 63%), reflecting their commitment to employee engagement as a strategic business function.
 
Aon Best Employers also continue to excel in employee engagement, with a score of 84%, compared to the market average of 67%. In addition, Best Employers were found to have 3.5 times lower attrition rates and ranked 24 percentage points higher than the general market for their focus on retaining talent for the future (83% versus 59%). Best Employers also report 50% higher total shareholder return (TSR) than the market average – reflecting the impact a highly engaged workforce has on overall business performance.
 
Aon assessed participating organizations against its regional database of more than 350 organizations and 275,000 employees. Best Employers Middle East 2018 were selected based on ranking consistently high levels for employee engagement, organizational agility, engaging leadership and strong talent focus. For the first time this year, two companies were also awarded ‘Honorable Mentions’ in recognition of excelling in one of the four Best Employers indices.
 
The Aon Best Employers in the Middle East for 2018 are:

Organization (Listed Alphabetically)        

 Category

DHL

Best Employer in the Middle East (Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan,
Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE)

Intercontinental Hotels Group

Best Employer Middle East (Global Program)

Jumeirah Group

Best Employer UAE

Marriott International

Best Employer Middle East (Global Program)

McDonalds

Best Employer UAE

Novartis Pharma

Best Employer Algeria 

Sodexo Benefits & Rewards Services

Best Employer Middle East (Global Program)

Turkish Airlines

Best Employer Middle East (Global Program)

Union Coop

Best Employer UAE


The Aon Best Employers Honorable Mentions in the Middle East for 2018 are:
 

Organization (Listed Alphabetically)        

 Category

Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) 

Honorable Mention for Engaging Generation Y

Westcon-Comstor 

Honorable Mention for Engaging Leadership


Christoper Page, CEO, Talent, Rewards & Performance, Aon Middle East and Africa, said: “Stronger employee engagement provides the unique opportunity to significantly contribute towards the digital transformation of organizations. Our Best Employers Study not only serves as a credible benchmark to effectively measure and track employee engagement, but we also provide the expertise to delve deeper into the results and help organizations maximize this data for success. Through increased visibility, organizations can implement a continuous feedback loop that will allow them to establish continued dialogue with their employees and futureproof their business against impending talent deficits. After all, the research proves that organizations with a more engaged, agile culture outperform others across business-critical areas including profit, talent retention and sales growth.”

Other highlights from the study include:
 
Organizational Agility and Change Readiness
In the face of impending digitalization across all sectors, an agile, innovative culture and the ability to adapt quickly will have a profound effect on long-term organizational survival. 80% of employees at Best Employers believe their organization is developing a workforce that adapts well to change (market average, 69%), while 90% feel their workplace is highly responsive to the changing needs of customers (market average, 78%). In addition, 86% believe their workplaces foster a culture that is inclusive of diverse backgrounds and ways of thinking, compared to just 67% of other companies.
 
Engagement and Culture
Organizations are increasingly understanding the importance of a productive and engaged workforce in creating competitive advantage and futureproofing their business for success. 89% of employees at Best Employers consider their organization to be one of the best places to work – a lead of 15 percentage points over the rest of the market, while 85% of employees also reported feeling encouraged and motivated by their managers (market average, 71%). Further, employees at Best Employers are more willing to stay with their organization, as compared to the rest of the market (79% versus 62%, market average).
 
Performance Management
In a market where attracting and retaining the right talent is becoming increasingly competitive, 82% of employees at Best Employers feel their organization is attracting the right people (market average, 63%). Not only do Best Employers also lead the market by 21 percentage points for actively supporting talent development, 86% of employees also feel their performance management process does a good job of identifying their strengths and improvement areas (market average, 60%).
 
Inspiring Leadership
In marked contrast to the general market, 83% of employees at Best Employers report that their senior leadership makes them excited about the future of the organization (market average, 64%), with the same number also believing that their senior leadership provides a clear vision for the company (market average, 66%). Leadership at Best Employers also rank 16 percentage points higher for transparency, while 84% of people said their managers provide the support that they need to strive for high performance (market average, 71%).
 
Speaking about the study, Khalid Youssef, Associate Partner and Employee Engagement Practice Lead, Aon Middle East & Africa, said: “This year, we’ve seen a 26% increase in the number of participants in the Aon Best Employers study – reflecting the increasing awareness across the region of the value an engaged workforce brings to an organization. Aon Best Employers not only measure engagement, they are also committed to implementing targeted action plans that help deliver an elevated employee engagement. Our research shows that happier, more engaged employees create competitive advantage in the long-term, and it is promising to see businesses becoming more aware of this correlation.”

