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There was a time when economic growth was considered the key to a company's growth. But later on it was seen that by adequate management of its human resources, a company could achieve its objective of improving their competitive position nationally as well as internationally. The 14th conference of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research was focused on the challenges and opportunities faced by the strategies of sustainable development in the GCC countries. The most critical challenges are the ones related to the human resource of these countries. Sustainable development of the country and the development of human resource share a very important and vital relation. Therefore the developing and the developed countries invest a major part of their budget in many domains like education, scientific research, healthcare, etc. which are helpful for their human resources. Although GCC countries invest heavily in the realms which are needed for the development of the human resource, the development in the human resource in these countries cannot be seen as a substantial change. Development of the human resource of GCC countries has to face many challenges which need to be met by implementing potential HR strategies by the government. (Shammaa, 2009)
Challenges in HR Development
Development of the human capital of a country is very critical for the overall socioeconomically substantial development of the country. The GCC countries invest a large part of their revenues in the development of the human resource but still the human resource and work force of these countries face some challenges. Some of those major issues are listed below: (HR Challenges in the Middles East and GCC Countries, 2010)
Economy of the GCC countries was earlier driven by oil sector majorly but now the development of non-oil sectors and its contribution in country's GDP has strengthen the economy of these countries. The emerging construction and real estate business has attracted foreign investors and expatriate workers from around the globe. These workers come majorly from Asia, some from Europe and South America. The major HR issue arises before HR managers to manage such a diverse workforce in the company. This issue is important because it can create communication gap between the employee and employer. Availability of such a diverse workforce in the region provides employers options for their recruitment process.
Managing the global workforce is a key issue for HRD in the GCC countries. As the 90% of the workforce in the region comprise of the people from other countries thus they have their own culture, language, and values. Cultural differences are a big hurdle in the communication channel between the employees and the management level. So to align the diverse and global workforce with the objectives of the company this issue has to be discussed thoroughly. The global workforce has helped in establishing diverse work environment in the UAE corporate culture. Nationalization can be an alternate of the problem of workforce diversity. (HR Challenges in the Middles East and GCC Countries, 2010)
Nationalization policies of a country are focused on the development of the nationals. The governments of the GCC countries is concerned about the ratio of nationals in private and public sectors and have a willing to increase the no. of national workers in the private sector and balance the ratio. So they have fixed quota in each sector for the nationals. Multinational Companies working in middle east have to recruit nationals even if they are not enough qualified for the post.
The government is imposing certain amount of quota for UAE national workers in the recruitment policies of the organizations. Employing unskilled HR may result in severe loss for a company. But recruiting the nationals will decrease the unemployment rate in the countries and the organizations which comply with the government rules will be awarded and considered to be socially responsible which will be good for company's long run brand image. The problem can be resolved but it needs motivation and cooperation of the government. Less skilled and qualified nationals can be hired by an organization but they have to go through some training and development programs to make them beneficial for the company.
Negative Stereotype Nationals
The nationals of the GCC countries do not put much effort for the inconspicuous opportunities of employment that creates negative stereotype of them. They are not motivated and dedicated enough for the rigorous jobs in private sector. They are not regular and punctual at work and get loose interest in the job too rapidly and leave jobs in 6-7 months. But some companies have to pay these under performers because of the Nationalization quota compelled by the government.
The stereotype nature of the people of the GCC countries creates a hurdle in any management or cultural change in the organization. The nationals do not cope up with any organizational transformation required to increase the productivity of the organization and gain a sustainable competitive edge. They always want to work with the traditional tools and technologies and thus effects the development of the self and the organization.
Lack of basic skills in UAE nationals
The governments of the GCC countries have invested a huge amount of money in professional education of the aspirants. Output of these efforts does not meet the expectations. Establishment of professional institutions has made efforts in the development of human resources but the skills and talent acquired are not utilized by them. However organizations want to meet the government policies of nationalization but they cannot recruit unskilled and unqualified human resource in their system. GCC countries like UAE have become a business hub in the Middle East for many multinational companies small, bug and huge. The employee requirements of these companies are mostly Engineers, Technicians, Sales, Marketing and Accounting personnel. The national human resource of these countries is not competent enough to grab these highly technical positions in a company. (HR Challenges in the Middles East and GCC Countries, 2010)
Base of the Challenges
The influx of the foreign labor from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and some other western countries has disturbed the demography of the UAE. In 2007 the total population of the UAE was 4.5 million out of which 3.6 millions were the migrants. 90% of the total workforce in UAE was of the expatriate workers from 202 countries. Most of the foreign population was employed with more than 260,000 organizations in the UAE. Unemployment among the UAE nationals is increasing since then. Private sector used to hire the expatriates at extremely low wages as compared to the UAE nationals. Taxi Drivers and Hotel workers are paid only 600USD per month while construction workers are available even at 200USD per month. Availability of skilled foreign labor at such a low cost and lack of competencies in UAE nationals is the main hurdle in the development of the human resource.
Potential HR Strategies
The above challenges in the development of the human resource of the GCC countries can be met only with the help of tactful potential HR strategies. These strategies should be implemented within all the organizations in the region for the development of the human capital. Following are the steps which need to be improved to solve the purpose:
Professional Education & Training
The potential human resource of a country is the youth that is going to join one or the other organization in forthcoming years and will contribute in the development of the nation. So this group of the population must be provided the best possible technical and interpersonal education. Educational facilities must be appropriate for the youngsters. This generation must not lack in any competency or skill that the foreign workers have.
Job evaluation involves determining the worth of one job in an organization when put together with the other jobs in the company. It is different from performance evaluation which is actually an evaluation of the employee doing that job. It has been discussed in brief below and will be discussed in detail later.
