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Contributions to Organisational Practices and Policy

Research suggests that it is important to consider current leadership style as a threat to labour in the UAE government workplace. Without devaluing the current effort of the UAE government to support leaders, the information gained from this research should provide a foundation for managers and policy makers to recognise that it is the responsibility of government to initiate measures that will make the workplace experience a more pleasant one for workers, and so weaken the intent to leave.

This research has both practical and theoretical significance, in the provision of information that will help in the understanding of HR practices that affect the retention of employees. The study of these two variables will contribute to the improvement of employee welfare in

UAE public organisations. An understanding and identification of critical variables in the practices of HR and their association with organisational commitment and job satisfaction is also provided; these may improve employee retention among the public organisations in Dubai and Sharjah.

The current HR standards found in organisations located in the UAE, and especially in Sharjah, score poorly. The cause could be, as suggested by Ali (2004), that organisations in the UAE have less documentation and more emphasis on cultural traditions than similar organisations in other countries; this includes not enabling employees with decision‐making rights. Although these HR standards were approved by the Dubai and Sharjah respondents, their response to values such as deriving job satisfaction from their work and feeling a commitment to the enterprise was neutral. As people who enjoy the nature of their work are more inclined to maintain a long‐term relationship with their organisation, the current study was interested in examining the factors that encourage UAE workers to quit the public sector; in this case, it may be asserted that worker dissatisfaction is partly a product of poor HR standards. Those in higher management levels want more choice and autonomy to be available; the neutral response to organisational commitment indicated by one and all may be attributed to the lack of this quality. This is in line with the findings by Clarke (2001), Jones and Skarlicki (2003), Morrow et al. (2005), and Taplin and Winterton (2007), which highlight the crucial relationship between leadership and human resources. Maintaining a good rapport between supervisors and subordinates assists in retaining employees, while offering no emotional incentives to remain is a gateway for employees to resign their jobs.

From the results of this research, it is clear that UAE companies need to focus on their HR policies, which fall short of acceptable standards. As suggested by Baron and Kreps (1999), companies should concentrate on satisfying their employees’ needs in order to receive more from them in return. Freedom to manage on their own, and the liberty to work on projects needs without interference (Lawler, 1992), are two obvious and achievable goals. Using techniques that enhance commitment to the organisation and its policies enables employees to improve their skills and develop greater levels of self‐confidence (Thomas. Kochan & Osterman, 1994; Lawler, 1992; Levine, 1995; Pfeffer, 1998). Not only will such changes in UAE organisations improve the chances of retaining employees (Arthur, 1994; Huselid, 1995; Shaw, et al., 1998) but it will enhance the chances of recruiting suitable employees from the dwindling numbers of job‐seekers (Guthrie, 2001)

Moreover, positive results are expected from HR policies that recognise both the intrinsic and extrinsic qualities of UAE firms. This is in line with the findings of a survey by Huselid (1995), in which over 900 US firms identified HR practices of two varieties: one that concentrated on developing employees’ skills, and one that placed stress on motivation. The first selected employees on talent, and provided training and motivation; profits in these companies increased significantly. The second promoted motivation though performance evaluation; the productivity level in these companies rose significantly. Arthur (1994) finds that high‐commitment HR systems directly correspond to an increase in the number of long‐term employees, which he attributes to developing their skills and increasing their opportunities to contribute to the organisation. This confirms the current analysis, which is that HR policies practiced in the UAE are insufficient and inadequate, and require change.

6.11 Conclusion

The current high rate of employee turnover in the UAE is expensive. The role of HR departments is to satisfy the needs of employees through the provision of training, rewards systems, equality of treatment, and benefits, among others, to foster employee commitment and reduce the rate of employee turnover. This research presents a study of those aspects that HR has to perform in UAE public organisations to achieve these goals.

There is a clear need for changes in the human resources management practices and style in UAE public organisations in order to ensure employee satisfaction. This will greatly help reduce high turnover rates. The workplace environment needs to be made fully suitable for the needs of all employees by ensuring leadership styles that encourage decentralisation and delegation of duties, equality in the implementation of employee evaluation and appraisal systems, and provision of sufficient employee benefits, rewards, and structures for recognition.

Organisational heads need to look into the various factors that influence employee retention in UAE organisations, key among them the leadership style of top managers, fairness in the treatment accorded to employees by their supervisors, a clear understanding of what is expected of them, and being made to feel good about their work. Discrimination, whether on gender or on the grounds of experience, remains a problem in need of an urgent solution. To deal with this, HR departments need to come up with practices that consider the future needs of all employees, eliminating discrimination and bias, installing a systematic and fair reward system, and providing compensation benefits and allowances such as medical insurance.

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