The grand ceremony saw hundreds of colleagues, families and friends cheering the winners on as HH Sheikh Ahmed presented them with the coveted Najm Chairman’s Award trophies. All winners also receive a monetary award.
Remarking on the exceptional employees who received one of the highest accolades in the organisation, HH Sheikh Ahmed said: “Across the Group last year we continued to grow our operations, business footprint, and improve our product offering. These milestones are important markers of business achievement, what’s equally if not more important, is our people at every level who make our plans and goals a reality through their dedication and talent. Day in and day out, our employees are making a difference for our customers, for their colleagues, and for our business. Today we are proud to celebrate the most outstanding employees and their contributions in the past year to the Group’s reputation and success.”
Najm, which means ‘star’ in Arabic, is the Group’s reward system that acknowledges employees all year round for their excellence, commitment and innovation in what they do. This year, the Emirates Group recognised over 10,000 achievements by its employees throughout this financial year.
The ‘Najm Chairman’s Award’, however, is the highest tier that employees can achieve through a rigorous selection process voted by department heads and senior management. Since 2008, over 60 awards have been given out to the brightest stars of the company at a ceremony that takes place every January.
Stories of Excellence
The Najm Chairman’s Award 2015/2016 winners were recognised for a range of outstanding achievements - saving lives, dedicating their time to create innovative solutions for the business, circumventing a serious incident, demonstrating professionalism in utmost adversity, and delivering service excellence.
Zeeshan Haris, Maxie Kari, and Shabbir Ahmed Yusuf are Najm Chairman’s Award winners from Emirates SkyCargo who developed the “White Container” to protect cool chain shipments from the UAE’s scorching sun. The container’s thermal insulators stop cargo from overheating when sitting on the tarmac. Special trays inside the container hold dry ice, which can be replenished without affecting the shipment. The winning team carried out two years of intensive research and trials. The successful innovation makes Emirates SkyCargo the only cargo operator in the world to offer this unique solution.
Supreet Singh, Safaa Khanfar, Ali Choker, Sathish Jeyakumar from Emirates Group IT were recognised in the Najm Chairman’s Award for developing a smart baggage tag. The smart baggage tag notifies passengers when their baggage arrives on the baggage carousel. Customers can use Bluetooth technology to send their updated contact details to be displayed on the tag. This innovation allows airport agents to track baggage and identify bags that require offloading. This environmentally-friendly approach will eventually save the airline from using fewer paper tags. The prototype developed by this team among the firsts in the industry. It was successfully tested in four major airports during production, with tag reading rates increasing from 85% to a whopping 98%.
Craig Cole and Peter Miller from Alpha Flight Catering (part of dnata Australia) received the Najm Chairman’s Award for their commitment to saving their colleague’s life. When they discovered that their colleague passed out on the floor during a shift, Craig and Peter managed to keep calm and acted sensibly in a life-threatening situation. They set up a defibrillator and took turns at performing CPR while waiting for the emergency services to arrive, and eventually saved their colleague’s life.