TPC Leadership Middle East are delving into the topic of workforce engagement. Over this blog series, we interview a number of TPC Leadership’s leading voices to explore their take on what more organisations can be doing to support their workforce and fundamentally improve performance in the Middle East.

In this final blog, we talk to TPC Leadership Associate, Viveka Anderton who sits on our Middle East Advisory Board. Viveka is a Leadership and Organisational Development Consultant and Coach with over 30 years experience working across the corporate and public sector in over 50 countries. Viveka is a specialist on topics key to the Middle East; innovation, sustainability and responsible business management, driving growth and change under Vision 2030, multi-cultural teams, nationalisation in the Gulf, diversity and gender inclusion, growth and development of family businesses.  

Why is this topic so important?

“While the Middle East was of course affected by the pandemic, the region’s experience from H1N1 and SARS made the region’s countries take very fast and decisive action. This was accompanied by the persistent work towards Vision 2030. UAE and Saudi continued planning and developing alternative revenue streams towards carbon independence and pushing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. EXPO 2020 was delivered with a glorious success and Egypt pushed forward its infrastructure development and will soon host COP27. 

The crisis also developed stronger regional cooperation to include Qatar and Israel. This together, with a very young population now gives the feeling of a region that is co-operating, forward looking, and fast moving.” 

“The confidence amongst the workforce has increased, especially in the UAE; it once more ranked top as the preferred place to live in by the Arab Youth Survey. When interviewing regional executives, their Egyptian staff were early back in the offices, seeing the benefits of team working and face to face meetings. 

It is important to fully understand the ways in which organisations in the region can further develop their organisational purpose, agility and speed to innovate. This will uncover the core of what motivates your people, build a performance driven culture, develop effective incentives, ensure talent retention and treat symptoms of disengagement early.”

Why do organisations find it challenging? 

“Governments are expecting fast innovative developments in line with Vision 2030 and responsible participation in the countries’ development. This is together with managing hybrid organisations, digital transformations, adaptation of operational procedures, adjusting to new market conditions, addressing sustainability requirements… the list is long and challenging to balance. 

It requires leaders that can lead with purpose, be flexible, able to stimulate fast change in order to attract the right staff. As I said before, the region’s workforce is young but the one thing they are doing is putting their own career development in focus. This means choosing to work for companies that show innovation, purpose and live up to their values. The Pandemic further shifted people’s expectations on life, health, meaning and self-care. Organisations and leaders need to be able to respond to the demands of the workforce or risk losing talent.”

What can TPC Leadership suggest to help? 

“To succeed, leaders need to continue work on their skill set and their personal tool box. They might be pushed out of their comfort zone when needing to communicate with intent, authenticity, and engagement but they have to be able to embrace innovation and set inspiring goals for the people. Leaders cannot ‘green wash’ its commitment to sustainability, ethics, and responsible management. 

Perhaps the first step is understanding what our region’s dynamic smart workforce wants to see from their leaders. How often do organisations ask the question: As your leader, what would you like to see from me? In this way leaders can develop their own personal engagement as role-models to their workforce.

I joined TPC Leadership’s fairly recently, but I am totally convinced and excited by what the company can offer the region. Not only are the services comprehensive, but they are pragmatic and flexible to be tailored for maximum impact within a short time frame. Companies no longer have time or money for long and costly transformation programmes. I strongly feel that TPC Leadership is uniquely placed with its global experience, to quickly assess situations, teams and suggest actions with tangible outcomes.”

So what is the main takeaway?

“Leaders need to embrace the changes and take an active role in their own self development for an agile, purposeful, reflective leadership style. This is something that TPC Leadership can not only facilitate but co-create with organisations, helping leaders achieve new heights of innovation and success.”

If you’d like to hear more about how TPC Leadership can support your organisation to successfully and sustainably engage their workforce, please get in touch.