GNcareers, from Gulf News

Mentoring programs for Emirati talent in the UAE

Mentoring programs for Emirati talent in the UAEImage Credit: Supplied

Managers believe that the most successful companies view mentoring programs for UAE nationals as an organic process. This means that the available job design integrates the learning process. However, experienced expatriate managers must have a well-designed program to mentor trainees and Emirati employees.

The program should have solid business reasons to speed up the development of future leaders and to share organizational knowledge. HR must look at employee retention rates, the percentage of managers who will reach retirement in the next five years and others. Development objectives are required to conduct the mentoring exercise along with routine job roles.

It is a must that top management and board members support this program. Their participation is essential to mandate this performance. Unfortunately, mentoring is considered as a training activity, but it is not. It is one of the accountabilites and key result areas of line managers. The participant must feel that there is a behavior that drives performance.

Moreover, the program should not be handled by a training manager or by HR. Mentoring is the sole responsibility of the line managers; their job descriptions state that one of their key accountabilities is to act as mentor.

I, myself, have mentored more than 50 UAE nationals in my career and found out that 40% of them hold senior roles now. Any trainee's success is due to the mentor's commitment to develop talent. Mentoring is not aimed to get higher grades, rather it is for trainees to perform actual jobs. It is similar to an on-the-job training.

I consider the long-term goals of individuals and make it work. The exercise is to make people savvy about managing their careers, connecting people, increasing diversity, and building trust and communication.

Handy Hints:

• Managers should identify behaviors that drive performance

• Consider long-terms goals and results when mentoring talent

• Mentors must be committed to developing effective talent

Click on Mentors and read about helping as 'buddies' in transition

Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant