Career Development & Robust Leadership – Key to Employee Retention

A mere 31% of business leaders discuss about career development with their employees. This is the findings in Australia. The scenario will be even worse in UAE and the Gulf, though no official statistics are available. However it is common knowledge, except certain top multinational and very large local companies, training and career development programs are virtually nonexistent in large and medium companies.

What are the pitfalls of this approach?

  • Talent retention will be a challenge.
  • Companies cannot implement leadership succession plans, thereby creating a vacuum in the management structure.
  • Transitions will not be smooth.
  • Employees perceive limited growth opportunities in their organizations leading to high manpower turnover especially in key positions.

A recent study also revealed that the average monthly salary in the UAE is around AED 10,100 and the average length of time of holding a job in the UAE is a mere 4.7 years.

Using these figure this is equated to a $2.7 billion cost to business every year in lost staff (Source: Time out Dubai.com – Zed Ayesh, managing director, Flagship Consultancy).

Survey after survey, only reveal a significant disconnect between employers and employees in this issue.

Therefore it is expected that employee recruitment and retention in the Middle East will be a huge challenge for companies in all sectors, considering the fact that 90 per cent of the workforce in UAE are expats.

The consequences of high manpower turnover are:

  • Recurrence of high costs in gratuity, affecting both the bottom line and cash flow.
  • Recruitment and Visa costs for replacement of staff, including outsourced agency fees.
  • Loss of productivity during the interregnum.
  • Loss of knowledge repository of ex- employees.

By failing to address the basic problem of career development, employers are at the risk of losing their best talent. Currently, trained and experienced employees have tremendous opportunities elsewhere, if they are professionally qualified and are backed with requisite training in their field of their expertise / domain.

Lack of career development or absence of progression in the company leads to lack of motivation; poor job fit being one of the  reasons, resulting in decreased productivity and substandard performance. No wonder it fosters dissatisfaction amongst today’s personnel.

If business leaders are looking to improve retention, employee commitment and their career development, they need to focus on the following:

  • Cultivate leadership.
  • Understand the needs of employees, just like they attempt to understand their customers.
  • Discuss with employees for career development.
  • Put in place robust training and career management programs.

Companies need to develop functional enterprise-wide career models,in order to help address changes in business demand and poor job fit, such as career pathways and career development outputs.Managers should be equipped as mentors in order to have effective career conversations with employees, and help facilitate career plans.

It is very important that the kind of training an employee undergoes. Ill-conceived training does not ensure any improvement in the skill set of an employee. The relevance of a particular training for a particular job fit assumes greater significance.  Substandard training results in substandard work quality,

Training programs with relevant content and excellence allows employees to determine the career growth and the success of the training evolves expertise within the company. Such programs focus on improving the skills sets communication abilities and interpersonal skills which are the cornerstones of effective training models and builds strong teams in the company.

This is where an Institute like Delphi Star Training Center, Dubai, focuses on in- depth training through class room training, on line support and experienced faculty, providing the right training model to the participant.

Eventually, the basis to a strategic career development is to align employers’ value proposition and those of the expectations of their employees.

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