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Healthy Eating at Work



By: Dr. Maha Magdy

Eating at work is one of the problems that many of us face daily and is considered as one of the most common causes of obesity , due to consumption of unhealthy foods packed with” Trans Fats” which cause many health problems.In fact, workers & employees are not alone responsible for healthy eating at work ! it is a co-operate responsibility between the workers and the workplace as the results of healthy eating will benefit them both but in different ways.

Workers will benefit in a direct way through influencing their long term health & wellness, elevating their mood & self-esteem, and reducing anxiety & stress. These benefits will reflect on their work and benefit the workplace in an indirect way! For healthy workers will not load their workplace with additional costs via their medical insurance and will not postpone their work due to their sick leaves or bad mood. Besides, workers with elevated self-esteem will be highly motivated to carry out their work and willing to engage with their colleagues, they will welcome to offer their services to their clients in a successful attitude, reduced anxiety & stress between workers will promote a healthy environment that will retain highly qualified employees.

Healthy eating will also increase the productivity of workers through enhancing the release of “Dopamine” ( a neurotransmitter released in the brain) which increases curiosity, motivation & engagement and will also affect decision making through increased alertness and creativity which enables workers to solve problems and act wisely with their daily challenges.

Eating while negotiating has profitable benefits because eating elevates glucose levels, the main brain food, which enhances complex brain activities, self-control, regulates prejudice and aggressive behavior all these effects will promote a smooth successful negotiating manner and profitable results.

On the other side, let’s discover how junk food and high-fat meals affect workers & employees?

First, these meals require increased digestive effort causing more blood to circulate to the digestive system and less blood reach the brain causing drowsiness.

Second, high-fat meals enhance the release of “Serotonin” (the happiness hormone) resulting in a lack of focus and a fogged brain unable to carry out work efficiently.

What do we mean by healthy meals?

Healthy meals are mixed meals that contain small amounts of healthy fats, along with proteins and complex carbohydrates.

Healthy fats are unsaturated fats like those found in Nuts, Salmon & Tuna (fatty fish), Olive oil, and Avocado.

Proteins should be of good quality as Beef, Poultry, Beans & Legumes, and Whole grains which contain all essential amino acids that the body needs.

Complex carbohydrates are found in starches and fibers like starchy fruits & vegetables, Oatmeal, and whole grain rice and pasta, which don’t cause blood sugar spikes.

The workplace can influence how workers eat through:
1- Providing a safe and clean eating area that enables a healthy eating manner.
2- Providing refrigerators and microwaves.
3- What is offered at cafeterias.
4- Encouraging employees to drink water every 15_20 minutes even if not thirsty.

Nowadays, many companies provide a healthy eating program to their employees in which lots of people brought together to learn how to improve their health at work and at home.

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021



DECODING FUTURE HR: Today’s challenges are tomorrow’s trends and opportunities

Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

The world in 2020 has changed to a ‘new normality’ but what’s that ‘new normality’ everybody talks about? Is it here to stay? How is it affecting us in our daily lives in the different versions of ourselves? As a customer, an entrepreneur, a parent, a friend…a worker…

Our job is a key part of our lives and we are indeed living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and other HR challenges. It has become clear that few organisations are likely to revert to pre-pandemic practices even after a vaccine is found.

Decoding Future HR 2021 is bringing you the ideology of how today’s challenges are becoming tomorrow’s trends and opportunities resulting in HR excellence.

Why you should attend:

  • Learn about the trends and best practices shaping future HR
  • Get valuable insights from expert speakers
  • Share ideas and research to help your organisation reach its goals
  • Understand what do employees want in ‘New Normal’
  • Develop new vision for HRBP and Centre of Expertise
  • Identify, integrate and understand stakeholders to create an intentional employee experience
  • Approaches and elements to leadership development.

