With the onslaught of COVID-19 and the resulting impact on business and individuals alike, creating a positive work environment is even more challenging, but increasingly critical to organizational success. Organisations that have developed and maintained a culture of positivity in the workplace act as an example and motivation for others.
One organization that has succeeded in living up to its motto of “People’s Happiness is Our Goal”, is the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai.
GDRFA understand the importance of empowering and supporting employees as a key to achieving strategic goals.
So, what are some of the key initiatives they use to promote positivity?
Establishing a “Department of Positive Energy”
This Department is reputed to be the first of its kind in the UAE and the region. It promotes methods to increase positive thinking amongst the Directorate’s employees to empower them to create a happy and highly productive working environment. It also opens avenues for employees to achieve personal aspirations, as the section also focuses on factors that affect employees’ satisfaction.
Recognising positivity in the workplace
Understanding the importance of recognition and reward in creating a positive culture, a formal initiative was launched to acknowledge those who showed immense positive energy, followed the work deadlines and work ethics, took creative initiatives and contributed to high productivity.
Including positivity in formal training
GDRFA hosts lectures on the effectiveness of positive energy as part of a series on leadership excellence, emphasizing the importance of relationships and communication, and of building positive and close working relationships.
Supporting diversity and empowerment in the workforce
A dedicated Hawa’a committee works to provide women the best environment in which to achieve high performance at work as well as a balance between their jobs and their family commitments. GDRFA also actively support recruitment of people of determination and ensure that the workplace meets their needs and empowers them to perform to the best of their abilities.
Providing quality learning and development opportunities
A dedicated learning and development team ensures the provision of quality training and development opportunities at all levels to leverage the strengths of their employee base. Through the Raeyaa program, GDRFA also creates a pipeline for future recruitment by selecting high-potential students at the school level, providing for their education and training through college as well as for any specialized training.
Promoting social responsibility
GDRFA is keenly aware of its duties to the community it exists within. Many initiatives from spreading cultural awareness to providing potable water to communities around the world have been undertaken by groups of employees.
Promoting employee welfare
GDRFA employees are issued with “Alsaada”, a direct discount card offering them and their families access to a wide range of benefits and services at discounted rates across Dubai. The department also runs regular happiness initiatives for employees with competitions and rewards aimed at motivating and bringing fun into the workplace.
In summary, there is a growing acknowledgement of the impact of positivity on organisational success. In addition to the performance benefits, positive workplaces are critical for attracting and retaining talent, and employees want to work for organisations that have a positive culture, enhance their emotional well-being, and empower them to make a meaningful contribution.
Human resource professionals also play a vital role in the creation of positive work environments by assessing workplace positivity to identify areas for improvement, training leaders in the benefits of positivity, and supporting managers with tools that promote positivity including strengths assessments, strengths-based selection, development opportunities, mentoring and coaching, and wellness programs.