Effect of Emiratisation on Companies
Of the 15 HR managers interviewed, 65 % affirmed that the Emiratisation policy strongly affected their firms. Since 2000, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, particularly UAE, instituted a range of economic policy mechanisms influencing national labour markets and encouraging employment for their citizens. These mechanisms include income subsidies, government salary restraints fees and quotas enhancing the value of the educational structure and training of nationals, charges on foreign labour, and employment targets for UAE nationals (Al-Lamki 2000; Economic Development Board 2004; Kapiszewski 2000).
With localization, UAE firms now provide employees with sufficient professional development opportunities, making sure that managers play a vital role in presenting unambiguous expectations and impetus to shape employee performance. Likewise, the companies now have well defined training programs for nationals, as a case in point is the National Graduate Trainee Programme that offers up to 3.
5 years of on/off job training for national degree holders from 21 to 27 years of age in fields of study like general management, IT, HR and finance, with the objective that the participant reaches the position of Assistant Manager or Area/Station Manager. In one company, young and high-potential Emirati employees have been assigned and trained to act as change campaigners to implement a program that puts emphasis on developing the right people to accomplish business objectives (Bartridge 2005).
In some firms, an extensive array of learning opportunities for its employees have been put into action such as assorted technical and competency development programs and on-the-job training courses which includes the Development Pool program that grooms middle managers for senior management roles; likewise, they have the Summer Training Program that supports higher learning.
Basically, many of the managers interviewed believed that for their firms to be effective and to succeed at localization in today’s economic atmosphere of brisk economic development, those in the Human Resources field within the region must learn to work and think differently. This is aligned with Weir’s (2008) belief that, at present, there is a sense of urgency for HR policy-makers and decision-making bodies to work differently and creatively, to think as ‘marketers’ and produce a potent and credible talent value proposition.
The managers are strongly of the opinion that HR executives have to reflect of what makes their target talent markets decide which employers to go to, that they need to determine what the needs are of this talent pool so that they can tailor their messages and be able to create suitable offerings for these capable individuals. Likewise, the managers believed that because of Emiratisation, they now have to keep an eye on what their competitors are doing and start analyzing business intelligence that comes their way a rational mind.
In addition, the managers also think Emiratisation signifies change which demands change management and requires dedication and commitment from key stakeholders and even from the expatriates so that success can be ensured. Another effect is that the policy has encouraged women to strive to become a component of the labour force and once they have become part of the business firm that they will not be marginalized within that organization. By that, it means that these firms made every effort in using their considerable influence to overcome employment issues, and remove wage and work-related discrimination.
Apparently, these businesses became innovative in recruiting and retaining their women employees. Further, Emiratisation has led a few other enterprises to develop special programs and policies that are targeted specifically towards women. One HR manager mentioned that the most valuable approach to enlist and keep women employees is to be flexible. To make this possible, the companies offer numerous work-hour arrangements other than the full time agreements, grant adoption benefits and also maternity support. Admittedly, these initiatives have helped them attain their objective of being an employer of choice for women.