By The HR Observer

HR Summit & Expo to turn spotlight on why employee engagement is becoming essential within regional business

HR experts have warned that Middle East businesses must place a major emphasis on driving innovation through the workforce, and on employee engagement, to help create a regional economic upturn.

Deiric McCann, Executive Vice President at Profiles International which surveyed 40,000 leaders through the eyes of their 400,000 employees and identified the behaviours that make a leader engaging, argued that HR is no longer simply about ‘policies and payrolls’.

“HR departments in the Middle East can foster innovation in their hiring procedures by ensuring that they include the search and hunt for ‘the innovation factor’ when they are recruiting and creating and designing award schemes to recognize and reward innovation in their organizations. This way, the organization will end up with a culture of innovation,” said McCann.

The three-day HR Summit and Expo will focus on how innovation can play a key role in developing new HR practices and ‘disrupting’ old ones, and why employee engagement is becoming essential within business practices today.

McCann added: “It makes all the sense in the world to focus one’s effort upon what is frequently the largest capital investment in an organisation – its people. Years of research has shown that you can only dramatically increase people’s output if they come to a point where they are so invested in the organisation and its goals that they are prepared to invest some of their own time and effort in assuring its success. That’s what we call engagement, and that’s why it must be a key focus for every single senior executive – form the CEO down.”

The HR Summit and Expo is supported by Headline Sponsors, Daman, Profiles International, CIPD, Wiley and CivilSoft; Strategic Partner, Gulf Talent; Platinum Sponsors, Halogen Software, FranklinCovey Middle East, Qiyada; Gold Sponsor, Tanfeeth; and Silver Sponsors, BTS, Eruditus, Zurich, HGS, Cass Business School and Mary Gober International.

Guest speakers will be joined by a collection of eminent authors, thinkers and HR leaders from organisations around the world who broadly agree that HR needs to assume a more pivotal role within organisations.

Henry Davies, founder of UK-based branding and engagement specialists 106 Communications, underlines why employee engagement is now such a powerful asset for business improvement and better overall performance.

“HR can play a role not simply in being innovative, but by harnessing innovation within organisations.,” he says. “Everyone within a business can help to contribute to new ideas and innovations, and HR should be working on innovation programmes to find and explore these ideas.”

“People are often the greatest cost for an organisation – both to hire and employ. Often they’ve been seen as a commodity. Today there’s the realisation that people can contribute so much more, and engaged teams are more productive than those that aren’t. “

The HR Summit & Expo is the Middle East’s largest gathering of HR professionals, featuring more than 60 concurrent sessions and a choice between ten certified masterclasses led by an unrivalled faculty of facilitators.

Other experts speaking include Peter Cheese, Chief Executive Officer of CIPD; Sven Rohte, Chief Commercial Officer at Daman; Neil Morrison, Group HR Director at Penguin Random House; Shirley Davis, President and CEO of SDS Global Enterprises; and Ripa Rashid, Senior Vice President at Centre for Talent and Innovation.

Show Director Ramy Bayyour said: “The HR Summit and Expo has expanded rapidly over the last decade, becoming a must-attend event for HR professionals in the GCC region and beyond. This year we’re putting the spotlight on innovation and employee engagement, which have been hot topics that concern all businesses in the current economy.

“The event will be an excellent opportunity for HR professionals in the region to hear first-hand from a thought leader in how their companies can get that competitive edge by implementing innovative HR practices.”

Running alongside the summit and exhibition is the Middle East HR Excellence Awards which will showcase the best HR talent in the Middle East and honour professionals in the public and private sectors. Winners will be celebrated across 10 separate categories at a gala dinner on Tuesday 17 November at The Address Hotel Downtown Dubai.

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