This month we return to Oman to welcome Rashid Vice President Corporate Affairs for Qalhat LNG Oman who met at the successful HR conference recently held there at the beginning of this month. It is interesting to note that Oman has some employee union practices newly introduced in to Oman to share with us:

1.Tell us about you, your experience and time as a senior executive in Oman
An expert in HR, General Administration, HSSE & Corporate affairs having more than 17 years of experience. I spent 11 years working in Central Bank of Oman (CBO) wherein I was responsible for Human Resources Development for around 500 staff working in Head office and branches. Since March 2006 till now, I have been working in Qalhat LNG, I established the company’s HR & General Administration, HSSE and Corporate Affairs Departments. I am responsible for all these departments in the Company. I acted as CEO as and when needed and identified as a potential CEO. My experience and practical knowledge, skills and capabilities are augmented by strong academic and professional achievements; has a Master Degree in HRM from UK, Chartered MCIPD form Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) UK, Bachelor Degree in Marketing & International Business from USA. My outstanding work and initiatives have been recognized locally & abroad; received “ HR LEADERSHIP AWARD ” 2012 from Council of Board members of Employer Branding Institute; World HRD Congress, Singapore. Also, received the following awards “Asia’s Best Employer Brand” 2011, “The Best Practices Establishment”2011, “The Best Recruitment Strategy”2010, “Most Admired Company in Human Capital Management”2009, “Best Company in Omanisation”, “Employer of the Year 2008” and “The Energy Company of the Year 2006” and many awards in different areas of business. I have written, co-written research papers and made many presentations in HR, leadership and management development locally and abroad.
2. How do you maintain awareness of the organization’s performance and culture, its business direction, strategic developments, HR processes and practices in Oman?
I believe that open communication and trust are the key success factor to motivate and inspire employees in organisation; hence I worked hard in order to established an excellent system wherein maintain awareness of the organization’s performance and culture, its business direction, strategic developments, HR processes and practices. Effective Employee Engagement is essential tool for emerging companies to survive in this era; every Wednesday, we organize a snack session wherein all staff meet and socialise and at the same time discuss business and various updates. Staffs are encouraged to make presentations and share views. Company performance and KPIs are discussed with the status of work done and deliverables to reinforce Employees Engagement. Also, I organise a “LINK” session after each Shareholders and Board of Directors meetings; the objective of kink session is to share and update staff about topics discussed in Board of Directors meetings. In 2011, I introduced Staff Suggestion Scheme (“Q-Ideas”) which aims at providing even greater opportunities for staff to contribute ideas and suggestions towards improving the way we conduct business.
A company Business Plan (BP) is crucial for organizations as it maps the future of organizations. BP needs to build on Company success and ensure the delivery of sustainable growth for all our stakeholders including staff of the company. The approach that we have created is that the effective and successful plan to be formulated by all staff at all levels in the company. In this respect, we involve all staff in all levels to participate in Business plan workshop (away day). Staff participant in the following activities;
• Review the progress of departmental milestones
• Brainstorm activities to be carried out next year
• Conceptual design of next year Scorecard
• Detailed Design of next year Departmental Milestones
• Approval Departmental Milestones and Corporate Scorecard

Also, I always look at areas outside my domain function, in addition to my current roles and responsibilities; I was given more and diverse responsibilities to my portfolio of functions. In November 2012, I was nominated to take on the responsibility of Vice President of Corporate Affairs and attend the Management Committee Meetings. My current profile includes HR, General Administration, Public Affairs and HSSE. CEO tells me that I have the capacity to operate outside my core discipline area and has the personal ability to quickly learn new business areas.
3. How easy is it for you to get direct access to the decision makers in your company?
I am part of the Executive Committee where operation and strategic areas are discussed and approved. I attend Shareholders Management Committee and Board of Directors Committee and represent the companies in various function and areas of business locally and abroad.
I am also a member of external committees including the Oil & Gas ICV HR committee and a member of the Task Force 1 of the International Gas Union, Paris.
4.What the challenge in the area of HR?
Employee relation “Labour unions” is new in the country which will require sometime to be developed and understand by all parties involved. Although Ministry of Manpower in Oman has issued terms, legislations and update, however, all three parties (government, companies and workers) need to understand it well. There were many issues raised 2 years ago as a result of Arab spring, therefore, the need to know more about this area and its implication are essential
5.How you implemented HR improvement/innovation, what risks did you identify and how did you address them?
My long years of experience helped me to carry out effectively major projects in the business. I found out that it is common for managers (other than HR mangers), to ask many questions and to challenge HR projects. This is due to lack of information about the project, work involved from their side and for not been asked or involved in the plan to carry out the project.
Therefore, I ensure to spend good time with executives and managers to talk about work issues, performance of staff and what can be done to tackle issues and improve performance, motivation, commitment …etc.
I share my views and suggestions and make the project or idea as it was proposed or initiated by them rather than impose it to them. I make good use of staff gathering where I discuss the issue and share our ways or views to solve it, I encourage staff to ask questions and have a dialog.
For example, when I proposed to do a competency framework, I discussed this subject with executives and then with staff and I shared many examples about the benefit of this project to staff and their career progression, questions and clarifications raised by staff were addressed.
During company business plan workshop attended by all staff, majority of them suggested to carry out competency framework as a scorecard item to be done in the company. As a result, this project was carried out and successfully completed and implemented because it was initiated and supported by all staff.
Most of HR project need inputs, contribution and commitment from line managers and staff, therefore, you need to keep motivating them to do the work required in order to complete projects on time. I learned that you need allocate enough time and accept that you may not get the support needed from them; thus, always make a contingency plan to address any delay and understand that they have other important things that they need to do or complete as part of their functional role and responsibilities. For example, in competency framework project, I used different tools such as job description, Task and target, staff report, Personal Development Plan, staff report…etc to come out with job profile and competency level. After that I conducted short interview and incorporated suggestion and missing area, and then I shared the final product with them for their final review.
With this, time and effort needed from their side was minimized and HR contribution was appreciated.

If you have any questions or comments for Rashid please post them below

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