View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Thursday, May 22, 2008

UAE Managers Treating Staff like Mushrooms

It is an ominous sign when many people email the following article to friends, as if to say that the behaviour of the leaders of their organization is reflected in this Gulf News article by Nadia Saleem, ‘Why managers love keeping staff in the dark,’ 16 May 2008. It says:

“More than half of the managers in UAE firms are afraid of communicating with their staff about job details, a study has found.”

“Of the 500 managers surveyed, 52 per cent believe that taking decisions increases their chances of being blamed if something goes wrong.”

“Thirty-two per cent said they make decisions without thinking of the consequences, and 36 per cent felt job security is ensured if they keep a low profile.”

“‘Communication is a key issue for corporate managers in the region. Companies are under pressure to lift productivity and it is becoming harder to attract and retain top talent,’ said Fran McElwaine, director of change and organisational communications at Hill & Knowlton Middle East, which carried out the survey.”

“The study found that while 77 per cent of UAE managers believe they adequately explain their organisation’s strategic objectives to staff, only 54 per cent of the employees agreed on this.”

“Mathew Mathai, deputy general manager of corporate and marketing communications at Sony Gulf, said the findings could be a reflection of the transient nature of working in the UAE.”

“Almost half of all UAE employees surveyed felt that they do not receive the information they need to do their job well while 33 per cent of them felt they were not recognised for the contribution they make to their company.”

It was President George Bush Snr., who was criticised for treating his Vice President like mushrooms—he kept him in the dark and every so often he’d throw manure over him.

Unfortunately, it looks like the mushroom policy is still popular among UAE managers.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: “The mushroom policy is still popular…”