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Creating a high-performance culture with rewards and recognition


What would you recommend implementing to the companies to ensure the physical and mental health of their employees?

We know that when employees are happy, healthy, and their authentic selves, they thrive and can perform at their best, helping us to achieve our business goals. We are firm believers in a healthy work-life balance and employee well-being.

All companies need to be keen to support team members with opportunities and in order to provide greater autonomy over their work and personal time in all phases of life.

It starts with listening to our employees. Creating policies and initiatives supporting employee well-being and healthy work-life balance is essential.

We have Flexible Working Arrangements, extended maternity and paternity leaves above the industry benchmark in the Middle East and various employee development and well-being initiatives to promote workplace wellness.

How to strengthen company culture through rewards?

Appreciation and recognition are fundamental human needs. Reward and recognition motivate employees doing extra ordinary work to perform better and generally develop a positive feedback culture that helps to foster innovation and change. At Bayer, high performance is always recognized through a variety of ways like monetary rewards such as bonuses; top performance awards, local recognition, and non-monetary such as career development opportunities, training, stretch assignments, promotions, etc. Thus, as part of our high-performance culture, we aim to provide every team member with personalized feedback and recognition along with rewards that suit each employee’s unique motivations.

What are the lessons learned from the past year, and what are you planning to implement going forward?

The pandemic made us all realize how fragile life is, and for employers, that involved rethinking work-life balance.

In the post-Covid period, many employees are worried about returning back to work in person. As Bayer Middle East, we continue to offer flexible work arrangements and help employees continue to care for their children, themselves or family members.

Moving forward, we will promote having open conversations with our employees about what matters to them and how to balance that with their work priorities. Workplace wellness initiatives are also essential for us to advocate a healthy work culture. Last but not least, we will continue to review our policies to make enhancements and ensure that we have attractive total rewards policies and practices.

Join Özden at our 13th Annual HR Excellence MENA Summit: Compensations & Benefits on 2nd – 3rd May 2023 in Dubai, where she will be talking in more detail on how to balance C&B to achieve relevant KPIs – employee retention, productivity, well-being & more.

Özden Yiğit is a Head of Human Resources – Middle East at Bayer. In this role, she is responsible for 16 countries and leads a regional HR team. Özden is dedicated to creating corporate cultures that promote continuous talent development and high-performance culture, which support the achievement of business goals.

With more than 20 years of experience in human resources, Özden is a strong leader in driving change and has worked on several critical organizational change management projects. She has led the digital transformation of human resources and is instrumental in various employee well-being initiatives like the development of Flexible Working Arrangements, Professional Development Assistance for Talents and revisiting parental leaves.

Before she moved to Dubai, she worked as an HR Business Partner – PH in Bayer Turk and joined Bayer in 2013. Özden is a certified professional coach (ACC) and majored in psychology.

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