Magazine article Talent Development

Achieving a Cohesive Organizational Culture: Organizations in the Middle East Have Identified Best Practices for Moving Their Culture from Average to Winning

Magazine article Talent Development

Achieving a Cohesive Organizational Culture: Organizations in the Middle East Have Identified Best Practices for Moving Their Culture from Average to Winning

Article excerpt

The Middle East is a fast growing region with high potential in human resource development and training. Dubai in itself is known to nest 200 nationalities, thereby making way for culture-contoured training practices. Organizational cultures comprise values, mindsets, and behaviors, which holistically make the work environment more conducive for success.

Two sectors of the region that largely get affected or revolve around culture-centric training are hospitality and banking. Employees are expected to be tuned into a culture different from the rest of the world. The organizational culture is an amalgamation of religion, work ethic, and multiple personalities and behaviors from across the globe.

Taking an example of a customer-facing staff in a local bank is the most simplistic way to explain how a diverse regional culture affects the business. There are different ways by which a customer-facing employee in different parts of the world would behave with a customer-such as greeting the customer in a specific way, speaking in an articulate manner, and being friendly or not-while keeping the regional practices in mind.

A region's culture gives a unique personality to the organization based on its shared values and heritage. The region ascertains one "cultural practice" in the organization with the following 10 best practices.

Attracting and retaining talent

A conducive work atmosphere needs to be created by hiring right and retaining the best of the lot. Consequently, this creates a culture that attracts and retains talent.

New and talented hires are vulnerable to change and feel the need to belong and blend in. A new recruit or even an existing employee can flourish with her existing education and job knowledge if she is taken through processes and the company culture as part of her learning. New recruits are eager to learn and existing employees look for intellectual growth opportunities.

In a culturally diversified organization, initial mentoring, with the help of authentic application-based case studies, lays a strong foundation for attracting and retaining employees. Communication is essential for an organization to adopt a goal-oriented and two-way feedback mechanism for a better understanding and sustained relationship.

Making an impression on employees

Successful and target-focused on-boarding programs can help grab the attention of employees and make an impression. It is the most cost-effective tool in your toolbox. Your employees are looking for programs that help them prepare for the job and integrate their knowledge for a successful work journey.

An onboarding program should captivate audiences and engage for increased efficiency and high productivity. For example, adopting a unique strategy for its onboarding program, one of the banks in Dubai provides recruits with an online onboarding module as they join the company. And if the employees manage to complete the module within 24 hours, they will be given an opportunity to participate in a unique "Organization's Values" workshop with the bank's CEO.

Given the commitment of the organization's leadership to provide a hands-on workshop to new employees immediately catches their attention while creating a healthy, competitive work culture for growth. This enables the bank to collectively and efficiently convey its vision, mission, expectations, and values, which in turn leads to an increased learning interest.

Developing a framework for a high-performance work culture

Training is innovative in nature. One cannot use age-old practices and dated methodologies to yield different performance-focused results each time. The ever-evolving business landscape helps catalyze changes to a company's culture; constant change allows a company to clean the slate and strategize a framework for a high-performance work culture.

Organizations that are unwilling to adopt and evolve to better and newer ways for learning fail to stay ahead of the training curve. …

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