Daman Corporate Health Awards: Our Story

The Daman Corporate Health Awards is awarded to companies in the United Arab Emirates who focus extensively on employee wellness. Alpin became a category winner as the Most Improved company in Fall 2019. Want to learn more about the award and how we improved our employee wellbeing programs to achieve this recognition? Read on to learn all about it!

What is the Daman Corporate Health Awards?

The Daman Corporate Health & Wellness Awards is a corporate health and wellness award organized in collaboration with MEED. This award rewards companies in the United Arab Emirates who prioritize employee health and wellness and take steps to create a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.

The categories include everything from the public to the private sector, as well as the newcomer of the year.

Daman finalists are selected based on their initiatives and their impact. For example, these initiatives include employee fitness programs, encouraging support within local and regional communities, and promoting extracurricular employee activities.

This year, the Daman Awards were held for the 6th time. This round included a record number of applicants: 105.

Before we look at what it takes to get recognized as a Daman category winner, let’s understand why employee wellness is so important.

Why is it important to support employee wellbeing?

Wondering why you should invest in employee wellbeing? Good question. Here’s why we consider employee wellbeing to be one of the most important investments any business can make (and the facts that back this up).

Your employees are essential for your business growth

Look: Your employees are your biggest resource. They’re the key to better business results.

Plus, the biggest cost for businesses is their employees. By investing in employee wellness, you also treat employee-related costs as an investment.

The thing is:

In the United Arab Emirates, people spend 85-95% of their time indoors. In America, this number is 90%. Now, because people spend so much of their time indoors, your indoor workspace has a huge influence on your employees’ health, wellbeing, and productivity. It’s one of the most impactful things you can invest in to see a great ROI.

In fact, research shows that employees who are satisfied with their workspace are 16% more productive. That means better-performing businesses and an impact on the overall economy.

Think about it: If, say, your workspaces have great lighting, your employees won’t have to strain their eyes as much or get tired fast. That’s just one example- things like airflow and ergonomic facilities have a huge impact on employee wellbeing.

Thanks to a high-quality workplace you can reduce absenteeism with up to four days a year. In fact, unscheduled absenteeism costs companies annually about $3,600 per hourly worker and $2,650 per salaried worker. By investing in employee wellbeing, you can significantly impact your bottom line.

Employee wellbeing helps you retain and attract talent

According to McKinsey, a third of senior leaders say that finding the right talent is their most significant managerial challenge. The most productive workers can change your organization for the better, so attracting them should be a top priority for businesses.

At the same time, 89% of workers at companies that support employee wellbeing initiatives are likely to recommend their employer.

18% of employees who are satisfied with their work environment are more likely to stay and 30% are more attracted to their company over competitors. ⅔ say that a workplace that focuses on wellbeing would make them more likely to accept a new job or keep their current job.

But to get these benefits, how do you improve workplace wellness? That’s what WELL can help you with.

How the WELL certification can help you improve your workspace

The WELL certification is one of the most prominent employee wellbeing certifications available. It focuses on all those things that improve employee wellness and productivity because it was developed over several years by leading experts on employee wellbeing.

WELL requires changes to several different categories. These are: Air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort, and mind. Each category has certain requirements that must be fulfilled.

Time and time again, WELL has had a positive ROI for certified businesses.

Take Cundall, a company that saw a 50% drop in absenteeism and 27% lower staff turnover thanks to their WELL Gold certification. Or CBRE Madrid. 80% of the company’s employees believe that their WELL-certified offices made them more productive.

That’s why awards like the Daman Corporate Awards are so important. They set the bar high for everyone by recognizing the importance of impactful employee wellness programs.

So how did we become the “Most Improved” workspace in the United Arab Emirates? Here’s how.

How did Alpin become the “Most Improved” health and wellness-focused company in the United Arab Emirates?

We were recognized as the “Most Improved” company in the Daman Corporate Health and Wellness Awards. How? Thanks to reorganizing and increasing investments in our wellness programs. Here are the exact steps we took.

Employee wellbeing at Alpin

From the start in 2007, wellness has been part of our mission. We believe that happy and healthy employees mean better businesses. Ultimately, this means better business results.

This is also something we help our clients with. Some of the services we offer are helping our clients achieve WELL and LEED certifications for their workspaces.

We’re also proud that our team is so focused on their wellbeing. For example, our consultant Hani recently got some amazing results as he dropped his weight in half and was interviewed as part of the FitBit Challenge.

How we improved our employee wellbeing programs even more

While employee wellbeing has always been a part of our core mission, we knew we could do better. That’s why we’ve taken even more steps to strengthen our approach to employee wellness over the past few years.

When we thought about what we can do better, we realized that there were more concrete measures we could take to improve our workspace.

At this point, we were already LEED-certified. So when we looked around at other ways to improve, the most natural step was to become WELL-certified.

And that’s what we did earlier this year as the first project in the Middle East. When we started working on the certification in 2017, our internal analysis showed us that we had already implemented 80% of WELL standards.

But we still had a few more changes to implement to get certified. As part of this, we implemented ergonomic office furniture:

  • Adjustable computer screens. All computer screens can be adjusted for height and distance.
  • Desk height flexibility. At least 30% of workstations let employees alternate between sitting and standing.
  • Seat flexibility. Workstation chair height and seat depth are compliant with required ergonomic standards.
  • Adjustable ergonomic footrests, keyboard trays, mouse trays, and laptop stands.

We also monitor noise levels, water quality, and air quality, which exceeds ASHRAE standards by 30%. Our office gets 100% natural lighting.

To help employees stay healthy, we provide exercise balls, mini exercise bikes, and subsidies for activities like walkathons, races, fitness events or team exercise. We also pay for a Bike Share program, alternatively a bike subsidy.

We organize team-building events. Plus, we’ve created our own employee wellness program, Alpin Healthy. As part of Alpin Healthy, we offer plenty of organic fruit and green tea to help employees snack healthy and keep up their energy levels. We also educate employees on topics related to health and wellness.

How our efforts have paid off

As a small boutique firm, we are punching above our weight in our efforts. That said, our investments are already paying off.

For example, our recent WELL certification has had a great return on investment. First of all, our employees are more satisfied with the workspace and with improvements like lighting and air quality. We expect our return on investment to compound over time, as employee satisfaction and productivity improves.

Plus, another way our work has produced great results is that we were recognized as the Most Improved company in the Daman Corporate Health Awards. Many of the improvements mentioned here above helped us achieve this recognition.

In the future, we’re focused on continuing to champion corporate health and wellness in the region and beyond. We’re also committed to helping our clients continue to improve their workspaces and achieve the same advantages as we’re seeing.

Want to learn more?

There you have it. That’s how we became category winners in the Daman Corporate Health Awards. What it came down to was that we continuously looked for ways to improve, became WELL-certified, and in other ways made an effort to improve our employee wellbeing standards.

Interested in improving employee wellbeing? Learn more about WELL here and how we can help you achieve it.