Retaining Emirati talent is vital to building a strong and sustainable workforce, not only within your company, but also within in the UAE overall. In light of the new Emiratisation initiative that the UAE introduced last year, all UAE Mainland Companies should now have 2% of their workforce as UAE Nationals, with this number increasing each year – or potentially receive fines.
In a rapidly evolving and competitive global market, companies must find ways to stay ahead of the curve by attracting and retaining the best talent – and this includes the best Emirati talent. Retaining a diverse workforce can also bring unique perspectives into the workplace, which often leads to a better reflection of the country’s population where the business operates, therefore leading to better business decisions. In order to best retain UAE Nationals in your workforce, we’ve come up with some high-level strategies that companies can adopt to retain Emirati talent:
- Foster a culture of inclusivity: A diverse and inclusive workplace is essential for attracting and retaining top talent, including UAE Nationals. Companies should create an environment that values the contributions of all employees and encourages their growth and development within the organization. This can be achieved through diversity and inclusion programs, regular communication and feedback mechanisms, and by creating opportunities for Emiratis to share their ideas and opinions. An inclusive culture helps to build a sense of belonging, which can increase employee engagement, motivation and hence reduce turnover.
- Promote opportunities for career development: Companies should provide opportunities for professional growth and development including offering training and development programs, mentorship opportunities, and clear growth Providing your team with opportunities to develop their skills and advance their careers can help to increase their engagement and motivation, which in turn can lead to greater job satisfaction and overall improvement in individual performance, therefore leading to higher retention.
- Offer competitive compensation packages: Offering competitive compensation packages can help to attract and retain top Financial stability is important to many Emiratis, and companies should offer competitive compensation packages that are in line with industry standards. This includes salaries, insurance, bonuses, and attractive benefits packages.
- Vouch for a better work-life balance: Companies should promote work-life balance for all employees. This can include offering hybrid work module, paid time off, and opportunities for paid leave. This can help to reduce stress and increase overall job satisfaction.
- Support Emirati values and traditions: Companies should be aware of the cultural and religious values and traditions that are important to Emiratis and should make efforts to support these where possible. This can include recognizing and respecting important cultural and religious holidays, offering time off for religious observances, and providing appropriate accommodations for religious beliefs. This can help to foster a sense of belonging, which can increase employee engagement and loyalty.
- Recognize and reward performance: Acknowledge and reward the contributions of team members in the workplace. This can help increase job satisfaction and boost morale. Consider implementing a formal recognition program that acknowledges the achievements and contributions of employees and provide opportunities for employees to receive rewards and incentives for their hard work.
- Encourage diversity in leadership: Companies should encourage diversity in leadership positions, including the promotion of Emirati employees to leadership roles. This can help to increase representation and visibility for Emiratis in the workplace and can demonstrate the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. By promoting Emiratis to leadership roles, companies can help to foster a sense of belonging, increase engagement, and reduce turnover.
- Provide opportunities for community involvement: Many Emiratis are committed to giving back to their community. Encourage employees to participate in volunteering programs and initiatives that benefit the local community.
- Encourage open communication: Companies should encourage open communication and regular feedback, both between management and employees and among employees themselves. This can help to build trust and improve collaboration and can also provide valuable insights into the needs and concerns of Emirati employees. Encouraging open communication can help to address any issues that may arise and can increase engagement, motivation, and job satisfaction.
As a business owner, we encourage you to think about ways to retain UAE National talent, not only to meet the initiative requirements but to also see your business thrive. By creating a supportive and engaging work environment that meets the unique needs and priorities of Emirati employees, you can more effectively retain your top talent, and ensure that your organisation is well-positioned for continued growth and success.