Strategic Human Resource Management by the Ministry of Health in UAE
Strategic human resource management (SHRM) involves tactics that human resource managers employ in the administration of human capital to attain long-term goals for their organizations. SHRM (or Strategic HRM) handles issues such as hiring, employee discipline, teamwork management, and training. Having SHRM is essential in maintaining high quality employees and, consequently, high productivity. In UAE, the Ministry of Health (or MOH) has considered improving its performance through organizational strategy. The review of labor laws by the UAE government has transformed the way HR managers are handling employees in their organizations. Organizational strategy in MOH should correspond with the current human resource (HR) policies to enhance effective provision of healthcare service in UAE.
Organizational Strategy in UAE
Organizational strategy incorporates plans made by organizations to attain specific goals, as the organization grows with time. Any organization that aspires to achieve its objectives has to match its organizational strategy with its human resource strategy (Holbeche, 2009). In UAE, the MOH has a mission to improve the health of individuals, as well as for societies within the country, through the provision of inclusive and excellent health services (“MOH Strategy,” 2014). Through its vision, the MOH has endeavored to maintain health among the UAE communities through equal distribution of comprehensive and reactive healthcare system.
SHRM ensures that organizations exploit human capital based on the existing labor laws. Organization strategy can hardly be attained without high consideration of values. The MOH has established professionalism in healthcare by recruiting the most qualified personnel in healthcare facilities, where customer’s priority is the core premise. SHRM in MOH is committed to sustain its operations through creativity and integration of services that aim at serving the entire community. The ministry has also emphasized on teamwork to ensure that each department has attained its goal within the stipulated time. Employees are willing to work with the partners for the benefit of the patients.
The Capacity to Execute Organizational Strategy
The UAE has continued to expand its national healthcare system through the MOH to satisfy the rising needs of its citizens, in addition to supporting economic diversification. The MOH is collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Health Insurance Authority to ensure that all the seven emirates have adequate healthcare infrastructure, as well as improving the local workforce (“The UAE Healthcare Sector,” 2014).
As the country’s population continues to rise due to high life expectancy, the demand for better healthcare has also continued to rise. To cater for the rising healthcare needs, MOH has collaborated with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) to develop sophisticated healthcare system in both public and private hospitals (Bell, 2016). Abu Dhabi and Dubai have already executed mandatory health insurance scheme, as the MOH continue to push for the same in the northern emirates. IT requirements have continued to expand due to the advancement of Private IT sector, which provides high-tech equipment and computers to MOH (Int’L, B. P. U., 2015).
Many leaders are quick to mention that the greatest challenge in managing organizations is identifying and retaining the most talented employees. However, MOH in UAE is quite aware that organizational strategy requires high levels of recruitment to attain its goals. Thus, adequate investment on equipment, training, and technology, as demonstrated in the health sector, has helped to meet healthcare needs among communities in UAE.
Current HR Policies and Practices in UAE
HR managers are vital in implementation of organizational strategies. The UAE government, through the MOH, is dedicated to recruiting the right kind of employees, who would serve the ministry in the most effective manner. The HR policies are focused on outlining how staffing requirements can be carried out in advance to attain the optimum level of human capital based on the required skills. The Labor Department is involved in the recruitment of local employees. According to GulfTalent, Article 12 of UAE labor laws allow employers to recruit any unemployed National, as long as they notify the Labor Department before 15 days are over since recruitment date (“UAE Labor Law,” 2007). Additionally, Article 13 necessitates the labor Department to approve employment of Non-nationals.
The UAE government has recently reviewed its labor laws to ensure that the relationship between employees and their employers is more transparent and mutually beneficial. The new laws are expected to affect SHRM in various departments in the government where new procedures are expected to offer direction on the issuance of work permits to foreign employees (“UAE Labor Recruitment Law”, 2015). The new laws seem to be flexible, particularly to individuals who keep on changing jobs, as the automatic six months’ employment ban has been removed. Individuals are now free to acquire new work permits after spending only six months with their previous employers without creating conflict on either party.
The existence of effective HR managers in healthcare departments in UAE has helped in making appropriate plans on medical equipment and training on how to utilize such equipment. The most essential practice in equipment planning is the auditing of the existing equipment and evaluating how such equipment can correspond with the current technology (Kloep, 2012). In addition, the HR managers have set priorities on how to acquire new technology to boost the existing one. Despite investing heavily on technology, UAE still rely enormously on expatriates to undertake various duties in healthcare sector (Forstenlechner, Lettice & Ozbilgin, 2012).
The HR policies have assisted the MOH in attaining its organizational strategy, as they have emphasized on value and professionalism in selection of employees. This depicts that the level of recruitment in UAE is quite high, as running the current healthcare equipment requires individuals with high levels of competency. However, lack of training-base career culture in UAE has allowed some jobs in the MOH to be filled by expatriates.
Aligning HR Policies and Practices with Capacity
Use of technology in recruitment and training has enabled HR managers in healthcare sector to attain their goals through organization strategy. Critics have often claimed that some HR policies and practices may be ideologically defective, hence, may not assist in realizing the desired outcomes. To avoid such instances, the government has ensured that the level of technology in the health sector is appropriate in enhancing productivity among healthcare personnel.
The level of communication is vital in aligning HR policies with existing resources. Poor communication among healthcare personnel can result in casualties, even when the government has invested heavily on sophisticated technology. Team meetings, workshops, and regular training can assist in enlightening employees on their responsibilities. Motivation of employees through promotions and incentives can assist in retaining the best talents, who can facilitate in meeting the organizational objectives.
The UAE government has struggled to eliminate obstacles that inhibit efficient provision of healthcare in the country, and has sought international partners, who can assist in eliminating such barriers. However, workforce development should be given the first priority to enhance the organizational strategy. Trainings should be carried out locally to avoid seeking expatriates who require higher salaries to maintain.
The UAE government should be keen on medical practices to avoid inconsistent in the provision of healthcare services. HR managers should exploit mobile recruitment strategy to take advantage of the level of Smartphone penetration in the UAE. Public and private providers can exploit online professional networks to seek and connect to the best talents (“Mobile Recruiting Strategy”, 2014). There is a need to evaluate the equipment in healthcare sector to correspond with the equipment budget.
SHRM has played a critical role in UAE, particularly in the health sector, as it has ensured that employees are focused on the organizational goals. HR policies and practices are essential in enhancing fairness and consistency in the management of employees. To create a collaborative working environment, HR managers should implement organizational strategy that corresponds with the country’s labor regulations. The rising population of elderly people has necessitated the government to invest on high technology to cater for elderly people’s needs. The UAE government should continue investing on new equipment to meet the sophisticated needs of patients. In addition, more local people should be trained to avoid spending heavily on foreign employees.
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Forstenlechner, I., Lettice, F., & Ozbilgin, M. F. (2012). Questioning quotas: applying a relational framework for diversity management practices in the United Arab Emirates. Human Resource Management Journal, 22(3), 299-315.
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