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Dubai Summit spotlights ARASCO journey from 43% employee satisfaction to ‘Best Saudi Employer’ Award

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, September 24 - 2013 @ 00:00

Khaled Alhanaky, Chief Shared Services Officer at ARASCO, one of the Middle East’s largest food and agriculture corporations, said that the company embarked on an HR transformation in 2008 to turn around employee satisfaction levels from a lowly 40% to 98%.

With more than 2,500 employees, ARASCO had its fair share of challenges in improving employee satisfaction, said Alhanaky, a speaker at the HR Summit & Expo, taking place from 7-9 October at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The hard work paid off in June 2013, when the company was included in the top ten list within the Large Enterprises category of the ‘Best Saudi Company to Work For’ Awards, organised by the Kingdom’s leading business newspaper, Aleqtisadiah.

“One of the challenges was to make line managers aware of their role in managing people and how they can impact employee satisfaction, while there was change management resistance and lack of initial communication,” said Alhanaky, who will share how employee satisfaction at the company remarkably improved at the three-day summit in Dubai.

“However, there were many aspects that helped our transformation succeed; our organisation was aware of the problems that were preventing it from reaching its full potential, and we looked at these as opportunities to improve. We also had a strategic plan with clear objectives that were measurable, and we aligned our HR teams to this strategy so that everyone knew their role.”

“Finally, and most importantly, employees were involved in every stage of the project. They were surveyed and interviewed to identify the root causes of low satisfaction and their involvement has shaped our successful transformation today.”

Commenting on why employee satisfaction at ARASCO was so low to begin with, Alhanaky said: “Our company grew significantly in the previous decade, from about 500 in the early 2000’s to more than 2,500 today. At the same time, we have evolved from a single-business company to becoming a multi business conglomerate with six operating business units today. This growth was not complimented with necessary attention to organisational aspects that impact employees’ daily lives.”

Celebrating 10 years this year, the HR Summit & Expo is the Middle East’s largest gathering of HR professionals, attracting a speaker line-up of more than 40 regional and international HR heads from some of the biggest multinational organisations in the world.

Added Alhanaky: “The HR Summit & Expo provides us a great opportunity to share ARASCO’s fascinating journey of successful transformation. We believe that the summit’s delegates will find our story insightful, just as we have been inspired by similar success stories from previous years’ speakers.”

The HR Summit & Expo will feature 45 free-to-attend seminars and two full-day HR master classes. Reflecting its increasing popularity in 2013, the showpiece HR event is being relocated to the larger venue at the Dubai World Trade Centre exhibition halls by its organisers IIR Middle East, and will welcome for the first time to the region Tom Peters and Chester Elton – two of the world’s foremost thinkers on management, leadership, and engagement.

An exhibition floor will also provide a dedicated platform for more than 50 exhibitors to share their latest HR solutions to help advance the profession, while the Middle East HR Excellence Awards on Tuesday 8 October will recognise the achievements of individuals, departments, teams and organisations that have contributed to the growth and development of the Middle East HR industry.

The HR Summit & Expo is supported by headline sponsors Profiles International, IBM, Daman, and SHL; strategic partner Gulf Talent; platinum sponsor, TTM Associates; gold sponsors BTS, and Oracle; and silver sponsor Aetna.

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Tuesday, September 24- 2013 @ 0:00 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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