Some of our confirmed speakers:

  • Tshepo Yvonne Mosadi , Human Resources Director, The HEINEKEN Company
  • Sarah Tabet, Global HR Director/ D&I Leader | Author for “Inclusion Starts with U”, Schneider Electric
  • Wadah Al Turki, Country Talent Manager KSA and Bahrain, IKEA
  • Lesha Chakraborti, Head of HR – EMEA, Travelex
  • Shaban Butt, Director HR & Administration, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Sajjad Parmar, Head of Rewards – APAC, eBay
  • Katey Howard, VP, Talent Management AMESA, Pepsico
  • Chen Fong Tuan, HR & General Affairs Director, Samsung Electronics
  • Prerna Ajmera, Senior Director, HR Experiences and Solutions, Microsoft
  • Václav Koranda, Vice President Human Resources / Member of the Board of Directors, T-System
  • Amy MacGregor, VP Employee Experience, Global HR, Manulife
  • Adwait Kashalkar, People Analytics and Programme Management Leader, APAC, Mastercard

Click here to view all speakers:

At Wisdom we remain positive that ‘normality’ will soon return and that we will be able to physically meet together once again as speakers, delegates and sponsors at our beautiful venues around the world. But meanwhile, life continues and we need to keep in touch and learn from each other. This 24-hour virtual event will be of great benefit and value to your businesses and its continued development during these challenging times. While this virtual event comes at a lesser cost, it provides for now a wider reach into an international audience, with flexibility of access to content as well as allowing you to have the same opportunity as at a face-to-face session for one-to-one business meetings. We look forward to welcoming you in January.

Date and time: 19-20 January 2021Where: Virtual engaging platform
  Further information and bookings:        Contact:   #WSDM_BI
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Interview with Meiraj Hussain, Head of Corporate Support & Group HR at Al Masaood



Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

“An open and progressive business organizational culture is described as having a healthy work environment where employees feel valued and are recognized as fundamental to the success of an organization” Meiraj Hussain

Brief Biography about the Interviewee:

Meiraj Hussain, Head of Corporate Support and Group HR
Meiraj Hussain joined Al Masaood as Group Head of Human Resources in 2017, bringing over 20 years of professional experience as HR Leader across multiple industries such as Automotive, FMCG, Manufacturing, IT, Services, Real Estate, and Trading. Prior to joining Al Masaood, Meiraj has managed the Human Resources function in both multinational corporations and family-owned businesses across UK, Europe, and the Middle East.
In his current role, Meiraj places great emphasis on talent management, employee-experience, high-performance culture, and leadership excellence development. He is an advocate of building a progressive work culture where trust is the backbone of relationships and creating a workplace wherein employee empowerment and engagement plays a crucial role. Meiraj strongly believes in the digitization of systems and processes, thus, leading to better business results. Moreover, Meiraj has played an extensive role in the Emiratization initiative with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization (MoHRE) to ensure top-tier UAE Nationals are recruited and retained within Al Masaood, consequently resulting Al Masaood to become a proud Platinum Partner with MoHRE.

HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Meiraj welcome to HR Revolution Middle East, we are so happy to make this interview with you. You have extensive experience in different industries such as automotive, FMCG, manufacturing, IT, services, real estate, and trading in both multinational corporations and family-owned businesses across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East. How does HRM differ according to the industry, and also according to the business type (multinational corporations and family-owned businesses)?

Meiraj Hussain: Across industries, Human Resources Management (HRM) is a critical part of business operations that focuses on unleashing the people’s best potentials and building a work culture where employees can truly flourish. From process improvement and employee experience enhancement to talent management and performance, HR professionals, as a success partner and enabler, play a diverse role in any organization regardless of business type.

The difference, however, lies in organizational culture. While multinationals have robust policies and processes in place, local family-owned companies are often more agile and faster in implementing the best practices.

HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Meiraj, I loved so much this statement in your bio: “He is an advocate of building progressive work culture.” How can we build a “progressive work culture?” What advice would you share with other HR professionals about that?

