The Human Resource Section of the Business Studies Department, UTAS-Nizwa conducted a forum on Innovative HR practices of SMEs in the Sultanate of Oman in association with the SME Development Authority, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Al Dhakliya Region and the Research and Consultancy Committee of Business Studies Department on 24 May 2022.
Primarily, the forum was set up to be an avenue for collecting data and information for a research project that is being undertaken by Dr. Mohammed Kutpudeen, Dr.Muhammad Tahir and Ms. Hajar Al Nabhani, HoS-HR. It was attended by 50 SME owners from different sectors in the Al Dhakiliya Region. The forum also aimed to share insights to entrepreneurs on how SMEs can be empowered through innovative HR practices and educating SME owners about the various functional areas of Human resources, and developing a stronger relationship between Industry and Academia.
Dr. Hafedh Ambusaidi, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs welcomed the esteemed guests which included Mr. Ahmed Al Hajiri, General Manager of Industries, Karsha, Mr. Issa Al Subaihi, Chairman of SME Authority, Al Dhakilya, Dr.Khamis Al Muniri -Vice Chairman of the Board Trustees of University of Buraimi, Er. Salih Al Abri- CEO of a manufacturing organization, Ms. Abeer Al Harthy – Learning and Vendor Manager, HSBC, Muscat, Mr. Jaffar Al Lawati, Senior Business Analyst in Corporate Strategy, Mazoon Electricity, Muscat, Dr. Abdullah Al Abri, Chairman, RCC, and all the participants and the organizers of the event.
In her key remarks, Ms. Nahid Al Shukaili, HoD –BSD, addressed the significant role played by SMEs in the national economy and the contribution of academia towards industries to achieve greater milestones. As the event is part of an ongoing research study, she explained the outcomes of the research and its findings for the betterment of SMEs in Oman. She was elated by this initiatives of the research proponents for it was the first of its kind, at least, based on the department’s recent history.
The forum was moderated by Mr. Khalid Al Shanfari, Lecturer, HR Section, who managed the interactions that the four invited speakers of the event delivered.
In his speech, Dr. Khamis Al Muniri, talked about the “Talent acquisition in SMEs and innovative practices to find the best fits”. He covered the importance of talent acquisition in SMEs, strategies to attract the brightest and best employees, recruitment supply chain, induction methods, and ways to retain the talented in the competitive work environment.
The second speaker, Ms. Abeer Al Harthy, addressed creating a stronger work culture in SMEs in Oman. She stressed the ways to avail the full potential of employees, aligning training programs with the firm’s goals, and Mentoring and personal development strategies.
The third speaker Er. Salih Al Abri highlighted the compensation and benefits strategies in SMEs to motivate and retain talented employees. He discussed the factors that small businesses should consider while finalizing their compensation and benefits strategy, level and structure of compensation for maximum impact, balancing internal and external parity of compensation, and impactful equity compensation.
The fourth speaker Mr. Jaffar Al Lawati, delivered a speech on appraising employees of SMEs. In his speech, he highlighted the various aspects of performance appraisal including the application of innovative appraisal methods in SMEs’, comparison between conventional appraisal methods and innovative methods, elements to evaluate, establishing an appropriate feedback mechanism, follow up strategies, and performance tracking systems to monitor performance.
The forum paved a way for the guests to interact with all the speakers to clarify their operational HR issues.
The event ended with the Vote of Thanks by Ms. Hajar Al Nabhani, HOS of the HR Section to all the chief guests, speakers, participants, staff members of the Business Studies Department, the College Council, and the organizers.