This opinion piece is based on the conversation between Ms. Maksuda Parker, Training and Recruitment Supervisor, Al-Zayani Automotive, and Ms. Sara Asfahani from KPMG in Kuwait.



A family business established over 60 years ago, Al-Zayani Automotive is a well-known name in Kuwait’s automotive retail sector. With a strong portfolio of luxury car brands, and an even sophisticated clientele, Al-Zayani Automotive has developed a corporate culture that has witnessed multiple generational shifts.

When we met Ms. Maksuda Parker, Training and Recruitment Supervisor at Al-Zayani Automotive, we wanted to understand how they reflect this culture on their employees, carry the legacy across generations, and how the HR function fits in all of this.

"Al-Zayani Automotive is a family-owned business, with a vision to gain customer loyalty by delivering sales, services and experiences of high quality, value, integrity and enthusiasm," said Ms. Parker, as we started our conversation.

"To achieve this vision, Al-Zayani Automotive has also built a customer service philosophy around three aspects: our people; product; and premises,” she said. “Our people are our most important assets. We choose every member through a rigorous recruitment process and invest in their development to ensure that we exceed customer expectations. At the same time, we ensure that we reduce our time to hire, simplify the onboarding process, and optimize staff-shift allocation and the scale of training and development processes,” added Ms. Parker.

At Al-Zayani Automotive, employee engagement is not limited to training and development. Ms. Parker also spoke about a reward program, a healthy internal competition between the brands, which motivates employees to strive for customer excellence and increases employee loyalty. "We have people who have been with us for 15–25 years. And if you ask them, most of them will tell you that this is their first and last company. We believe that if there is a culture of belonging in the organization, then it helps with the retention and motivation,” she said.

When asked about the formula to keep employees motivated and involved in an organization with a diverse employee base, she pointed at the culture set by the organization’s founding fathers that has transcended generations. "We follow one culture which was built on values such as respect, integrity, teamwork, passion, ambition and discipline. We explain our culture to every new joiner, and the professionalism that is required. That is one of the reasons why I mentioned that values are more important in our organization,” said Ms. Parker.

She further elaborated that their HR function has created an employee handbook that contains all the details around the company’s policies and procedures. The employee handbook adds to the transparency of the entire system and helps employees understand how they can address their various concerns.

However, what stood out the most to us is Al-Zayani Automotive’s employee benefits policies, which is a true testimony of equality in any organization. "We treat everybody equally. Although each individual might have a different role to play in the organization, when it comes to employee benefits, everyone is equal at Al-Zayani,” she said.

To scope out the depth of this policy, we were curious to understand the benefits in detail. Ms. Parker further explained, "Our life insurance benefits cover all the employees, which is a significant cost for the organization. However, our owner believes that everyone is equal. So, based on that concept, the idea has been rolled out across the organization."

Ms. Parker broke down the policies into the finest details to help us understand how some organizations’ policies around benefits vary with the designation of an individual. However, that is not the case with Al-Zayani Automotive as an employee's position in the firm, or their remuneration, does not impact the benefits they are entitled to.

It was evident from our conversation that despite the generational shifts, Al-Zayani Automotive has cemented some key values at its core. The organization revolves around these values, and people are at the center of it. We believe that HR Pathfinders put people at the heart of the operations. The HR function that binds the vision of the organization’s founders and its corporate values, and integrates it into their day-to-day operations, is destined to succeed.



Get in touch

Connect with us