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Top SMEs to work for in UAE

Great Place to Work revealed Top SMEs

Great Place to Work® (GPTW) Gulf has released this year’s list of the ‘Top SMEs to work for in the UAE’ for the first time.

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September 30, 2013 6:06 by



The benchmarking study, which has today revealed the results of its fourth programme, assesses the level of credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie within an organisation.

Prior to this year’s edition, GPTW only included larger corporations in its UAE list, but decided last year to create a separate programme for SMEs in the country as well.

Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of its Institute’s Trust Index, which is a survey that is sent to employees that asks questions related to their attitudes towards the management’s credibility, employee engagement and job satisfaction. The other third is based on the company’s responses to the Institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programmes, and a series of open-ended questions about hiring, communication and development.

David Robert, CEO of Great Place to Work® Gulf tells Kippreport that while announcing the launch of the new programme was overdue, it was still a risk for the institute.

“We obviously want many companies to participate in any new programme or list we launch, but it’s a risk, because we never know how many companies will meet the criteria of being a great place to work in,” he says, adding that although this year’s participation was “high”, only six SMEs qualified.

Normally, the institute’s general list features the UAE’s top ten companies to work in, but for the new programme, only one SME made it to the number one position, with the other five ranked as ‘distinguished’.

“It seemed odd to have a list of the top six companies, and having the top five seemed unfair as well, since we would have had to exclude one of them,” Robert explains. “We decided to have the top company with the other five below as distinguished. We didn’t feel it was necessary to rank the other five.”

He explains that part of the motivation to launch an SME list was due to the feedback it received from smaller companies in the past four years, with some of them feeling intimidated to be ranked in the same list and, essentially, compete against multinational corporations.

biz-group was ranked as the country’s top SME to work for in 2013 – a business strategy, training and corporate team-building company, headed by Hazel Jackson.

The other five SMEs, honoured with a ‘distinguished’ mention and acknowledged by the institute for their best people practises and strong HR programmes, were: DABO & CO, Emitac Healthcare Solutions, Eton Institute, Leminar and Paramount.

Robert says one of the most important things that an SME can do is to have an integrated approach to ensure that not only is the company driving itself to meet the objectives, but even individuals are given the opportunities to develop and reach their own personal goals.



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