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Is Your Company Ready For The 2020 Workforce?

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The demographic shifts happening in the Arab world are phenomenal. A simple projection to the 2020 workforce highlights two trends that companies cannot overlook: the increasing rate of women entering the workforce, and the increasing numbers of millennials with changing work and life attitudes. Fida will draw on research conducted at the American University of Beirut that uncovers the work family attitudes of various generations of men and women in the Arab region, and will discuss the implications of these changing attitudes on HR.
Dr Fida Afiouni, Assistant Professor of HRM, Olayan School of Business at American University of Beirut

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Is Your Company Ready For The 2020 Workforce?

  1. 1. Dr. Fida Afiouni American University of Beirut Lebanon fa16@aub.edu.lb Is Your Company Ready For The 2020 Workforce?
  2. 2. Outline How to get ready for the 2020 workforce? Current HR practices and policies Workforce Perspective on work and life priorities Overview of the 2020 workforce
  3. 3. An overview of the 2020 workforce Forecasted Economic growth • Gulf countries continue to enjoy higher economic growth than the global average, thanks to high oil prices (Gulftalent, 2014).
  4. 4. GDP Growth Rate 2009-2014 (Gulftalent, 2014, p.6).
  5. 5. Economic growth and employment are being affected by tensions in parts of the Arab world (Gulftalent, 2014, p.8).
  6. 6. An overview of the 2020 workforce • Nonetheless, the region is gaining greater international prominence likely to boost investment and employment (Gulftalent, 2014)
  7. 7. An overview of the 2020 workforce • Job creation among GCC countries: • 51 % of companies in UAE increased headcount (Gulftalent, 2014) and this trend is likely to continue.
  8. 8. Net percentage of firms which increased headcount
  9. 9. An Overview of the 2020 workforce Workforce Composition –The increased participation of nationals –The bursting pipeline of women –The Youth Bulge
  10. 10. An Overview of the 2020 workforce • Currently, the UAE have the largest percentage of foreign labor (88%), while in Saudi-Arabia and Oman this percentage is respectively 72 % and 54 %. Forstenlechner, I., & Rutledge, E. J. (2011); Mashood, N., Verhoeven, H., & Chansarkar, B. (2009, April)
  11. 11. An Overview of the 2020 workforce • The commitment to reduce the number of expatriates in the GCC via state-led labor market policies of Bahrainization, Omanization, Saudization, and Emiratization will lead to a higher number of nationals within the workforce. Forstenlechner, I., & Rutledge, E. J. (2011); Mashood, N., Verhoeven, H., & Chansarkar, B. (2009, April)
  12. 12. An Overview of the 2020 workforce • The Bursting Pipeline of Women • Women in UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia constitute 60 %, 62 %, and 57 %, respectively, of university graduates Shehadi, R., Hoteit, L., Tarazi, K., & Lamaa, A. (2011).
  13. 13. An Overview of the 2020 workforce • The Bursting Pipeline of Women • Despite these education levels, the percentage of women in the labor force in GCC countries is significantly lower than other developed economies • Get Ready for the Bursting Pipeline!!
  14. 14. Women’s Workforce Participation in the GCC PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL FEMALES, AGE 15+ Shehadi, R., Hoteit, L., Tarazi, K., & Lamaa, A. (2011). p.3
  15. 15. The High Education / Low Employment Paradox in Arab Countries Labour Force Participation Rate 2009 (HDR 2011 pp 139-142) Tertiary education - 2010 (HDR 2011) Tertiary education (Global education Digest 2011) Female Male Gross enrollment Female (with respect to total enrollment) Male (With respect to total enrollment) Qatar 49.90% 93% 10.20% 62% 38% Kuwait 45.40% 82.50% 18.90% NA NA U.A.E 41.90% 92.10% 30.40% 60% 40% Bahrain 32.40% 85% 51.20% NA NA Oman 25.40% 76.90% 26.40% 59% 41% Jordan 23.30% 73.90% 40.70% 55% 45% Egypt 22.40% 75.30% 28.50% 53% 47% Lebanon 22.30% 71.50% 52.50% 57% 43% Saudi Arabia 21.20% 79.80% 32.80% 57% 43%
  16. 16. An overview of the 2020 workforce • The Youth Bulge • At about 25%, the youth unemployment rate in the MENA exceeds that of any other region in the world • Across the Gulf, unemployment is said to be most acute among the young national cohort  the “youth bulge” phenomenon Ahmed, Masood, Dominique Guillaume, &Davide Furceri (2012); Spiess, A. (2010).
