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9th FAHR International Conference Successfully Concludes

Thursday April 18, 2019

The 9th edition of FAHR International Conference, which was held by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, successfully concluded today. During the 2-day event, the participants stressed the need for governments and institutions to keep abreast of the rapid technological developments and employ them in the service and development of the corporate work system and the investment in human capital through training, development and empowerment, and focusing on the enhancement of the specific skills and competencies required by the labor market in light of the rapid technological development.

The participants confirmed that the more attention is given to the individuals, the more successful the countries will be as humans are the core value of any country and the most important capital. They also pointed out that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will radically change the nature of the required skills as well as the supply and demand of the jobs as the employee who does not develop their skills and knowledge will not be on track with the latest in the field. The experts stressed on the importance of the human element, which remains the center of institutional work regardless of the high technological development, where the demand for skilled people increases with every technological development, while the future of human work remains no matter how the technology has developed.

New Mechanism to Measure the Human Recourses Maturity

The agenda of the second day of the conference, which was attended by more than 700 specialists and experts in human resources from the region and the world, featured a number of important topics, started with a session for Aisha Al Suwaidi, Executive Director of HR Policies Sector, FAHR, where she discussed the new mechanism set by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources to measure the level of development and maturity of human resources departments and practices in federal government institutions according to international indicators and models set for this purpose.

She explained that the Authority prepared the new mechanism after consulting with the ministries and federal agencies in accordance with a clear scientific methodology based on the availability of relevant human resources data through electronic human resources systems, in order to support the directives of the federal government and keep pace with the dynamics of the development of government work in the UAE.

She stressed that the results of this mechanism are based on the indicators and results of ministries and federal bodies extracted from the Human Resources Management Information System (Bayanati) and its smart reporting system.

She also said that we have developed this mechanism to achieve the following: (Implementing a unified and objective model to measure the level of development of government human resources practices and improving the performance of HR departments in accordance with the best international standards and practices so that they have a significant impact on the development of employees and at the same time achieve the strategic plans for organizations.)

Al Suwaidi further mentioned that the new mechanism to measure the level of development of human resources departments in the federal government will allow the evaluation of ministries and federal entities according to four main axes: (governance, employment efficiency, integration & engagement and development), explaining that a set of indexes will be linked to each axis  with standards developed according to the importance of each axis.

Technology and The Brain

In a session titled: “Technology and The Brain: Habits for the Brain to Think, Focus and Be Creative When Using Technology”, Dr. Lisa Belanger, Behavior Change Expert & Researcher, said: “Technology is evolving dramatically, so we must work better, as some people and employees spend about 11 hours a day using technology.”

Dr. Belanger also spoke about some habits that stimulate the brain to think, focus and be creativite when using technology, noting that the working environment must have "effective breaks" for employees, where they can disconnect from work and communicate with nature and others, and stop using technology or thinking about work.

She also stressed on the importance of avoiding the pressures of work and technology together during the working hours as recent studies have shown that daily walking for only 30 minutes increases productivity from 20 to 30% of the employees.

Dr. Lisa Belanger also mentioned that doing charity leads to positive results at work as it increases loyalty and job satisfaction, therefore, institutions shall always encourage their staff to volunteer and do community work. These simple practices have significant returns, including, loyalty to the workplace and reducing the levels of tension. She pointed out that companies have already started doing this and the results are impressive.

From her side, Dr. Kelly Monahan, Talent Research Lead Senior Principal, Accenture Research – USA, said: “the retention of talents at work has become a problem and dilemma facing employers, indicating that understanding the needs of employees and the needs of the labor market, has not developed sufficiently despite the great advances in technology, which has led to a change in the roles of employees.

Dr. Monahan pointed out that there are five trends that shape the future of work: low cost of technology, high data usage, innovation and creativity, new forms of employment, and facilitation and flexibility.

