What does the future hold for public sector HR in the GCC?

Written by
Changeboard Team

18 Oct 2017

18 Oct 2017 • by Changeboard Team

Her Excellency Maytha Al Habsi, deputy CEO, Emirates Foundation for Youth Development

Youth development is at the core of the public sector HR agenda. The Emirates Foundation for Youth Development creates and delivers programmes that empower young people to develop life-long skills, preparing them for future leadership.

Public sector organisations should establish a solid foundation for initiatives, to deliver sustainable, measurable social impact. We have positioned the Foundation as a thought leader in venture philanthropy and social investment across the Arab world. Our focus is on supporting the scale up and sharpening of its six core programmes, creating revenue opportunities to ensure long-term viability.

His Excellency Eng. Ahmed Al Khayat, undersecretary, Ministry of Works, Municipality Affairs & Urban Planning, Bahrain

With economies and organisations undergoing constant change, businesses are realising the value of an integrated approach to talent development, creating a platform for sustained improvement and innovation. Workforce demographics are rapidly changing, and the diverse range of challenges can affect retention of skilled and valued talent.

Nurturing people is essential for growth and HR must create a climate in which talent can be identified and developed. For 2017, HR departments in public sector organisations should focus on succession planning which can build bench strength, developing team members, spurring employee promotions and redesigning the organisation for opportunities. 

Abdul Malik Al Balushi, CEO, Oman Post

Human capital transformation in the public sector is dependent on developing new skills, changing deep-rooted behaviours and dealing with resulting uncertainty and conflict. Unless HR leaders and decision makers are core to this, change will be slow.

Public sector organisations need to collaborate with each other and the private sector, operating more efficiently and fostering innovation: identifying costs savings, recruiting and developing national talent and communicating change, involving employees to ensure buy-in.

The economic climate provides an opportunity and a challenge. HR can build its reputation as a strategic function by managing change, being more customer-focused, and building leadership skills for sustained public service transformation. But if HR is preoccupied by its traditional activities, momentum will be lost and we’ll remain transactional.

Nouman Almonthry, director general, Ministry of Civil Services, Oman

Public sector HR leaders can work towards reducing costs and making efficiencies, but there is a real opportunity for HR to ensure a focus on longer-term transformation. The public sector in the region needs initiatives for change, supported by workforce analytics. We will:

  1. introduce a new appraisal system based on performance and skills
  2. link the department’s goals to the government programmes budget
  3. introduce self-service HR services for all government employees 
  4. provide decision makers with business intelligence reports
  5. provide a learning management system to HR development departments.