  17. 17. The Youth Bulge
  18. 18. Outline How to get ready for the 2020 workforce? Current HR practices and policies Workforce Perspective on work and life priorities Overview of the 2020 workforce
  19. 19. Workforce’s perspectives on work and life priorities • To get ready for the 2020 workforce, it becomes important to answer the following questions: What does the Youth expect from their employers? What attracts and engages them? What Do women expect from their employers? What attracts and engages them?
  20. 20. Data Sources: My own research at the American University of Beirut • Survey conducted in 2012-2013 with 623 Arab Professionals of various age groups (1st study) • Interviews conducted in 2013 and 2014 with 52 successful women in Lebanon and the UAE (2nd study) • Interviews conducted in 2013 with 32 educated yet unemployed Arab women (3rd study) Workforce’s perspectives on work and life priorities
  21. 21. Employee’s perspective on work and life priorities (1st Study) I look for added work responsibilities (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 34 5.48% 2 59 9.50% 3 113 18.20% 4 225 36.23% 5 185 29.79% No answer 5 0.81% I continually look for new challenges in my work (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 12 1.93% 2 53 8.53% 3 89 14.33% 4 223 35.91% 5 241 38.81% No answer 3 0.48% I want to have an impact and leave my signature on what I accomplish in life (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 15 2.42% 2 57 9.18% 3 76 12.24% 4 178 28.66% 5 294 47.34% No answer 1 0.16% Employees thrive on challenging and impactful assignments
  22. 22. My work is meaningless if I cannot take the time to be with my family (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 65 10.47% 2 127 20.45% 3 133 21.42% 4 157 25.28% 5 133 21.42% No answer 6 0.97% Nothing matters more to me right now than balancing work with my family responsibilities (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 63 10.14% 2 116 18.68% 3 136 21.90% 4 154 24.80% 5 149 23.99% No answer 3 0.48% Achieving balance between work and family is sacred for me (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 37 5.96% 2 92 14.81% 3 118 19.00% 4 184 29.63% 5 187 30.11% No answer 3 0.48% Work-life balance is A priority. Family seems to weight heavier than work Employee’s perspective on work and life priorities (1st Study)
  23. 23. To what extent do the following statements reflect your motivation to work? [Because it’s important for me to have a successful career] (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 14 2.25% 2 30 4.82% 3 66 10.61% 4 204 32.80% 5 305 49.04% No answer 3 0.48% To what extent do the following statements reflect your motivation to work? [Because I like the challenge it provides] (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 13 2.09% 2 48 7.72% 3 91 14.63% 4 249 40.03% 5 217 34.89% No answer 4 0.64% Employees are Driven by Challenge and Career development opportunities Employee’s perspective on work and life priorities (1st Study)
  24. 24. To what extent do the following statements reflect your motivation to work? [Because I want to give back to the community] (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 50 8.04% 2 93 14.95% 3 156 25.08% 4 157 25.24% 5 161 25.88% No answer 5 0.80% To what extent do the following statements reflect your motivation to work? [Because I want to have an impact and leave my signature on what I accomplish in life] (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 25 4.02% 2 68 10.93% 3 101 16.24% 4 170 27.33% 5 253 40.68% No answer 5 0.80% Impactful and meaningful job. Giving back to the community Employee’s perspective on work and life priorities (1st Study)
  25. 25. Workforce’s perspectives on work and life priorities • Study 2: A zoom on women • Among the 52 interviewed women in our study, the meaning of work was mostly related to intrinsic factors (Personal Choice, Achievement, Use of Education, and relational) with only 20% of the women mentioning that they work for extrinsic factors (money and status)
  26. 26. Workforce’s perspectives on work and life priorities • Study 2: A zoom on women • The main challenges encountered throughout their careers are organizational in nature: • Working hours / Workload • Little support from managers and colleagues • Lack of organizational support in relation to mentoring and career development • Little satisfaction with salary and benefits
  27. 27. Workforce’s perspectives on work and life priorities • Study 2: A zoom on women • The main career development enablers are governmental and family related: • Societal Support for Career, Government Support, Development Plans set by governments • Family support for education and family support for a career
  28. 28. Women’s definitions of Success • (1) to reach goals through hard work; • (2) to be recognized/appreciated by others; • (3) to raise successful children • (4) to balance in order to not let the family suffer • (5) to have a positive impact on others.
