Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has been named the ‘Government Entity with the Happiest Work Environment’ in the Emirate by the Sheikh Saqr Program for Government Excellence (SSPGE). An organisation that recognises entities for institutional excellence, this is the second consecutive year that the Program has honoured the tourism authority, previously awarding it the title of Happiest Employees in Ras Al Khaimah in 2020.
RAKTDA gained recognition from among 17 government entities in Ras Al Khaimah, ranking high in over 30 excellence criteria by adopting all the Government Institutional Excellence standards, including innovation, a strong Human Capital strategy and governance framework, in addition to displaying remarkable resilience and agility to the challenges faced following the COVID-19 pandemic.
With mental health now cited as one of the most pressing issues in 2021, progressive Human Resource policies and practices were amplified in order to support the team and to overcome professional and personal hurdles during the course of the pandemic. The top honour reflects RAKTDA’s colleague centric approach which take into consideration employee requirements, capabilities, and growth opportunities. With its personalised rather than one-size-fits-all approach, RAKTDA has developed a number of leading policies that promote employee well-being and drive further engagement. These include the Official Remote Working policy, which offers equal options for all team members, an extensive hardship assistance programme and a focus on enhancing the mental wellbeing of employees.
With an agile mindset, RAKTDA benchmarks itself against best-in-class global companies, continuously pivoting and adapting to the changing circumstances in the workplace. With the introduction of its ‘Lifestyle Benefits’ policy, employees are provided for equally, regardless of age, gender, parental or marital status. An employee can opt for traditional benefits in the form of a family visa, insurance and school fees, while another who might not require this, can choose other benefits to the same value, including executive coaching and training, veterinary insurance, gym memberships, meal schemes, additional petrol allowances, flight upgrades and data roaming packages that suit their lifestyle. In addition, the entity’s advanced digital infrastructure and seamless Human Resources support have created a work environment that places employee health and wellbeing at the core of its operations. Employees are also guided by inspiring leadership, that provides insightful support where needed, with distinct gender parity recorded across the senior leadership team. Additionally, a robust Emiratization program provides Emirati nationals with leadership training and development opportunities for placement within RAKTDA or in leading industries throughout Ras Al Khaimah.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “While 2020 put our industry in a downward spiral, we were determined as a tourism board to ensure that not only that our business could survive during the pandemic but that our most important asset – our people – were taken care of both professionally and emotionally. We’ve seen first-hand the strain that global uncertainty and instability can place on a person and our role as a leadership team was to work alongside our employees, alleviate their anxiety, develop a resilient mindset and work towards amplifying our talent pipeline. Receiving the Government Entity with the Happiest Work Environment award is just further testament to our commitment towards employee mental well-being.”
On top of this recognition, RAKTDA has secured a number of destination accolades, despite the challenges of the pandemic. These include being named the first city to be certified as safe by Bureau Veritas and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Gulf Tourism Capital for the second consecutive year by Tourism Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Tourism and Hospitality Company of the Year by Gulf Business magazine. These achievements were driven by a series of successful campaigns, including complimentary PCR testing for hotel colleagues and international visitors, in addition to an ongoing hospitality wide vaccination programme for employees that will see full inoculation of the sector by mid-2021.