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Company culture key to unlocking employee potential: Survey

RIYADH — New research from Accenture has identified 40 workplace factors that create a culture of equality — including 14 factors that matter the most. The research, published today in the company’s “Getting to Equal 2018” report, details the most-effective actions that business leaders can take to accelerate advancement and help close the gender pay gap.

The research is based on a survey of more than 22,000 working men and women in 34 countries — including 700 male and female employees in Saudi Arabia — to measure their perception of factors that contribute to their workplace cultures. The survey was supplemented with in-depth interviews and a detailed analysis of published data on a range of workforce issues.

“Our research has found that companies that exhibit positive workplace cultures, policies and programs support talented employees across the gender spectrum. Helping women, essentially, helps men too,” said Omar Boulos, regional managing director of Accenture in the Middle East and Turkey. “With Saudi Arabia poised to undergo tremendous transformation under the leadership’s Vision 2030 plans, building the capacity of talented Saudis will help realize the Kingdom’s ambitious goals in each and every industry.”

Companies that exhibit the 40 factors are most likely to empower talent, irrespective of gender. In Saudi Arabia, about 72 percent of employees in these organizations have training available on demand, with 90 percent indicating that these programs keep skills relevant.

Accenture’s research found that in Saudi-based companies where the 40 factors are most common, employees have higher job satisfaction and are actively looking towards building their careers:

• 95 percent of employees are satisfied with their career progression

• Almost all employees (98 percent) aspire to get promoted or rise to senior leadership positions

While both women and men advance in companies in which the 40 factors are common, women have the most to gain. For Saudi women, Accenture research found that:

• Fast-track women, a group that progresses to manager level within five years of employment, are more likely to progress in their careers in organizations with at least one female senior leader

• Diversity targets help women, with 57 percent of the survey respondents indicating that policies driven by leaders who are held accountable for improving diversity have led to an increase in female leadership within the last 5 years

Setting clear diversity targets, the research found, is a crucial step for leaders who want to strengthen their cultures.

The report, which builds on Accenture’s 2017 research on how digital fluency and technology can close the gender gap in the workplace, grouped the 14 core factors proven to influence advancement into three categories of bold leadership, comprehensive action and an empowering environment. — SG

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