Written by
His Excellency Marwan Al Sarkal

29 Jun 2017

Shurooq CEO: Putting people first

29 Jun 2017 • by His Excellency Marwan Al Sarkal

What are the main challenges CEOs face today with regard to retaining top talent?

Retaining talent is becoming one of the most critical challenges that face business leaders today. Here in the UAE, a relatively small market that competes on a global scale, talent retention is becoming even more difficult, due to the small talent pool and high competition.

What strategies do leaders use to navigate these challenges?

Corporates and business are increasingly investing in staff, by offering them career development opportunities and incentives. In addition, companies work hard to provide staff with job security. Once an employee feels appreciated, he or she is more likely to excel and build loyalty towards the employer. 

Furthermore, businesses across the UAE increasingly look at retirement and savings plans. A recent study by Zurich International Life showed 83% of employees in the UAE are anxious about their gratuity not being sufficient for retirement needs, given that the UAE has no mandatory pension scheme in place.

How can CEOs win the respect of the people they lead?

Vision. Business leaders must have a clear vision that inspires the company’s employees and its board. A sound vision identifies the company’s purpose, and builds staff loyalty as it provides people with a sense of involvement.

What kind of leadership capability will be required by future leaders?

Having a vision is only half the battle; the other half is communicating it clearly. This is key to achieving success in any organisation. We live in what is referred to as the information age, where a huge amount of data is transmitted every second. As such, a successful leader should be able to communicate to all stakeholders his or her vision to get their support and make it a reality.

How can leaders develop these capabilities in their successors?

Succession planning begins by identifying and developing individuals who could lead the organisation in the future. Business leaders must then develop their skills and help them identify targets for the next phase.