SAS breaks into top three best employers in Russia – first time participating in rankings

Employee engagement a strategic success factor

High levels of engagement, from rank-and-file employees all the way up to senior management, naturally result when you combine excellent working conditions, trust in management, an impeccable reputation in the market, and good prospects for career growth and learning.

These and other factors helped SAS Russia/CIS achieve a No. 3 ranking on the list of "Best Employers, Russia in 2013." The results were announced at a special ceremony at the Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow in November.

The rankings were based on a “Best Employers Study” conducted by Axes Management in association with Aon Hewitt from February to September 2013. The study included more than 73 companies and 197,329 employees, of whom 31,388 were managers and 723 top managers.

"Because business Intelligence is an intellectual sphere of activity that requires high competence and extensive experience, our employees are the company’s main asset, its wealth,” says Valery Pankratov, CEO of SAS Russia/CIS. “We consider employee engagement as a strategic success factor for the company, alongside financial performance and stability. Why? Because analytics is the fastest growing segment of the software market.”

According to IDC, the world market for analytical solutions in 2012 grew by 8.7 percent, while the software market as a whole grew only 3.7 percent. This trend is expected to continue until 2017.

“In Russia, we see a real increase in demand for analytics, not only in the financial and telecom sectors, but in many others, especially among public companies,” said Pankratov. “To ensure growth, we need a smooth and stable team of professionals working for common goals, sharing the mission and strategy of the company, and able to apply more than 37 years of SAS’ accumulated expertise in performing a variety of projects in the largest companies in the world."

SAS is among the best known global companies in Russia that have achieved record levels of employee engagement, said Edward Stanoh, Director for Eastern Europe Aon Hewitt, who presented the award to SAS Russia/CIS.

“In today's business environment, the ability to collect and analyze data has become essential to organizations in any industry,” he said. “That SAS offers solutions in this area is just awesome! I am sure that SAS employees achieve such success thanks to working conditions and a creative atmosphere established by the company's management."

SAS Russia/CIS Director of Personnel Julia Sanina shared the secrets of success when she accepted the award. "Our HR strategy aims to achieve major business objectives in terms of its rapid growth,” she explained. “We faced many challenges: the office’s reorganization, a change of leadership, and growth of more than 100 percent that continues today.”

Sanina attributes the high ranking to a number of efforts during the past few years:

  • Implementation of a variety of programs aimed at increasing both employee engagement and satisfaction.
  • Strengthening of internal communications, informing employees about news, goals and objectives of the company.
  • Regular progress reports from leaders to all staff and to management.
  • A transparent system of career development
  • Modification of the staff bonus system to focus on results and measurability.

“Employees appreciate that we strictly observe their preferences,” Sanina said. “We offer health insurance for employees and their families, free breakfasts and children's programs, outreach activities, sports training and fitness, and much more."

The main advantage of SAS, said Sanina, is a corporate culture aimed at the person.  The office encourages initiative and creativity, without restricting the scope of employees’ organizational structure. “If people find an opportunity to express themselves in any new field for us, we are ready to find a way to incorporate it into the overall company -- both in terms of working with customers and new product development.”

The corporate culture, she added, is not aimed at “imposing a single right model of behavior, but rather at enabling a person to be himself. “Based on the strengths of the employee and his or her professional interests, we build an individual development plan and training,” she said.

“All this together creates in us a unique atmosphere of openness, friendliness and mutual assistance, and it is appreciated by all newcomers," Sanina said. “We believe this is one of our most important assets, and we will make every effort to preserve it."

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 70,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW® .

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