Investing in the growth of our talent
We are invested in the personal and professional development of our employees. We encourage their passion at work by building a supportive culture in which they can thrive in.
From traditional leadership to servant leadership
We believe it is important to constantly invest in our employee’s development at every step in their career. We approach the development of our employees in different ways, with traditional classroom training, development tracks and mentorship programs. Mentorship programs offer the unique opportunity for both the mentor and mentee to develop their skill set as proven by our Coaching for Excellence mentorship program.
Based on the successful pilot that we had carried out in 2018, we expanded the Side by Side mentorship program by enlarging the mentor-mentee pool, matching their profiles and customising their professional growth journey to maximise mutual benefit. With an aim of nurturing Servant Leaders, in 2019, we deployed a dual level leadership program, each level spanning for a 6-month duration.
The program was positively received, requesting for additional training to help implement the learnings within our attendees’ teams. Due to this acclaim, the success of our program has also led to its request as an additional corporate offering by our joint ventures. The leaders that have attended the programme have indicated how it boosted their confidence in their role, helped build stronger teams which supported their ability to lead and drive performance.
Future-Proofing our Skills
In support of our Group’s transformational journey (SHIFT) to become a hybrid retailer, we have developed and delivered seminars on hybrid retailing across the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar to 411 front line retail employees. We also launched a digital learning platform on hybrid retailing to 5,500 platform license holders. In order to instill a startup mindset to drive our transformation, we had 19 of our employees take the Silicon Valley Institute of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (TVLP) immersive program.
We recognise that ‘learnability’ or the skill to learn is and will remain one of the most desired skills for talent attraction and development in the coming years. Our Learning and Development (L&D) team has designed and delivered free ‘Learning to Learn’ sessions to 251 of our employees.
In our quest to bring learning as close to our employees as possible, we organised a Learning-Fest in the UAE and KSA in October 2019, including a series of workshops, seminars, webinars, live sessions delivered by internal and external experts, and a cash prize for the best digital learner. In the UAE alone, we engaged with 400 employees across 28 sessions during the 5-day program. To maintain its momentum, we also launched a digital survey to better understand the learning needs of our employees across our Group.
Retaining our talent
As much as we are invested in attracting the most innovative and skilled talent, we make sure that retaining our talent is on the top of our agenda, through our ‘People at Heart’ approach. We are constantly striving to create the right work environment for our employees that is ethical, fair, inclusive, diverse, supportive and healthy. Given the young demographic of our employees, we overcome the challenge of retaining their enthusiastic energy by building on our entrepreneurial spirit that will always welcome their innovation and creativity, and by investing in their growth with future-proofing skills.
In addition, we use a wide range of retention tools including competitive benefits, such as access to gyms, schooling, educational allowance, flexible working hours, nursing rooms, extended compassionate, maternity, and paternity leaves, staff sales and discount programs. We also administer automated Exit Surveys for more granular analysis around the push and pull factors of leaving. This allows us to introduce more targeted retention practices in the future. Going forward, in 2020, we plan to work on a People Metric, which will have KPIs focusing on the minimum expectation for Leaders, Line Managers, People Partners, and Employees.
Through the Coaching for Excellence program, I had the opportunity to develop my technical and soft skills, accelerating my professional growth while also providing me with a supportive community to reach out to within the organisation.”