Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator operating across the Middle East and Africa is proud to announce its categorization as the region’s highest ranked telecom group and only company from Kuwait in Forbes magazine’s The World’s Best Employers list for 2020. The list also saw Zain ranked fourth best employer across all industries in the Middle East.
First published in 1917, the world-renowned American business magazine, Forbes, is one of the most reputable and respected names in business publishing globally, and Zain’s inclusion in its list of best employers for 2020 underpins the Middle East company’s professionalism on a global level.
With respect to the compilation of the list, Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to compile its fourth-annual summary of The World’s Best Employers. The publication surveyed 160,000 full-time and part-time workers from 58 countries working for businesses with operations in multiple countries or regions. Surveys were conducted on a rolling basis from June 2019 to July 2020, and participants were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family. They were also asked to rate their satisfaction with their employers’ COVID-19 responses and score their employers on image, economic footprint, talent development, gender equality and corporate sustainability. The final list is composed of 750 multinational and large corporations headquartered in 45 countries.
Embedding sustainability and meaningful connectivity in every aspect of its business, Zain is dedicated to its digital strategy of consistently working towards developing the mobile telecommunications ecosystem centered on a vision of inclusive development that leads to socio-economic growth, aligning to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind.
Commenting on Zain’s inclusion in Forbes’ The World’s Best Employers list for 2020, Zain Vice-Chairman and Group CEO, Bader Al-Kharafi said, “The emergence of Zain as the leading regional Telecom Group and only Kuwaiti company categorized in this prestigious list, highlights the institutional excellence of Zain’s executive management in providing a working environment that offers the optimum atmosphere for employees to give their best and delight our customers. This recognition and success that also saw Zain ranked 4th best employer across all industries in the region, indicates and rewards the dedication of all the talented 7,000 Zainers that are passionate in everything they do.”
Al-Kharafi continued, “With the advent of COVID-19, Zain’s strategic agility, concern for the well-being of its staff, pedigree of innovation, and sense of responsibility to continue providing quality services to its customers despite challenging circumstances, has guided the company to remaining resilient despite the new operating norms. I am proud to see how the entire company has rallied around these difficult circumstances and continued to operate at an extremely high level. We shall endeavor to maintain this positive momentum and ensure the company remains a magnet for the best talent in the world to be attracted to and nurtured.”
Zain’s inclusion in Forbes’ exclusive list is a culmination of years of prioritizing staff well-being and ongoing investment in staff development that extends to activities such as Zain’s agreement with LinkedIn and other leading talent resources and agencies to enhance the company’s strategy to attract, recruit and retain the best talent globally.
The motivation of employees within Zain is driven by the company’s digital strategy of investing in 4G, 5G and FTTH networks to offer more innovative customer focused and B2B services to government, business, IoT, and smart city sectors, bolstering the digital economy. Moreover, the Group API platform continues to grow exponentially, offering rich entertainment content and gaming, with Zain making substantial progress in various fintech and e-health services. These initiatives provide employees with a greater sense of purpose and work satisfaction.
Zain’s Diversity and Inclusion program has proven extremely successful in further motivating employees given it is one of the most progressive of any entity in the region, with initiatives focusing on Gender Diversity (WE); aiming to become Disability Inclusive by 2022 (WE ABLE); becoming a signatory to the International Labor Organization (ILO) Global Business and Disability Network Charter; Reverse Mentoring; and our Generation Z graduate program (ZY). Zain’s internal innovation program (ZAINIAC) and other initiatives have all become central to the company’s development as an organization, with the overwhelming success of these initiatives seeing all operations immediately enjoy direct benefits.
In July 2020, Zain was included in The Valuable 500, an initiative striving to place disability on the leadership agenda within corporates across the globe. The initiative aims to unite 500 business leaders to serve as role models and ignite social change by shining the light on people living with disabilities and showcasing how people in these communities remain a significant and contributing sector of society. Zain was the first corporation from the GCC to join the program along with 285 other leading global corporates including Coca-Cola European Partners, Citi Group, Microsoft, Virgin, and Shell.
Separately to employee-oriented activities, Zain was also one of the first companies to take a pro-active approach to COVID-19, cooperating with government authorities, circulating internal and external communications across its social and print media, email, SMS and contact centers requesting all employees in the country to work remotely early on. Zain personnel were quickly provided with the necessary tools and resources to effectively work from home, including secure connections to the company’s virtual private network, and encouragement to use specific work systems ensuring operational efficiency and business continuity.
From a customer support perspective during the pandemic, Zain redesigned direct and indirect sales channels to ensure availability of devices and lines while reducing human contact with employees; doubled systems and staff capabilities to support online sales; and introduced innovative measures such as mobile branches for door-to-door delivery and arrangements with delivery platforms to sell SIM cards. Zain has consistently provided safety instructions and requirements for market-facing employees in branches, for example, in parallel to a program to boost its online and digital engagement with customers to reduce in-person interaction. Despite the disruption brought about by the pandemic, Zain has continued to pay its employees full salaries , across all its operations, firmly believing that its people are the company’s greatest single differentiator, and as such, the organization takes pride in the ongoing efforts to develop, support and uplift employees in every facet of their roles and lives.