Dubai Holding, the global investment holding company, was judged a winner of Institute for Health and Productivity Management’s (IHPM) International Corporate Health and Productivity Management Award at the 15th Annual Global Health & Productivity Conference held yesterday at the Dubai World Trade Center. The award, presented by the US-based non-profit global enterprise, recognises Dubai Holding as the first UAE and the second regional company for its outstanding contributions to health and wellness at the workplace and at community level.
The IHPM works with companies across the globe to help them establish the full value of employee health as a business asset and an investment in workplace productivity and corporate performance. The Institute has selected Dubai Holding’s Corporate Wellness Programme as their evidence-based business case of the year.
Chairman of Dubai Holding Wellness Committee, Cedric Betis, won the President’s Award for demonstrating leadership in building and implementing a successful Health and Productivity Management model at Dubai Holding. The award positions him as an example for others in companies in the Gulf region to emulate. Cedric joins an impressive fraternity of corporate wellness champions – these include Dr Catherine Baas, Global Director of Health Services for the Dow Chemical Company; Dr William Bunn, Vice President of Health, Safety & Productivity for Navistar International; Dr Michael Drupp, Director of the AOP Institute in Hannover, Germany and Samantha Horseman, Wellcare Administrator for Saudi Aramco.
He took the opportunity to present Dubai Holding’s eight-year journey to building a culture of wellness across all its companies through the success of the Corporate Wellness Programme. The genesis of the Programme, he explained, dates back to 2007 at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He discussed how he, with Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Bin Byat’s support, developed a measurable action plan in light of chronic diseases prevalent in the region.
It was learned that a cohesive Wellness structure was achieved in two phases; in 2007, Wellness was placed under direct oversight of the Chief Operating Officer Fadel Al Ali as a supporting arm of the business along with Finance, HR and other divisions. Since 2013, a Wellness Committee has been designated to align the Programme across the Group. As part of the Wellness strategy, Dubai Holding sponsors some of UAE’s best sporting events such as Dubai Marathon, Vertical Marathon and Women’s Run in addition to blood donation drives, GX classes, Weight Loss Challenge and team building activities for employees.
Dubai Holding’s events and activities garner increasing levels of participation amongst employees and the wider public each year - Dubai Marathon 2015 alone saw an unprecedented participation from 2,436 employees. Funds raised through Dubai Holding’s Corporate Wellness programme’s events and activities go towards their official charity Al Jalila Foundation’s Obesity Research Fund. Cedric emphasised the importance of assessing the outcomes of such wellness interventions and the effects of having a supportive environment in the offices, and shared with the audience the metrics in place.
Sean Sullivan, President and CEO of IHPM, commented: “Dubai Holding joins an illustrious group of corporate leaders from around the world who have received IHPM’s Corporate Health & Productivity Management (CHPM) Award over the past 15 years — companies like Unilever, Dow Chemical, Intel and Saudi Aramco. The CHPM Award represents world-class achievement in making work force health a strategic investment in business performance, demonstrating leadership commitment to people as valuable “human capital” and to establishing a “culture of health” throughout the organization that sets it in the top rank globally of the best companies to work and produce for in the future.”
The IHPM serves as a global resource on health and productivity management in the U.S., Latin America, UK, Europe, Middle East, South Africa and Asia. HMP-MENA, a new regional chapter of the Institute, runs in Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai/United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Morocco.
It is the first time the conference comes to the region – IHPM’s annual conferences have been held in multiple international locations since 2000.