Meiraj Hussain: An open and progressive business organizational culture is described as having a healthy work environment where employees feel valued and are recognized as fundamental to the success of an organization. All workers have so much to offer and contribute, but, oftentimes, they are constrained by internal dynamics, poor leadership, and weak policies designed to create “carbon copies” instead of celebrating and unleashing individual ideas and potentials. Another equally important feature of progressive work culture is employee engagement. As humans, we can easily lose our motivation, which translates to poor performance and low productivity in the workplace. In such a case, HR professionals can steer the employees back to the path of motivation and engagement by taking quick and corrective actions that effectively address employee sentiments and issues.

HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Digital disruption is one of the most important challenges facing organizations nowadays. To what extent shall organizations shift to the digitization of work processes? How would this lead to better business results? What considerations shall they take in this transformation process?

Meiraj Hussain: At this age and time, digitalization is considered a business enabler. It is for this reason that businesses should consider transforming through automation their time-consuming and mundane processes. By freeing their employees from doing repetitive tasks, they can shift their attention to business-critical tasks such as in the areas enhancing customer experience and driving revenue. For the HR department, the staff can focus their time on core areas of performance, leadership, employee development and people support.

HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Employee engagement is always an important topic among HR leaders worldwide. Would you share with us how Al Masaood can use its strategy as a tool to empower the employees and engage them in its success journey?

Meiraj Hussain: Communication is the backbone of employee empowerment and engagement. As such, we consider it important to know the sentiments of our employees so that the management can act and address them accordingly. We measure employee sentiments through surveys regularly conducted at the business unit and corporate support levels. Additionally, through the joint efforts of the HR department and the Marketing and Communications office, Al Masaood’s strategy, organizational viewpoints and milestones, and challenges are communicated to the employees across departments to provide clarity about their role and impact on the organization’s success under the guidance of their respective managers and leaders.

HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Meiraj, you played an extensive role in the Emiratization initiative of the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization (MOHRE). Can you walk us through the Emiratization initiatives Al Masaood has recently taken?

Meiraj Hussain: In response to the directives of the country’s wise leaders and as per the decision of its Board of Directors, Al Masaood has fully expressed its strong support for the Emiratization initiative. More and more Emiratis continue to join our employees of different nationalities. Al Masaood’s Emiratisation program comprises four main pillars: the Internship program, the Functional Training program, the Scholarship Program, and Job opportunities; which all aim to enhance the skills of university students, fresh graduates, and experienced Emiratis, and equip them with the required competencies across business units and corporate support departments. Our Emiratization journey has begun two years ago, starting with offering UAE nationals internship opportunities and training programs. We have also ramped up our recruitment drives in universities as well as formed partnerships with vocational institutes such as Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute (ADVETI) to advance the employment of Emirati youth. The UAE Government’s measure to close the salary gap between the public and private sectors is a major boost to our Emiratization efforts as well. In recognition of the intensified Emiratization initiatives across the Al Masaood Group, we have achieved the Platinum Partner status given by the MoHRE. Rest assured that we will continue to recruit local talents, invest in their skills development, and provide them with opportunities for growth in a progressive and fast-paced work environment.

HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Meiraj, you wrote a series of very interesting articles, posted on your LinkedIn profile. One of the controversial articles you wrote is “The Inglorious 6 – HR Types to Avoid.” What made you write this article? What important traits shall HR professionals have, on the contrary, from your point of view?

Meiraj Hussain: “The Inglorious- 6” article went viral and I received comments and feedback from global HR thought leaders. The article uses humor to identify some of the common pitfalls HR leaders should avoid.

HR, as a profession, is going through an identity crisis and, unfortunately, many professionals may not make it through in the course of this transformation. HR is an art and it’s understood through practice; HR is learned through doing and mentorship. Further, there is an unclaimed territory in organizations that other corporate support functions are not addressing. This territory can be claimed by HR.

But the biggest enemy facing HR today is mediocrity. It could be mediocrity of people, leadership or processes, which, in turn, leads to the mediocrity of performance and business results. Leaders need to determine the high standards that their respective organizations should adhere to for them to compete successfully in their markets. This is because consumers are now less and less forgiving of companies that deliver average value in terms of experience and engagement.

HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Finally, what should be the focus of HR initiatives in organizations nowadays?

Meiraj Hussain: HR initiatives should be in sync with the company’s overall growth strategy. Once this is clear, the implementation plan can be developed. The initiatives can cover talent and leadership; training and development; processes and technology; performance; culture; and talent acquisition and management, among others. The major consideration in executing these initiatives is to identify how they support the leadership in its efforts to attain the vision of the organization. It is important to note as well that HR acts as the voice of reason with leaders. It should be able to challenge management decisions and resolve conflict for the good of all. Moreover, HR is the voice against the hidden enemy of mediocrity.

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Interview with Jorge (J.D) Nomdedeu, Director of International Business Development and Partnerships at HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®).



“We know the value of HRCI certification programs, and we know that listening, observing, and adjusting is how we can remain relevant in very different markets while continuing to explore ways to expand in others.”Jorge (J.D) Nomdedeu

Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

Brief Biography about the Interviewee:

Jorge (J.D) Nomdedeu is Director of International Business Development and Partnerships at HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). During the almost four years tenure, J.D. has connected with numerous HR associations, academic institutions and government agencies world-wide to expand the reach of HRCI professional certifications.

J.D. has lived in Washington, D.C. for over ten years working in international relations for several nonprofit organizations. J.D. was born in Spain and educated in the United States. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from North Carolina State University and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of the District of Columbia. He is also HRCI-certified with an Associate Professional in Human Resources – International™ (aPHRi™).

1.HR Revolution Middle East: Mr. Jorge, welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to make this interview with you.

From your perspective as an International Relations Professional, how do you see the value of professional certifications in equalizing talents capabilities across borders, and thus creating an international language for professionals from different countries?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

The concept of professional certifications is something that most countries and cultures understand and value when it comes to practicing certain jobs. Some professions are highly impacted by national or regional legislations driving the daily practice. It makes sense in those circumstances for national certifications to emerge and guide best practices and expectations. But in a globalized world, the only way to have the same type of impact is to rely on international certifications that harmonize practices, identify universal best practices and benchmark the minimum requirements to operate across borders with a unifying approach and technical language, no matter what the local legislation is. To that effect, HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) embraces that role as a global certification body and cultivates its certification programs keeping in mind the international reach of its standards for the HR profession.

2- HR Revolution Middle-East: Can this have an impact on the Global Economy?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

Without a doubt. While countries might have political disputes and different points of view due to their own power aspirations, people and businesses will continue to interact with citizens and organizations worldwide out of a need for products, services, and information they simply cannot access in their home countries. Globalization is here to stay, and it is in everyone´s interest to figure out what are the best ways to work with other countries and cultures in a constructive and respectful way. HRCI Certifications that have global recognition in professional fields like program management, accounting, or HR are intrinsically connected to the global economy. Multinational corporations recruit talent in markets where professional standards are at par with their corporate expectations.

3- HR Revolution Middle-East: As the HRCI Director of International Business Development & Partnerships; can you share with us what kind of partnerships does the HRCI seeks to make in order to reinforce its presence and services all over the world?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

When HRCI was created over 45 years ago in the United States, the first certifications created defined the HR profession creating a benchmark and a career path for HR practitioners. For a few years now, we have seen how some emerging economies and some countries transitioning their workforce to international standards to compete in the global economy are finding HRCI certifications as the perfect match to lay the foundations of the HR profession. As a result, HRCI is in contact with government agencies dedicated to professional development, national HR associations, higher academic institutions, and professional training institutions. In some cases, we establish strategic alliances that help countries elevate the profession by establishing certification programs following the HRCI standards, and in some cases, we create partnerships with organizations that facilitate the preparation and training for the HRCI certification exams.