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Aon Announces Return of Best Employers in the Middle East, with 26% Increase in Number of Participants 

  • Best Employers ranked 19 points higher than the market average for the implementation of technology enabling better productivity and driving innovation amongst employees (84% versus 65%)
  • The most comprehensive employer benchmarking study in the region, Best Employer Middle East returns for sixth edition
  • The Best Employers in the Middle East 2018 were selected based on achieving high scores for employee engagement, organizational agility, engaging leadership and strong talent focus. 

Dubai, UAE, 16 October, 2018Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has announced the return of the Best Employers Middle East study for its sixth edition. The most comprehensive employer benchmarking program of its kind in the region, the 2018 study saw an increase of 26% in the number of participants year on year, highlighting the growing importance of human capital and employee engagement as a key pillar of business strategy for organizations in the region.
 
Aon assessed participating organizations against its regional database of more than 350 organizations and 275,000 employees. Best Employers Middle East 2018 were selected based on ranking consistently high levels for employee engagement, organizational agility, engaging leadership and strong talent focus.
 
Best Employers in the Middle East ranked 19 points higher than the market average for the implementation of technology enabling better productivity and driving innovation amongst employees (84% versus 65%). With recent reports highlighting the impending shortage of skilled talent in the region, the results highlight the commitment of Best Employers to futureproofing their businesses and human capital strategies against future talent deficits.
 
This year, Best Employers in the Middle East have been selected across a number of sectors, ranging from logistics, hospitality and F&B to aviation and pharmaceutical. As well as being more agile, Best Employers were also found to have a stronger focus on talent development and retention and markedly higher levels of engagement in comparison to the rest of the market.
 
For the first time this year, a number of companies will also be awarded ‘Honourable Mentions’ in recognition of excelling in at least one of the four Best Employers indices: High employee engagement, organizational agility, engaging leadership and a strong talent focus. The full results and winners of the 2018 Best Employers in the Middle East will be announced at an award ceremony in Dubai on Monday, 29th October.
 
Christopher Page, CEO, Talent, Rewards & Performance, Aon Middle East and Africa, said: “With over six years’ of research and learnings as part of the Aon Best Employers Middle East study, the evidence is clear: companies which cultivate a high level of employee engagement, engaging leadership, a strong focus on talent and an agile working environment far outperform other organizations across a range of business critical areas, such as profit and revenue, talent retention and sales growth. The 26% increase in the number of companies participating in the Best Employers study this year clearly reflects market sentiment that organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of futureproofing their human capital strategies, to ensure competitive advantage in the long-term.”
 
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Organizations in the GCC Revamping Benefit Offerings to Remain Competitive, Aon Study Finds

Employers are optimizing costs by shifting from cash allowances to a focus on benefits for employees
 
Dubai, UAE; September 5, 2018: According to the latest Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Allowances and Benefits Survey conducted by Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, the GCC region has witnessed a concerted shift from a pure-pay model to an emphasis on ‘total rewards’. Representing a notable increase in the prevalence of benefit offerings for employees, the results are seen as a positive indicator for the region in attracting and retaining the right talent.
 
Whilst in previous years organizations were spending more aggressively on their cash allowance packages, the results this year show an increase in the prevalence of benefits being offered to employees across the region. The enhanced end of service benefit (EOSB) has also become a more frequent offering amongst employers, with figures more than doubling from 17% in 2017 to 35% in 2018, according to Aon. The prevalence of life assurance, accidental insurance and long-term disability has also registered strong growth from 2014 to 2017, at +12%, +20% and +20% respectively.
 
According to Aon experts, this growing trend is reflective of organizations aiming to optimize their costs and their total reward offering, whilst customizing it to the needs of their workforce. Conducted by Aon between February 2018 and April 2018, the comprehensive study covers diverse business sectors across the GCC region and is based on an analysis of 100+ multinational companies and locally-owned conglomerates across different sectors. Other top-level findings from the study revealed that:

  • Paternity leave is becoming increasingly common amongst the best employers in the region

  • Maternity cover is the most prevalent treatment covered under medical benefit to all employee groups in the GCC

  • Standard working hours for the region clock in at 48 hours, with a range spread of eight hours per week

  • Typically, the maximum number of working days for annual vacation is 25 days and most organizations allow deferral of annual leave from one year to the next

  • The most prevalent allowances offered to executives, management and professionals are housing allowance, transport and children’s education assistance

