Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
30 Jul 2014

Your workforce of tomorrow: Interview with Dr Markus Wiesner, CEO of Aon Hewitt Middle East

30 Jul 2014 • by Changeboard Team

What's the biggest challenge facing GCC employers?

How to integrate working nationals into the private sector. Joblessness here is on the rise and those who do work are opting for public sector positions over roles in businesses. In some countries, a dual job market has emerged, with the majority of the private sector now staffed by expats. It presents a greater problem than the economic downturn.

What propels national talent?

The key drivers are confidence in leadership, learning and development and career growth expectations. This emerged from our 2012 Qudurat research, which we developed to better understand what motivates national talent and compare that with the rest of the workforce.

How important is leadership?

National talent rated this as having the most positive impact on their engagement levels. Employees in GCC countries have much higher expectations of senior leaders than in many other parts of the world, largely as a result of the cultural slant towards a patriarchal society with a dominant leader.

What is the biggest challenge in learning and development?

The application of learning at work. Structured interventions that are custom-designed for employees’ developmental gaps, rooted in action-based learning and supported by effective coaching, will be crucial in driving progress among employees.

How can organisations help nationals look forward in their careers?

It's important to manage aspirations by communicating future career paths to employees. This involves providing visibility on how they can move horizontally and vertically, and the key skills, capabilities and experience they will need to do so.

By helping national employees visualize their career progress with your organization, you can align their interests and drive motivation. Understanding and addressing this need will help you manage growth expectations and build a future-ready talent pool.

How are attitudes in the workplace changing?

GCC workers’ outlooks are developing rapidly against the backdrop of a changing social, economic and demographic landscape. According to the results of the second wave of Qudurat research, soon to be released, overall engagement levels for GCC nationals fell from 51% to 43.7% between 2010 and 2012. This was most evident among young people.

We know that, with troubling levels of youth unemployment and social-political strife, there will be a move towards formal and informal regulatory amendments to encourage local talent to join the labour market. With greater participation of women and young people, the demographic profile of the future workplace will look very different to the workplace of today.

How to integrate nationals into your organisation

  • Identify gaps. An audit, evaluating organizational policies and processes in line with key engagement drivers for national talent, will help diagnose key areas of improvement.
  • Understand where you fall short or excel at attracting, retaining and developing local talent. You can undertake a wider range of initiatives to make your organization attractive to local talent, without needing to compete with the public sector on pay.