  29. 29. Workforce’s perspectives on work and life priorities • Study 3: A zoom on unemployed Women • The objective of this study is to understand why young and educated women remain unemployed in the Arab Middle East.
  30. 30. Workforce’s perspectives on work and life priorities • Study 3: A zoom on unemployed Women • Most of these women were working at some point and had to quit their job due to 2 main reasons: • Poor working conditions such as long working hours, lack of flexibility, lack of career development opportunities and poor pay • The inability to achieve work-life balance, namely when they were founding a family •
  31. 31. Workforce’s perspectives on work and life priorities • Study 3: A zoom on unemployed Women • Regarding their future employment plans, one third intend to return to work when their kids grow up, one third has been actively looking for a job without success and one third are still undecided. •
  32. 32. Outline How to get ready for the 2020 workforce? Current HR practices and policies Workforce Perspective on work and life priorities Overview of the 2020 workforce
  33. 33. Current HR practices and policies Data Sources: My own research at the American University of Beirut • Survey conducted with 250 women working in the Lebanese banking sector (4th study) • Survey conducted in 2011 with 85 HR managers in the banking sector in the Levant and GCC (5th study)
  34. 34. My family has played an important role in helping me meet my work demands (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 36 5.80% 2 97 15.62% 3 157 25.28% 4 215 34.62% 5 112 18.04% No answer 4 0.64% My company has played an important role in helping me meet my family demands. (1 is low, 5 is high) Count Percentage 1 81 13.04% 2 152 24.48% 3 158 25.44% 4 164 26.41% 5 62 9.98% No answer 4 0.64% Current HR policies and practices (1st Study) Companies are not doing a good job in supporting employee’s need for balance
  35. 35. Current HR policies and practices (4th Study) % Flexible work schedules Part time work Work from home Compress ed work weeks No 86.4 97.2 100 88.8 Yes 13.6 2.8 0 11.2
  36. 36. Average response on a scale from 1 (low)to 5 (High) To what extent do employees have to follow strict directives, rules, policies and standard operating procedures? 4.082353 To what extent are competent employees empowered to make decisions on their own? 3.117647 To what extent are work-life balance issues seen as important at your organization? 3.4286 To what extent is HR receptive to employees’ ideas? 3.6471 To what extent does HR succeed in retaining talent? 3.6588 Current HR policies and practices (5th Study)
  37. 37. Outline How to get ready for the 2020 workforce? Current HR practices and policies Workforce Perspective on work and life priorities Overview of the 2020 workforce
  38. 38. How to get ready for the 2020 workforce? • Current government initiatives • Suggested HR initiatives to get ready for the 2020 workforce
  39. 39. UNITED IN KNOWLEDGE – A COMPETITIVE ECONOMY DRIVEN BY KNOWLEDGEABLE & INNOVATIVE EMIRATIS HARNESS FULL POTENTIAL OF HUMAN CAPITAL SUSTAINABLE AND DIVERSIFIED ECONOMY KNOWLEDGE-BASED AND HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE
  40. 40. Current government initiatives • Implemented national policies—including a five-year plan, Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) programs, and royal decrees—aimed at introducing women into the labor force • Introduced aggregate nationalization quotas, and female nationalization targets for private companies, which called for 1.12 million additional jobs for Saudi nationals in 2014 Saudi Arabia • The initiative by Dubai Women’s Establishment (DWE) focuses on activities such as conducting training programs to help equip the UAE women meet the requirements of the business world UAE Shehadi, R., Hoteit, L., Tarazi, K., & Lamaa, A. (2011).
