Over the past eighteen months, people professionals have been at the forefront of organisational transformation, playing a vital role in helping their businesses and people navigate an ever-changing environment. The pandemic, the rise of remote working and economic circumstances have re-focused our attention on issues such as diversity and inclusion, employee experience, mental health, and learning and development.
In this context, recognising the hard work of HR and L&D professionals is more important than ever. Organised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the Middle East People Awards recognise individuals, teams and organisations for their commitment to promoting positive work cultures and enabling people to be their best.
Over 100 participants joined the virtual ceremony on 1 November 2021, which recognised initiatives that were implemented since COVID-19 disrupted the way in which we live and work.
The winners span across industries and countries in the region, with some large regional organisations such as ADNOC and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and multinationals such as WSP, Organon and Clyde & Co.
With growing inequalities, the pandemic highlighted the need for having robust D&I practices. Engineering consulting firm WSP won the Most Impactful Diversity & Inclusion Initiative for its consistent efforts to create an inclusive culture and its market-leading maternity policy, while FedEx Express was commended for its efforts to enhance cultural diversity.
Dubai Customs took home the ‘Best Digital Innovation in HR’ Award for their one-of-a-kind technology solution designed to deliver exceptional employee experience and create a performance-driven culture. The innovative programme uses a scalable VR technology that focuses on user experience and is tightly linked with the organisation’s objectives. PDO was highly commended in this category for their comprehensive technology, allowing managers across the business to make better evidence-driven decisions.
The Best L&D Programme Award – one of the most anticipated categories – was awarded to Saudi Telecom Company (STC) for its highly outcome-driven programme focused on building agility and digital leadership capabilities.
Competing with DP World, Dar Al Riyadh and Saudi Ground Services (SGS), ADNOC unanimously won the HR / L&D Team of the Year award for their outstanding performance in supporting the organisation through a candidate-centric talent acquisition strategy and a leading employee experience strategy. SGS was highly commended for their work and consistent focus on increasing gender diversity.
As organisations have had to implement remote working, engaging employees is more challenging than ever. In the Best Employee Engagement Initiative category, Bupa Arabia took the first place, with a highly commended mention for Ramboll who both presented a wide range of employee engagement initiatives delivered during challenging times with impressive results on the business.
Lastly, the Employer of Choice Award was presented to Bupa Arabia for designing and implementing a holistic people strategy despite difficult times, with the aim to deliver an exceptional customer experience, engaging their teams and providing extensive L&D support through cross-team collaboration. Dar Al Riyadh was highly commended in this category for their continuous focus on crafting and implementing a unique employment value proposition that, beyond compensation and reward, includes a culture of recognition, knowledge-sharing and belonging.
Full list of winners:
OUTSTANDING CIPD STUDENT OF THE YEAR
- Winner: Amal Abdulgader Alshalet, Head of Training Programs Department, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (KSA)
HR RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
- Winner: Ahmad Obaid Ajil AlSuwaidi, HR Specialist, Dubai Customs
BEST COACHING & MENTORING INITIATIVE
- Highly commended: EFS
- Winner: Clyde & Co
BEST HEALTH & WELLBEING PROGRAMME
- Highly commended: King Abdullah University for Science & Technology (KAUST)
- Winner: Organon
BEST RECRUITMENT & TALENT MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
- Highly commended: Atlantis Dubai
- Winner: Mobily
BEST EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE
- Highly commended: Ramboll
- Winner: Bupa Arabia
MOST IMPACTFUL DIVERSITY & INCLUSION INITIATIVE
- Highly commended: FedEx
- Winner: WSP
BEST DIGITAL INNOVATION IN HR
- Highly commended: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO)
- Winner: Dubai Customs
BEST L&D PROGRAMME
- Winner: Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
HR / L&D TEAM OF THE YEAR
- Highly commended: Saudi Ground Services (SGS)
- Winner: ADNOC
EMPLOYER OF CHOICE
- Highly commended: Dar Al Riyadh
- Winner: Bupa Arabia
Championing better work and working lives
About the CIPD
At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.