DAMAC staffers receive “Welcome Back” kits after Covid-19 recovery

Sun, 14 Mar, 2021
  • Staffers also receive personal phone calls from HR extending support during their illness
  • Employees express gratitude to be part of a company that cares about their health and well-being
  • DAMAC successfully concluded its Covid-19 vaccination drive in March, immunising just under 2,000 employees and their spouses

For Anastasiia Solodovnyk, Manager - Online Marketing, it was one of the most unpleasant experiences of her life. When she tested positive for Covid-19 in February, she not only lost her taste and smell, but she could barely lift herself out of bed. 

“I spent weeks in agony, from high fever, relentless coughing, to difficulty breathing,” she said. 

“Sure, the virus itself is brutal, but the loneliness is equally brutal. I live alone with no family here in Dubai. I felt so disconnected from the world,” Anastasiia added.

But one day she received a call from DAMAC Assistant Vice President of HR, Leena K.

“At first, I thought the call was about something work-related, given that my illness had made me miss many days of work. Instead, she asked me: ‘Ana, how are you? I heard you are very ill, is there anything you need or is there anything we can do for you?’”.

Anastasiia continued: “It honestly was so touching and uplifting to hear from her and to feel that I work in a company that cares about me, not simply as an employee, but as a human being.”

On top of the personal phone calls, Leena led the HR team to organise “Welcome Back” gift bags for all employees who returned to work after they recovered from Covid-19.

Inside the bag was a card, that said “So glad you’re back. We missed you!”, a box of Patchi chocolates and a coffee mug labeled "I’m back!”.

On his part, Nilmani Gautam, Vice President – Investments and Acquisitions said: "The personal call from HR and the welcome back gift bag really lifted my spirits while I was battling Covid-19 for weeks. It was a warm and caring gesture that made me feel like I belong to a family more so than a company."

“I know it's just a small gesture, but we wanted them to know that they were missed while they were gone. I believe such tokens of appreciation make for happy and productive employees who want to give back to the company,” Leena said.

The idea came to Leena when she heard stories of employees who live in Dubai alone, without family, and were battling Covid-19.

“I couldn’t fathom how dreadful and lonely the experience must have been for them, and one day I just picked up the phone and personally called a few employees,” she said.

Since then, she has made it a habit to call employees because of the positive response and impact that it has on their recovery.

“They know that when they beat the virus, they will come back to a job where their absence and value was felt,” Leena said. 

Earlier this month DAMAC successfully concluded its staff vaccination drive against Covid-19 as employees and their spouses were administered their second jab of the Sinopharm vaccine at the DAMAC Executive Heights headquarters.

Under the slogan, “Don’t get the virus. Get the vaccine” the company launched the vaccination drive in January, urging its employees to protect themselves, their co-workers, families and fellow citizens from the virus. DAMAC vaccinated just under 2,000 people across the company and its subsidiaries, as well as the spouses of staff members.

The drive was kicked off by DAMAC Chairman Hussain Sajwani, who received the vaccine in January and, in an open letter, encouraged company staff to do the same.