The UAE based office has quite a few unique differences from a typical office. These difference may create issues that significantly reduce performance and efficiency. We’re going to discuss a few of these issues and highlight why corporate training is so necessary.
The UAE has a phenomenal 90% expat population. These are mostly residents who are working in the UAE under limited contracts and the sponsorship system. They also come from different parts of the world, with very different cultures.
That may not be an ideal setup for an office team and leads to some problems in communication and office unity in general.
Racial discrimination in the office
The UAE government is doing its best to prevent racial discrimination through strict social and labor laws.
However, we can still observe, to this date, employees of different nationalities receiving different pay packages, which are usually according to the pay scale of the employees’ country of origin.
That does indeed bring many benefits for the UAE in terms of attracting foreign labor and talent, but it also has its cons. Being paid more than a colleague who does more or less the same type of work would psychologically grant a sense of entitlement or over-confidence.
Also, the other way around, being paid less would make an employee feel less valuable and therefore affect his/her confidence and self-esteem. That would affect performance, ability to grow, and the ability to communicate with other colleagues.
It also creates a gap in socialization, where “superior” races stick together and limit their interactions with the “inferior” races, which doesn’t help in building strong ties between team members.
Corporate training helps bridge those gaps together. It can help grow socialization and nurture relationships between employees, which results in stronger team unity. Once team members learn that they are all equally valuable, regardless of race/position/pay, then the team will eventually run at its efficiency potential.
The sponsorship system
Being an expat in the UAE requires you to have a “sponsor.” As an employee, your sponsor is your company, and ultimately, your boss.
The UAE’s sponsorship system has commonly been compared to “modern slavery” by many critics. However, that’s the strategy the UAE finds the best for controlling a foreigner base that is nine times as big as their citizen base.
When a manager is practically the sponsor of his team or the main person that can affect the sponsorship of team members, it can give that manager a higher level of control than usual. That can enable a power-oriented management style that is probably not helping the office reach it’s optimal output levels.
It also creates a higher level of “fear” in employees than usual, and render them susceptible to abuse. Team members will be more “afraid” or feel awkward in expressing their feelings, or more importantly, the ability to freely criticize the work process, to improve it.
Corporate training helps managers remember that they are team leaders, not slave owners. It helps remind them of and develop their emotional intelligence and communications skills. It can also help team members learn how to communicate effectively without feeling awkward or afraid.
Limited contracts and volatile marketplace
In the UAE, most contracts are for limited periods (1 year/2 year). This creates that “temporary” mood for many of the team members.
It can also be observed that team members frequently leave and new ones come in. If the office team is not a strong one, it may be tough for it to adapt when losing members or help new members integrate well.
Corporate training helps team members understand the importance of the balance of work between members. They’ll also learn when to increase their performance to compensate for lost workforce.
It’s also essential for team members to learn that helping a new member integrate into the team quickly, instead of trying to bring them down, is more beneficial for the office, and ultimately, for everyone in the office.
Corporate training in the UAE
In the last few years, UAE companies have started to realize the importance of corporate training and investing in team members – rather than just replacing them. The UAE economy is not at it’s best and regional stability is at an all-time low.
In earlier years, the UAE has faced an issue where most companies think that corporate training (or any training) is something to be done once every two years to add on paper or decorate the company portfolio.
Biz Group, which has operated 25 years in the Middle East and trained over 30000 people in 2018, that also does corporate training in Dubai, states that: “Research shows that training programs in isolation don’t yield long term business results and up to 90% of your training investment could be lost within a week of the training taking place. “