A constant evaluation and assessment of the work force is always helpful in exposing the weak points of the company's workforce. The evaluation must not be such that it causes insecurity in the minds of the work force. Most of the companies that are successful constantly keep evaluating themselves and thus are always striving to be better. It is this strife for constant improvement which keeps them at the top.
The evaluation of the employees must be on an individual level. The evaluation must be in terms of quality of work done, amount of work done, expenditure undertaken and time taken for the completion of the work by that employee. The main aim of the evaluation is to get an overview of the employee's performance and identify his training needs. If the work done deserves enough, the employee must be rewarded. This also provides an insight into the flaws and strengths of the employee, which creates an opportunity to utilize his talents in the best possible manner. (Human resource| Job Evaluation)
The major aim of the Human Resource Management Function is to maintain the recruitment process design as straightforward as achievable. The Human Resource Recruiters should not overlook about the major objective during the propose phase of the recruitment process progress. On high levels recruitment course is easy, but of the contrast it consists of a lot of communication between diverse participants during the recruitment process. The Human Resource Management Function, the candidates and line manager should share and receive a lot of information during their interaction and this only interaction is generally usually the major subject through the recruitment process.
During the recruitment process the job design is the most significant part. The job design is a stage about the aim of the job outline and an obvious harmony connecting the line manager and the Human Resource Management Function. The Job Design is concerned about the harmony of the outline of the model job candidate and also agrees about the competencies and the skills, which are of the main worry. To speed up things, the information collected is helpful and could be used on the ongoing process of the recruitment process.
The next process in job recruitment is collecting job resumes of applying candidates and their pre-selection. If we do so then we will be able to save a lot of time in the recruitment process otherwise many other organizations tend to loses a plenty lot of time in this simple process. But now, the companies can't stay with ongoing simple process of, pre-selection of the job resumes. Usually, the above process should be implemented in the last phase by the Human Resource Management Function.
In the recruitment process the main important steps is the job interviews, the line management and the Human Resource Management should clearly designed and agreed about the job interview. A job candidate, who satisfies the requirements and suits the best of the business culture and the department, this can be discovered by the job interview.
The last step of the recruitment is the job offer, which is completed by the Human Resource Management Function, it finalizes all the other formalities and the best eligible candidate from the job interview should get the offer to join the organization. (Main Recruitment Process Steps, 2008)
The Human Recourse Management performance is gradually changing with the course of time and along with this change, the affiliation between the training function and other management commotion is also gradually changing. The training and development performance are equally vital along with that of other HR functions. It was those days, when training was measured to be useless, waste of useful time, money and resources. But these days, training is a fruitful venture because the other departments like, marketing & sales, Human Resource, finance, production, etc that thoroughly depends on training for its existence. If we take the case when training will not be considered as a main concern or is not looked as a fundamental part in the organization, then it is complicated to admit that such a company has successfully taken care of Human Recourse Management. Training in fact provides a good platform to raise the profile development activities in such organization. (Training and human resource management)
Performance evaluation is a very important human resources management tool that organizations across the worldwide use on a regular basis to determine the kinds of skills, knowledge and characteristics that are at present available in the association. It is an integral process using which the organization is able to obtain information that is required when they are making decisions about the employee advancement, separation and retention.Â While making these kinds of decisions it is integral and of utmost importance that organizations are able to review the job performance of the worker in a way that is helpful to both the worker and the association. With the help of performance evaluation, an organization is able to provide the feedback to their employee that is of utmost necessity if it is expected of the employees to improve job performance, strengthen the bond between the member of staff and the administrator, and maintain the morale of the organization.Â As Craig R. Stevens (1996) says, "How well your organization measures in this competitive surroundings and monitors work performance is vital not only to the competitiveness of the association, but also to employee efficiency. (Amercian Jewish University)
Potential Efficacy of HRM Practices
According to the basic concepts of Human Resource Management, that the assurance level of worker and development in quality movement can be amplified by the increasing the role of training that a senior management should implement. Such these concepts of HMR carefully require well managed planning and a better stress on employee growth and also long term learning. Training has become an important instrument of Human Resource Management to manage the abrasion pace, since it helps in inspiring employees, raising the height of job satisfaction, etc. As a consequence training should be on a variety of ability growth and covers a massive amount of courses. (Amercian Jewish University)
Optimal consumption of Human Resources -Â Training helps in optimizing the consumption of human resource that will further helps the employee to accomplish their organizational goals and as well as their individual goals.
Growth of Human Resources -Â Training helps to provide a broad structure and widened opportunities for the human resources' scientific and behavioral skills in an association. At the same time it also helps the employees in attaining personal growth.
Improvement of skills of the employees -Â Training helps in growing the job awareness and skills of workers at each stage. It also helps to develop the standards of human intelligence and taken as a whole character of the employees.
Productivity -Â Training helps in escalating the efficiency of the workers that further helps theÂ organization to attain its long-term objective.
Healthy work environment -Â TrainingÂ helps in creating the fit working atmosphere. It helps to build good quality employee, association so that for one goal aligns with managerial goal.
Health and Safety -Â Training helps in improving the fitness and security of the association thus preventing it from obsolescence.
Morale -Â Training helps in improving the confidence of the labor force.
Image -Â Training helps in creating an improved company image.
Profitability -Â Training leads to enhanced success and towards more positive attitudes towards yielded orientation. (Training and human resource management)
The above discussion of the challenges faced by the GCC countries in the development of the human resources shows that the influx of the expatriate workers is one of the major issues for the development of the national human resource in these countries. Nationals of these countries need to be highly skilled and well competent if they want to grab the job opportunities before the foreign labors. So a proper education and training should be provided to achieve the goal. The HR strategies discussed will be very helpful in achieving the objective of the HR development.