Human Capital Sustainability in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Dr. Ahmed Al Nuseirat, Senior Advisor for Government Performance, The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, said on his session titled ‘Human Capital Sustainability in the 4th Industrial Revolution’, “That humans are the most important factor, therefore, the countries shall invest in them, as they are the basis of success or failures, and called on all institutions to work to develop their human resources; to achieve the desired success.

He said: "If the government is pursuing sound and successful methods in managing the human resources, it will develop the nation, and if managed wrongly, the country will suffer a lot," stressing that the human is the real revolution of each nation and the most effective tool towards its success.

He added: "Most of the challenges of institutions are primarily humanitarian. The success of each institution is measured by its interest in its human element. The most important characteristic of the real leader is the interest of his human cadre, the development of it, and the promotion of teamwork."

He pointed out that the near future will witness the disappearance of many traditional jobs as they will be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence techniques, which will lead the employers of these professions to develop their skills and abilities to continue in the labor market, as many will out of the market if they did not develop their skills.

He stressed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has greatly affected people's abilities, lifestyles, knowledge and education and he called on institutions and countries to work to look ahead and prepare plans and strategies to keep at pace.

Leading the Workforce through Digital Transformation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution"

In his session, Dr. Mourad Mansour, Assistant Professor of Management, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stated that the digitally and technology-driven Fourth Industrial Revolution is causing positive and powerful disruption in every industry including the governmental sector. In addition, the extensive use of technology will lead to a rapid change in the way governmental institutions will do their jobs and will push them towards planning very well for this shift. He emphasized that organizations need to prepare their workforce for the new challenges. Moreover, governmental employees must be proactive in shaping these technologies and embrace change and realize that their jobs will be dramatically different from what they are used to do and that this will open a big door for competition on job sustainability.

We are not alone… Using Human (and Artificial) Intelligence to Create an Awesome HR Customer Journey

In his session, John Hansen, Vice President, Cloud Development for Oracle’s Human Capital Management, Oracle, Australia spoke about how HR practitioners now have a new ally, their artificial (A.I.) counterpart. He highlighted that with the advent of state-of-the-art applications of Artificial Intelligence, organizations can now deliver tomorrow’s HR customer journey today.

Hansen pointed out that Oracle is interested in developing human capital using special technology, and that the work is more innovative, flexible and easy, noting that it is necessary to invest in all forms of artificial intelligence, even when looking for a job. 

Becoming FutureFit: AI-powered Pathways to Success in the New World of Work

In his session, Hamoon Ekhtiari, Founder and CEO, Audacious Futures, Canada, highlighted that buzzwords such as technology, disruption, AI, automation, and demographics are making endless headlines yet it is becoming increasingly more difficult for each of us to make sense of this new world and find pathways to opportunity and success within it.

Innovation in HR Technology

In her session, Sarah Abdulla, HR Specialist, Dubai Police stated that with the ever-increasing need for retention and succession planning programs in businesses specifically for those with critical positions and talented employees; organizations need to rethink their strategies and find ways to identify this group of people at an early stage and work on preparing them for future job opportunities.

Going beyond the traditional jobs

Lewis Garrad, Business Leader & Senior Consultant at Mercer- Middle East in Singapore, pointed out in his session titled “The Science of Thriving Workforces in the 21st Century” that the reasons behind the commitment of 50% of employees at work depends on their love for work, and to achieve confidence and uphold the values of belonging and desire for self-realization.

Garrad discussed during the session the educational objectives which includes, understanding the social, technical and demographic changes that are causing shifts in workforce needs, challenges and aspirations, understanding the psychology of thriving at work, outlining the challenges that organizations experience when trying to unlock the full potential of employees, learning the 4 critical steps that leaders and HR teams need to take in order to help their workforce thrive and learning how new technologies can help improve the employee experience.

FAHR International Conference is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding, and sponsored by ENOC, SAP MENA LLC and supported by our Knowledge Partners Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Dubai Knowledge Park.

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