  41. 41. Current government initiatives • Qatar National Vision 2030 stresses on the importance of increased opportunities and vocational support for women. • Qatar and Kuwait have launched business forums (Qatar Business Women Forum and Business Professional Women) for women with the aim of helping business women contribute to the economic development of their respective countries. Qatar Shehadi, R., Hoteit, L., Tarazi, K., & Lamaa, A. (2011).
  42. 42. Despite all these efforts, Women’s capabilities are underutilized in the GCC
  43. 43. How to get ready for the 2020 workforce? 1. Family-centrality is a common feature across all Arab countries (Afiouni, 2014, Afiouni and Karam, 2014; Karam and Afiouni, 2014) that cannot be ignored a) The 2020 workplace needs to be a flexible workplace that allows for work-life balance b) Work Life Balance affects employee satisfaction, stress, turnover rates, absenteeism and work-family conflicts. Implementing Work- Life balance policies would increase productivity.
  44. 44. How to get ready for the 2020 workforce? 2. The workforce is going to be increasingly diverse with a mix of locals/expatriates, men/women, young/mature workers a) Progressive diversity policies are going to place you as an employer of choice b) This requires you to walk the talk and ensure that there are no barriers to entry and career progression for locals, the youth and women.
  45. 45. How to get ready for the 2020 workforce? 3. The 2020 workforce thrives on meaningful and impactful jobs a. Engage your workforce in your CSR initiatives b. Turn your CSR initiatives internally
  46. 46. ً‫شكرا‬ Thank you
  47. 47. References • Afiouni, F. (2014). Women’s careers in the Arab Middle East: understanding institutional constraints to the boundaryless career view. Career Development International, 19(3), 4- 4. • Afiouni, F., & Karam, C. M. (2014). Structure, Agency, and Notions of Career Success: A process-oriented, subjectively malleable and localized approach. Career Development International, 19(5). • Afiouni, F., Karam, C. M., & El-Hajj, H. (2013). The HR value proposition model in the Arab Middle East: identifying the contours of an Arab Middle Eastern HR model. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(10), 1895-1932. • Afiouni, F. and Karam C.M. (2014). Identifying Career Patterns Of Arab Professionals Using the Kaleidoscope Career Model. Presented at the 13th International Human Resource Management Conference 2014, Cracow, Poland. • AlMunajjed, M., Sabbagh, K., & Insight, I. C. (2011). Youth in GCC Countries: Meeting the Challenge. Booz & Company Inc. • Amin, M., Assaad, R., al-Baharna, N., Dervis, K., Desai, R. M., Dhillon, N. S., & Galal, A. (2012). After the spring: Economic transitions in the Arab world. Oxford University Press. • Forstenlechner, I., & Rutledge, E. J. (2011). The GCC's “Demographic Imbalance”: Perceptions, Realities and Policy Options. Middle East Policy,18(4), 25-43. • the GCC: security risks, constraints and policy challenges. In Conference policy paper presented at the.
  48. 48. References • Gulftalent. (2014). Employment and salary trends in the Gulf 2014. http://www.gulftalent.com/home/Employment-and-Salary-Trends-in- the-Gulf-2014-Report-37.html. • Kapiszewski, A. (2006, May). Arab versus Asian migrant workers in the GCC countries. In United Nations Expert Group Meeting on International Migration and Development in the Arab Region, Beirut, May (pp. 15-17). • Mashood, N., Verhoeven, H., & Chansarkar, B. (2009, April). Emiratisation, Omanisation and Saudisation–common causes: common solutions?. InProceedings of the Tenth International Business Research Conference, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dubai, 16-17 April. Butterworth Heinemann. • Masood, A., Guillaume, d. and Furceri. D. "Youth Unemployment in the MENA Region: Determinants and Challenges."Addressing the 100 (2012). • Matherly, L. L., & Hodgson, S. 2014. Implementing Employment Quotas to Develop Human Resource Capital: A Comparison of Oman and the UAE. • Shehadi, R., Hoteit, L., Tarazi, K., & Lamaa, A. (2011). Educated, ambitious, essential: Women will drive the GCC’s future. Booz & Company. Retrieved on,11(19), 12. • Spiess, A. (2010). Demographic transitions and imbalances in the GCC: security risks, constraints and policy challenges.

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