Top 25 Best Workplaces in Asia: Panda
Headquarters: Saudi Arabia, CEO: Muwaffaq Jamal, No. of employees: 19,000
Azizia Panda United (APU) is a part of the Savola Group and is considered as one of the largest Saudi joint-stock companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. APU operates and manages over 260 supermarkets and hypermarkets within and outside Saudi Arabia. It has a large workforce reaching over 19,000 employees. Within its stores, APU also exclusively sells Panda products. These products have quickly gained success and became one of the leading choices available to customers due to their high quality and competitive prices.
The Panda Way establishes building the culture of ‘Caring’ as a top priority for all leaders. With this, Panda has managed to build a healthy working environment with good working relations. The company has an open-door policy with transparent communication and seeks to listen to employees.
The company runs the Employee Engagement Survey on an annual basis. Feedback is acquired from employees on different elements related to work environment, career advancement, employee relations etc. Results and feedback are analyzed and initiatives planned to improve areas that need attention. Panda runs a recognition program called Panda Stars and awards are given to the best performer in each department on a monthly basis. This was initiated on the basis of feedback that the company received from their employees who felt the need for more recognition of good performers.
Haney Kandil, HR Development Director at Panda, says, “We always treat people as the most important asset and consider their needs and requirements. This has an impact on their satisfaction, engagement and loyalty to the company, which is directly related to the performance. Also, we are the first retailer in the kingdom to provide the 5-day work week, voluntarily ahead of the government applying this policy. We have numerous other activities that we conduct such as teambuilding events, events in employee compounds, and events at the corporate level where employees have a chance to spend time together in an informal, open and fun event. Some of our events include families to engage them such as wife and kids day.”