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Mon 28 Oct 2019 01:55 PM

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Middle East execs 'hide in their offices', forget about people

Companies can't expect employees to be productive if they do not communicate with them, says Dawn Metcalfe

Middle East execs 'hide in their offices', forget about people

Executives in the Middle East fail to communicate with employees as they spend too much time “hiding in offices” and worrying about finances, according to Dawn Metcalfe, managing director at Dubai-based training and coaching company PDSi MEA.

Speaking at the Arabian Business Forum as part of the panel Better Staff: How to Keep Your Team Motivated and at the Top of Their Game, Metcalfe said,"[Executives] go into their offices and they’re worried about the numbers and processes - they forgot about the people, and that’s the problem.

"All failure comes from people, and all success comes from people too. It comes from the decisions we make and the way we execute them… The finances are a result of what your people do.

"These are people who want to be successful and they want their organisations to be successful. So they read the books, they listen to [consultants]… but when push comes to shove, [communicating with employees] is not where they spend their time. They go and hide in [offices]…” she said.

Metcalfe said executives cannot expect employees to be productive if they do not communicate with them. 

"If you don’t say to people, 'thank you, well done,’ they’re going to get annoyed with you. They will go to somebody who does. Let's not talk about motivation, it's boring. If you start talking to senior people about motivation, they start rolling their eyes. Let's talk about productivity. Every single time, it’s about productivity. And you don’t get productivity unless the people around you are telling you the truth every single time,” she said.

Dr Michael Burchell, CEO of Great Place to Work Middle East, said organisations must address employees’ concerns including their own personal development.

"There are a couple things we know from our research that we know like fundamentally, in great workplaces, people trust the people they work for… Organisations that want to create an inclusive environment… must think about how to have conversations with employees and also answer key questions: what am I doing and why does it matter? Do I feel valued? How am I doing?

“People want to know [if they’re performing] positively or not so well, and finally [the question] where am I headed? What is my path here? Most executives run to their offices not thinking of how to have these conversations and not answering these. These questions are significant. Most organisations, managers, leaders run to their offices and don’t know how to have those conversations,” he said.

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