  • Employees at Executive and Management levels are much more likely to receive education assistance, with a prevalence average of 83.5% amongst this group, whilst for professionals and support staff levels, the percentage is notably lower

  • The least common benefit for executives and professionals is overtime (10% on average), compared to a prevalence average of 50% for support staff

  • Two thirds (65%) of organizations provide relocation allowance to employees at the executive, management and professional levels, compared to just over one third (34%) for support staff

 
Christopher Page, CEO, Talent, Rewards & Performance, Aon Middle East and Africa, said: “The results of this study are particularly interesting, as they demonstrate how organizations are looking at and leveraging allowance and benefits structures to secure and retain the right talent with the right skillsets to help drive their business objectives. This is extremely important for the region, which is focused on promoting and nurturing local talent to support the growth vision of the GCC nations. The study also points at the shifting trends in the allocation of allowances and benefits, which will serve as a referral point for industry best practices.”
 
Arun Taneja, Rewards Consultant, Aon Middle East & Africa, said: “The shift from just pay to total rewards is a welcome step by organizations in the region, which also meets the aspirations we are seeing amongst young talent who are seeking challenging yet rewarding career opportunities. Moreover, a total reward offering helps organizations achieve efficiencies in terms of the Human capital cost base. The GCC Allowances & Benefits Survey highlights how different modes of allowances and benefits are changing, and how they are differentiated based on the employee groups– a trend which we very much expect to see increasing over the coming years.”
 
For further information or to purchase the full report, please contact Aon’s regional office on +971 43896300 or email info.me@aonhewitt.com

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Employees in the MENA Region are Among the Most Engaged in the World

  • Aon study reveals employee engagement across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region is higher than global average at 69%
  • GCC continues to lead in employee engagement at 70%
  • More than 250,000 employees in over 200 companies participated in the MENA-wide study

Dubai, UAE; July 30, 2018: Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has unveiled the state of Employee Engagement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for 2018, which analyzes the levels and drivers of engagement amongst employees across the region. Aon measured employee engagement for more than 200 companies across the MENA region and analyzed data from more than 250,000 employee responses. More than 28 industries were represented in the study.
 
The 2018 report by Aon entitled, ‘Trends in Middle East & North Africa Employee Engagement’, identifies that after two consecutive years of stagnation, employee engagement by businesses has bounced back to its all-time high in the MENA region – four points higher than the global average - with the rebound most predominant in North Africa and Levant, while the GCC region recorded a slight decline.
 
Aon’s 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement Report revealed that global employee engagement stood at 65 percent, while in the MENA region the figure was above average at 69 percent, marking a five point increase on 2017. The GCC continued to record strong employee engagement levels at 70 percent, higher than the MENA average, although suffering a one-point decline over 2017. Levant had the highest engagement score and increase across the region at 74 percent (previously 65 percent), while North Africa, surged eight points from 2016 to 65 percent engagement levels.
 
The UAE saw engagement drop two points from 70 percent to 68 percent. The most significant drop was in the employees’ motivation and willingness to try new things for fear of occasional mistakes. Previously maintaining the highest employee engagement score in the region for two consecutive years, Saudi Arabia is now witnessing a drop of two points from 71 percent to 69 percent. The introduction of major economic and social reforms is seen as a potential contributing factor for the decline.
 
Top Engagement Opportunities in MENA
 
According to Aon, rewards and recognition ranked as the strongest driver of engagement in MENA this year, from a previous ranking of 4th in 2017.



The most significant finding in the study is how businesses are now preparing for future technologies through employee engagement programmes.  They are now looking at nurturing the skills of staff and strengthening their technical know-how on technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Importantly, businesses have also set increased exposure to senior leadership and strategy as priority areas for their employees.
 
Christopher Page, CEO, Talent, Rewards & Performance, Aon Middle East and Africa, said: “The findings of our proprietary employee engagement study in MENA reflect the transformational changes that the region is witnessing today. With increased focus by regional governments on embracing digital technology as a driver for socio-economic progress, it is rewarding to see that businesses are aligned with this vision and investing in building the future-tech skills of their employees. This fits in with the true definition of employee engagement – which is all about the level of an employee’s psychological investment in their organization. Through enhanced employee engagement and continuous listening, businesses can not only achieve their organizational goals but also contribute to a happy and productive society.”
 
For the study, employees were asked if they say positive things about their organization and act as advocates, if they intend to stay at their workplace for a long time, and if they are motivated to strive to give their best to help the organization succeed. In addition to this ‘Say, Stay, Strive’ model, the Aon Employee Engagement model also evaluated 16 work-experience dimensions.
 
