Egyptian director: I want to bring Danish employee trust home
“Do you have any job openings?” 11 Egyptian directors visiting Danish company Dana Lim were particularly impressed by the trust between management and employees.
“In Denmark, you don’t blame employees who make a mistake. Instead, you make sure it doesn’t happen again. This requires that employees trust management. That’s a principle I’d like to take home,” noted Hany Tarek El-Nabarawy, Director of Arab Mechanical Engineers. He is part of an Egyptian delegation visiting five Danish companies.
At glue manufacturer Dana Lim in Køge, the delegation consisting of 11 directors is particularly interested in the culture of openness.
“We don’t trade directly with Egypt, but when someone shows interest in our way of taking care of our employees and running our business, we’re naturally happy to show them,” says CEO Lars Christensen.
He tells the delegation that employees must feel valued and that the company encourages them to point out any mistakes they discover in production. This surprises the Egyptian executives.
“It’s very different than in Egypt. Companies are managed top-down, so employees are rarely as engaged in the business,” says Hany Tarek El-Nabarawy.
It costs us more to replace employees than to take care of the ones we already have Lars Christensen, Dana Lim’s CEO.
Prioritising values pays off on the bottom line
Meanwhile, Dana Lim’s CEO is quick to win over the hearts of the visiting Egyptians. After just 30 minutes the first Egyptian director asks whether Dana Lim has any job openings - and is met with applause from both Lars Christensen and the rest of the Egyptian delegation.
“We include employees in the company’s development and listen to their suggestions and wishes. This results in satisfied employees, satisfied customers and better results on the bottom line,” says Lars Christensen to the Egyptian delegation.
They are also told that 40 per cent of employees at Dana Lim have been employed for more than ten years and that the company celebrated three 40-year anniversaries this year.
“It costs us more to replace employees than to take care of the ones we already have,” explains Dana Lim’s CEO.
Good working environment goes without saying
According to the Confederation of Danish Industry’s international business consultancy, DIBD, companies in the Middle East are seeing an increasing focus on compliance, both among suppliers and customers.
Compliance covers the laws and regulations a company must follow.
“At DIBD, we work to support this development. Not least because Danish companies also face demands for compliance. If they want to do business with companies in Egypt, it’s important that they are on top of these things, so that the markets for Danish products and services is strengthened,” says Jacob Kjeldsen, Director, DIBD.
Drawing inspiration from Danish expertise, the partners of the delegation have focused on working environment in their member companies in Egypt.
The delegation is part of the Danish-Arabic Partnership Programme.
The purpose of the programme is, among other things, to secure financial opportunities for women and young people.
DI works with trade unions to create stable labour markets and sustainable development in the Middle East and Africa. In this way, DI obtains important contacts in the region for its members.