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Employee talent and diversity

We are working to make sure that our people are developed, valued, and included every day.

Almarai onboarded 12 female employees in the HSS committee, this aligns with our focus on talent development and gender equality.

Our approach

Almarai offers one of the largest work environments in the Middle East, with more than 46,233 employees working in its various sectors. We understand the pivotal role our employees play in our success, and thus, we are dedicated to attracting, nurturing, and retaining a diverse and motivated workforce. Our aim is to cultivate a positive work environment where everyone contributes to our growth, and where our values shape both work and life within the company. We have cultivated an internal culture focused on employee development and advancement, supported by a robust system of continuous feedback aimed at enhancing our working environment. We are committed to providing our employees with favorable working conditions, ensuring their rights are upheld, and granting access to top-tier training and development opportunities to help them achieve their full potential. Additionally, we offer a comprehensive range of benefits and rewards to recognize and appreciate their hard work and dedication.

Almarai has a comprehensive Training Policy that covers all aspects of training. This includes training needs assessment, training plan, training delivery, training evaluation, and new employee induction. It also covers education assistance for employees, study leave, and summer and co-op trainee programs. Almarai uses a structured and systematic Talent Management Program to identify and develop employees to fill critical business roles within the organization. Succession Planning has been established for the top N-1 level (direct reports of CEO) and is ongoing, the process has been extended to business-critical positions two levels down from the CEO. In 2023, Almarai successfully completed the calibration of its entire talent pool of 1,650 managers covering all management grades across the company.

Established in 2014, the Almarai Academy was created with the goal of offering leadership development opportunities across all management tiers. Collaborating with both local and global training providers, the Almarai Academy ensures that its employees benefit from top-notch leadership development programs. As part of its commitment to strengthen its internal culture, the company introduced the 'WE@Almarai' initiative, aligning with Almarai's core values ASPIRE (Adaptable, Sharing, Passionate, Innovative, Respect, Excellence). This initiative aims to nurture a culture grounded in collaboration, respect, innovation, and excellence. Furthermore, the Almarai Academy empowers its employees to take charge of their personal development journey and strive for continuous improvement. It serves as a platform for employees to exchange ideas and insights, contributing to their professional growth. The Academy is guided by the following values:

  • WE Evolve: marks all initiatives that signify individual and team growth and progress within Almarai’s culture
  • WE Care: involves all employee-centered activities and initiatives
  • WE Empower: involves showcasing any learning activity, employee training, and charitable initiatives that help drive our people and Almarai forward
  • WE Celebrate: signifies all celebratory events within and outside of Almarai

Keeping employees engaged, motivated, and satisfied

As a prominent dairy and food company, our goal is to become an employer of choice. To achieve this, we have established a competitive reward system designed to align with our broader business strategy, aimed at attracting, retaining, and motivating our employees to deliver exceptional performance. Almarai offers a wide range of initiatives to foster a flexible work culture that promotes productivity, a healthy work-life balance, employee retention, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. These initiatives include various recognition and reward programs such as the Annual Service award and special day celebrations like National Day, as well as social outings, health and wellness activities such as discounted gym memberships and in-house events, training and e-learning opportunities, leadership programs like our Future Leaders program, employee satisfaction surveys, access to our mobile app e-connect for company news and special employee discounts, opportunities to contribute to society through blood donation events and micro home-based businesses in collaboration with the Saudi Human Resources Development Fund, recreational facilities at our plants for sports and relaxation, and personalized appreciation emails to all employees. These initiatives are all focused towards ensuring that Almarai remains an exceptional workplace where our employees feel supported, valued, and appreciated.

2023 Performance and Initiatives

Our global diversity and inclusion efforts aim to lay the groundwork for local initiatives, with a clear focus at the Group level on strengthen gender diversity and preparing for the upcoming generation of talent. Prioritizing inclusion as a key human resource objective, our strategy seeks to achieve gender equality in alignment with the broader goals of Vision 2030. We focus on achieving gender equality across various operational roles and on attracting and nurturing talent at the early stages of their careers. Action plans are crafted to address recruitment and retention, pay equity, non-discrimination, and other measures to foster an inclusive workplace environment. To this end, Almarai has implemented various initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion, including a comprehensive training program, mentoring, and coaching opportunities, and flexible working environment. We are committed to cultivating a safe and respectful workplace culture, where all employees are treated with dignity and fairness, and have equal access to opportunities and resources.

Dedicated to fostering continuous learning among our workforce, we have continued the transition of key training programs from in-person to online platforms, enhancing accessibility for all. Our e-learning platforms, available to employees at all levels, have maintained high levels of engagement, with a significant number of employees participating in training sessions. Despite this shift, the total number of trained employees remains substantial. Empowering employees to learn and develop skills at their own convenience and pace enables them to take ownership of their professional growth and become more actively engaged in the learning process. Moving forward, we are committed to providing our employees with top notch learning resources and technology, along with the necessary support for their professional development. Furthermore, we will explore innovative approaches to leverage technology, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, to create immersive and captivating learning experiences.

Digitalization plays an important role in our strategy to build a more efficient and resilient business. We have been supporting our employees through our mobile application, which serves to close communication gaps and promote our 'We@Almarai' initiatives, particularly for our remote workforce throughout the GCC region. Additionally, we have utilized SMS and WhatsApp messages to communicate with our employees, particularly for advancing internal initiatives and disseminating information such as the promotion of Covid-19 vaccinations through our health program. The 'We@Almarai' program continues to shine and serve as a voice for our employees, advocating for innovative and dynamic initiatives.

Continuing to prioritize individual development plans, Almarai recognizes their crucial role in career advancement, focusing on tailored pathways for training, career growth, and feedback. In addition to the initiatives, we have introduced several professional development programs such as the Dairy and Food Polytechnic and Almarai Academy, underscoring our commitment to investing in human capital by supporting education, training, and skill development. These programs aim to equip employees with the necessary competencies to thrive and progress in their careers. They provide a secure and nurturing environment for employees to enhance their skills, fostering confidence and effectiveness in their roles. Moreover, these plans facilitate employees in gaining insights into their strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to identify areas for improvement and refine their skill sets accordingly.

Our Human Rights Policy, published in 2022, outlines our expectations and standards applicable in every country where the Group operates. We are fully committed to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and have implemented strong due diligence, remediation measures and regular engagement with stakeholders at local and global levels. We are dedicated to respecting fundamental human rights, such as freedom, education, and health.

Our highlight stories

Reduced employee voluntary turnover

At Almarai, we understand that our employees are integral to our strength, and we are dedicated to attracting, nurturing, and retaining a motivated and diverse workforce. Our goal is to cultivate a positive work environment where everyone contributes to our growth, and where the values of the company define both work and life within the organization. Almarai offers a variety of activities aimed at fostering a flexible work culture that promotes productivity, encourages a healthy work-life balance, supports employee retention, and provides opportunities for personal and professional growth. Our voluntary employee turnover during the year 2023 was 10.2%.

Revised goal for gender equality

The Almarai 2021 Sustainability Report outlined modification of one of our targets from increasing number of female employees to ensuring gender equality in our workforce, with focus on talent development, capabilities building, and equal opportunities. We are working aggressively in alignment with the Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program to promote gender equality in all of our businesses and functions.

Progress on our strategic goals and targets

  • Achieved
  • On-track
  • Some progress
  • Limited progress
Goal/Target Progress
Ensure gender equality in our workforce, with focus on talent development, capabilities building, and opportunities
Reduce voluntary employee turnover to achieve an average of 12% over the period 2020-2024
90% of managers engage in at least 40 hours of professional development per year by 2025
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