These included: Career & Development, Collaboration, Customer Focus, Decision-making, Diversity & Inclusion, Empowerment/Autonomy, Enabling Infrastructure, Employee Value Proposition (EVP), Manager, Mission/Values, Performance Management, Rewards & Recognition, Senior Leadership, Talent & Staffing, Work Tasks and Work/Life Balance. Across the MENA region, the study observed an increased focus on work-life balance, with the largest gains recorded in Rewards & Recognition, Work Tasks, Work-Life Balance, Senior Leadership and Talent & Staffing.
 
Khalid Youssef, Associate Partner and Employee Engagement Practice Lead, Aon Middle East & Africa, said: “Organizations in the MENA region continue to face uncertainty and disruption, but our report underpins that they are making a conscious effort to invest in people and talent strategies that enhance the work experience for long-term success. The bottom line for businesses is that they must clearly understand their top engagement focus areas and identify the best interventions to elevate the employee experience around those.”
 
The regional study was supported by Aon’s Middle East Culture & Engagement Practice, an all Arabic-speaking team, which offers an unmatched combination of global consulting and benchmarks, integrated HR measurement technology and tools that include assessments, selection and talent analytics.
 
For further information, and to download the full report, please visit: www.aonhewitt.ae/2018-mena-engagement-trends

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Aon announces strategic partnership with leading Emiratization Advisory Firm

• Strategic partnership will enable Aon to better support the UAE’s Emiratization agenda 

Dubai, February 26 2018 - Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, today announced its partnership with TBH Consultancy, a Dubai-based Emiratization Advisory firm.

(From left to right) ‘Abdulmuttalib (Talib) Hashim, Founder and Managing Director of TBH Consultancy with Chris Page, CEO, Talent, Rewards & Performance, Aon Middle East and Africa, entering a strategic partnership between the two companies to help develop and deliver strategies to increase Emiratization in the Private Sector. 


Workforce nationalization, known as Emiratization in the UAE, remains a top priority for the UAE Government, and the UAE Vision 2021 aims to increase Emiratization levels in the private sector by tenfold. With as many as 800,000 private sector jobs deemed as ‘Emiratizable’ , there is a huge amount of opportunity for both local job seekers and employers alike.

Despite this, the public sector continues to be the employer of choice for Emiratis. According to research carried out by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, over 90% of employed Emirati youth are working in the public sector. Now more than ever, private sector employers need to develop more comprehensive talent strategies to attract, develop, and retain local talent, and encourage younger Emiratis to seek careers outside of traditional public sector routes.

Established in 2015, TBH Consultancy is the UAE’s first full-fledged Emiratization Advisory business, as well as People and Business Advisory consultancy. The consultancy is led by Founder and Managing Director Abdulmuttalib (Talib) Hashim, who has dedicated 11 years to helping organizations employ and empower local talent in the UAE. TBH has an ambitious mission to rethink and reinvent how Emiratization is adopted.

The partnership will provide solutions that will help UAE-based firms strengthen their ability to drive business performance through people.

“We are delighted to be working in collaboration with TBH, on an area of significant importance to the UAE,” said Chris Page, CEO, Talent, Rewards & Performance, Middle East and Africa.  “TBH brings deep subject matter expertise, cultural awareness and sensitivity to the challenges of increasing private sector Emiratization. Together with Aon’s regional and global expertise in Human Capital related advisory, programs and products, our partnership will provide us with a unique capability to support organizations in delivering innovative, value adding and sustainable solutions, against this critical mandate.”

Chris added: “Increasing Emiratization provides the private sector with a relatively untapped, well-educated, ambitious and entrepreneurial resource, capable of adding significant organizational value, whilst at the same time providing for the growth and development of Emirati business leaders of the future.”

Commenting on the partnership, Abdulmuttalib (Talib) Hashim said: “We realized that the conversation around the topic of Emiratization needed to evolve to become a more sophisticated one, addressing complex issues affecting the public and private sectors, as well as the community as a whole.  In view of this, we believe, that the partnership with Aon will allow us to tap in to their global expertise and best practices, while bringing in the knowledge and in-depth insights we have developed over the years, of the needs of local talent and businesses.”

Abdulmutalib added:  “This partnership will allow us to develop credible local knowledge around Emiratization that is relevant and brings to the market solutions that are effective and innovative, which we envision, will eventually help address one of the most burning issues not only in the UAE, but in the GCC region as well.”

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