4- HR Revolution Middle-East: To what extent do you believe that the International Scientific Institutions play a role in shaping the future of work?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

Now more than ever, we live in the world of data. Everyone is collecting and making decisions based on data. Data analytics is the skill that every organization wants employees to be versed in. HR is no different, and in fact, it might be one of the most important areas influencing the work of tomorrow. Concepts like productivity, ROI in professional development, or talent management and professional evaluations are tracking results and using the methodologies founded on data and analytical research. Someone must look at all those concepts, study the trends, and separate what is temporary or insignificant from what is impactful to society. The pandemic is one of the best examples. Nothing we do right now is normal. Some newly acquired habits are here to stay post-pandemic. While some of these new practices will be adopted by people and organizations in a natural way, other decisions will be made by governments through legislation. Such norms must be based on the research, analysis, and recommendations of institutions that track the everchanging evolution of human interaction and the way our societies operate. 

5- HR Revolution Middle East: What impact do you believe would on-line education have on the Global Economy? Can this change the future of work as well?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

Indeed online education is probably the largest, most impactful change we are going to see in the upcoming years. In 2020, there was an exponential growth in learning out of a need to replace in-person learning at all levels. I have witnessed how cultures and countries where online education was not widely accepted, and are now fully adapting and operating using remote education. We are lucky that technology is at a level that allows virtual education in multiple ways at a fraction of the cost. We have been forced to try and perfect online interaction and information sharing through conference calls, virtual events, and learning management systems. Some of them will continue being as relevant because we have lost the skepticism of the new way of doing things, but others will be back to the way we used to know. However, online education has allowed opening the doors to people who had never been able to afford education or have a medium to learn and improve themselves. In addition, a whole generation is now used to getting their information through online interaction. They don’t need a live, in-person instructor, they can absorb the information on their own and still be able to interact with a subject matter expert to bounce ideas and evaluate the learning objectives. Still, online learning is not for everyone. At least not in the way that is currently offered, which is why I expect we will continue to see new ways of remote education. Virtual reality might be one of the most recent ones, but it will certainly not be the last.

6- HR Revolution Middle-East: As a role model for other businesses; how does the HRCI tailor the business development approach to suit different markets all over the world?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

Above all agility, respect, and understanding for the needs, cultures, and realities experienced in countries across the globe know we build exceptional products. We know the value of HRCI certification programs, and we know that listening, observing, and adjusting is how we can remain relevant in very different markets while continuing to explore ways to expand in others. The concept of globalization is one that drives every decision at HRCI. We know that improvement is a road traveled through flexibility and fine-tuning.

Our wide portfolio of educational offerings cater to the needs of individuals who want to advance their career assist with their employees’ professional development defines the future of people management. We like to say that people and organizations perform better because of HRCI. I think every country can benefit from our certifications and learning catalog.

7- HR Revolution Middle-East: Can you share with us if the HRCI might consider holding International HR conferences in the coming period, as part of its role in developing HR professionals worldwide?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

HRCI has never hosted an international conference. Our focus is dedicated to the development of certification programs and expanding our learning catalog. Most of our resources are allocated to support the development and maintenance of HR professional programs that are affordable and accessible to HR practitioners worldwide.

Historically, HRCI has been present in conferences with the opportunity to serve or expand our HRCI community. We recognize the value of networking, live interaction and training workshops that take place at traditional conferences, but we don’t want to simply add yet another conference to the already crowded conference tour. We like to offer something meaningful, that makes sense, serves a purpose and supports the needs of our HRCI certification holders.

Recently, we have partnered with organizations that have more experience hosting events as a way to provide the HRCI global community with the possibility to earn free recertification credits and maintain their HRCI credentials. Due to the pandemic, and following the model of bitesize learning that has become the preferred way of professional development, we began online events covering a specific topic that HRCI refers to as micro-summits.

The intention is to offer free access worldwide to quality learning opportunities delivered by subject matter experts that go beyond our weekly Alchemizing HR webinar series. Our community should expect more additional half-day events covering current topics of international relevance affecting the HR profession in 2021.

The global community can look forward to HRCI participating as a partner in the Hacking HR’s 2021 Global Online Conference taking place March 8 – 12, 2021 with the theme HR Innovation and Future of Work where attendees can potentially earn recertification credits through attending multiple online sessions.


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