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Human Resources

The subsidiary companies within the MB Holding group give strong emphasis in employing and developing Omanis and local staff by providing necessary training and guidance to enhance their competences and become productive for the company and the nation. In Oman, locals are encouraged to take up leadership positions within the group and several are currently occupying leadership positions. More emphasis on leadership development will be pursued in the forthcoming years. Omanisation is nearly 80% at the end of 2008 and as such the group is at the forefront of making a meaningful contribution to the Omani society.

Resourcing the Business

During 2007-08, MB Holding subsidiary companies continued to grow and today employs around 6000 people across 15 countries with 51 nationalities. This was against a background of increases in the number of projects in the oil and gas services sector, growth of the exploration and production sector, building of mining operations to go into production as well as growth in manufacturing, which included mergers and acquisitions. Aggressive recruitment continued although attraction of experienced expatriate employees was a major challenge. This was a result of the market competition, which was fuelled by high oil prices, growth around the region, and increases in remuneration packages offered by competitors due to inflation and increases in house rentals. The drop in the dollar value which is pegged to the Omani Riyal also eroded competitiveness. Resourcing the business with competent staff continued unabated despite the devastating after effects of the cyclone Guno in June 2007.

In response, the total remuneration package was benchmarked and reviewed in 2007 compared to peer group of companies in the relevant sectors a view to further improve the total remuneration package and maintain our competitiveness. Performance linked bonuses were also introduced as part of variable pay.

In 2007, a new project was started which introduced the ORACLE Human Resource Management System to support HR processes. This will initially address employee services and payroll. Further modules will be added and configured to further support other major HR processes. This will also be a strategic tool to support people processes in all MB Holding group of companies and will also be linked to other ORACLE systems as part of the application architecture for the group. The increase in the number of employees has more than doubled over the last 2 years. In order to cope with the growth more senior staff in human resources were recruited to further re-enforce and manage the recruitment processes as well as provide tools to support management of such staff to the various companies.

Head hunters were also utilized for recruitment of senior management positions. As depicted in the graph below, at year end 2007, 2383 employees were added to the manpower establishment of MB Holding group of companies through recruitment as well as acquisitions with a head count of 5807.

Learning and Development

A Centre for Education and Employee Development (CEED) was set up in 2007 and is a dedicated facility established to support Learning and development needs of staff in the group. CEED is building its capabilities to support commercial, technical and supervisory training requirements utilizing this facility as well as in the workplace. A total of over 10,000 man days was invested in developing human capital in 2007.

A “Career First” programme was also introduced to assist fresh Omani graduates to determine the career they wish to pursue. Support was given in the assessment and recruitment of new graduates. The Centre continued to offer ongoing competence development programmes for technicians and technical staff and supported on the job training. New graduates were also given training in Project Management and Communication in English. Traditionally, the group had nurtured a large number of Omani nationals to occupy positions of responsibility in subsidiary companies and during 2007; a ‘Top Track’ program was instituted to identify high performers and potential future business leaders through an objective, transparent and credible process of Competency Assessment. Out of 200 nominees, twenty ‘Top Trackers’ were selected based on results of an intensive battery of tests, exercises, presentations, case studies, peer reviews and business games. These Top Track candidates have taken up cross-functional as well as function-specific projects and class room sessions. They have also successfully acted as trainers to other employees using innovative methods like drama and role playing to communicate meaningful lessons. Specific Training in team building, job analysis, writing job descriptions, talent identification and developing performance goals were also introduced for experienced staff during 2007. More programmes became available in 2008 including Supervisory Management and Leadership development as the group’s capability is further developed.




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