Checking All The Right Boxes: Interview with Frederik Haentjens

Written by: Fleming. Team

Frederik Haentjens
Sadara Chemical Company
Organizational Development Advisor & Boxologist



1. How far do you feel HR has evolved in Oman?

Oman has active HR professionals and up to date HR practices. HR is for many Omani companies a top priority that has to grapple with the challenges posed by its unique labor market and the organizational challenges that we see all over the world, to achieve high operational performances. The Omani traditions and cultural traits can be a competitive advantage if they are well incorporated the process of designing their organizations. The future Omani companies need to be agile and dynamic, and Omani people and the Omani Business Culture have already that agility embedded in their genetic code. It is therefore imperative for HR in Oman to understand how to factor in that advantage in their HR practices.


2. What are the biggest challenges the region must overcome so as to achieve efficiency in workforce management?

It is highly recommended that Omani companies create an 'Employee Value Proposition (EVP)' as a strong means to retain talent their organizations. The challenges ahead are:

- Stay a Great Company Company and its people care mutually for each other. Be people-centric and make your people become your brand.

- Provide Great Jobs – Value your employee's talents and achievements, but more importantly co-create roles that match employees’ capabilities. Break down the traditional job descriptions and move to flexible roles.

- Develop Great Leaders – Have leaders who provide ample guidance, create trust and mutual respect. Let them be your coaches and grow leaders from within. Let people with colleagues, not for bosses.

- Compensate measurable performance – An attractive remuneration system that recognizes valuable employee actual contributions and one which reflects fairness. So give up your bell-curves.

For a fact, the future employees are looking today for organizations that give that flexibility. That is why companies like Google were popular, and now we see the huge interest in the game changers and disruptors. If you want to be part of that future, you need to design your organization now.



3. What are the best practices that should be adopted by the HR practitioners in the region?


My advice to HR practitioners is to build organization capabilities, strengthen systems, and empower human capital. HR professionals need to understand that only agile organizations will have a future. HR needs to help build the future organization now, by having flexible work structures, processes, and systems. HR needs to look into how they can manage networked teams, staff without a “fix” job and multiple reporting lines to project & functional managers. This requires to revisit the way they develop role descriptions, manage performance and even the transactional processes from hiring, leave requests to promotions and variable pay.


4. According to you how will people analytics change or affect the human-centric nature of HR to develop organizations?

People analytics will move from regular reporting to a 24/7 live dashboard for managers. When we used to fill in yearly engagement surveys, that required to be analyzed during 3 months and reported back to the organization during 1 month. We will now start to see snapshot questions appearing on our smart mobile devices about our motivation, productivity, and satisfaction. People analytics are meant to be on-time and continuous, with direct feedback to the participants and the company.


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