Region’s first HR Excellence Awards presented at the second Middle East HR Summit

Published September 20th, 2005 - 11:51 GMT

The region’s first HR Excellence Awards were presented yesterday, (Monday, September 19, 2005) at the second annual Middle East HR Summit organised by the International Institute for Research (IIR) Middle East. At a glittering awards ceremony held at the Le Meridien Airport Hotel, Dubai, Thomas Bartridge was named ‘HR Professional of the Year’ while Mustafa Sayer Al Hosani and Fareed Al Sayad were recognised for their ‘Outstanding Contribution to HR’.

The inaugural HR awards has further contributed to the success of The Middle East HR Summit this year, which had a highly impressive speaker line-up and attracted HR professionals from around the world.

“The HR Excellence Awards is more than a recognition of individual excellence, it is an acknowledgment of the region’s contribution to the growth, development and maturity of the entire HR industry,” said Jackie Wilks, Conference Director, IIR Middle East. “This summit showcased the best HR talent in the region and the awards are given to individuals who have been instrumental in influencing HR processes and helped in the development of strategies and HR policies.”

Thomas Bartridge, winner of the ‘HR Professional of the Year’ award is a Team Leader at Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd. (GASCO) and has led the organisational change effort in the company that focused on preparing GASCO for current and future challenges. To enhance the company’s transparency, Bartridge developed an Annual Employee Survey that was used to improve company performance and employee commitment. Following the feedback received from the survey, numerous HR changes were introduced in the company, such as developing a new appraisal system, which increased staff satisfaction and motivation. Besides being a major contributor to the development of UAE Nationals in GASCO, Bartridge has been a regular speaker at HR conferences and has published several articles on human resources.

Mustafa Sayer Al Hosani, who won the ‘Outstanding Contribution to HR’ award along with Fareed Al Sayad, works as an HR Advisor at Zakum Development Company (ZADCO). His most significant achievement was developing and introducing a set of performance based reward strategies in support of ZADCO’s move to become a Performance Driven Organisation (PDO). The major innovation was the introduction of a grade and salary system for professional staff based solely on the achievement of defined levels of competency using ladders, covering both technical and non-technical competencies, totally replacing a previous job evaluation system. As it covers the salary and grade progression from new graduates to senior professionals, it has been a major contributor to the success of the company's Emiratisation process.

Fareed Al Sayad is the General Manager, Human Resources Management Department at SAGIA, Saudi Arabia. An industrial engineer by profession, Al Sayad has over 20 years of experience in various senior HR roles. During his stint with the Islamic Development Bank, he transformed the HR department of the bank from a personnel function to an HR function that focused on equity and fairness in dealing with staff issues. He also led the HR automation team that designed an integrated HR system consisting of 18 modules.

The award nominees for both categories were judged by a panel of HR professionals and business leaders, selected by IIR Middle East. Judges included Sultan Al-Hajji (Deputy General Manager, Total Abu Al Bukhoosh, UAE), Nanette Fairley (Managing Director, Innovative HR Solutions, UAE), Charles Wilson (Proprietor, The Consultancy, UK) and Judith Chalk (Editor, Human Assets Middle East).

The HR Summit opened with a day-long session by the world-renowned management guru Tom Peters, who enlightened the audience with his latest theory, ‘Re-imagine! The Power Of People.’ The following days witnessed a line-up of expert speakers including Charles Wilson, Brian Urwin, Sultan Al Hajji, Lucy Lewin, Dr. Mohammed Moustafa Mahmood, Declan Ball, Marwan Al Sawaleh, Andy Finch, Karen Oliver, Tom Young, Mohamed Aljishi, Dr. Jeremy Williams among others.

The Summit was held under the patronage of Tanmia, the central body in charge of managing the Emiratisation process in the UAE. Marwan Al Sawaleh, Acting Director General, Tanmia, in his speech said, “We need to have an in-depth understanding of challenges faced by HR professionals and managers in solving human resource related issues. Human resource management and development are essential elements in the modern corporate scenario. Organisations have to view every human resource expenditure as an investment that will pay rich dividends on the long run.”

“IIR is extremely pleased with the success of the second Middle East HR Summit which, as expected served as a platform for the region’s HR professionals to discuss and debate developments and trends in the human resources sector, and gave participants a deeper understanding of the best practices in HR. Further, the first HR Excellence awards have helped in extending the scope and popularity of the event and we are certain that the region’s HR professionals have gained tremendously from their interaction with the most influential speakers and industry experts in the field,” concluded Wilks.


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