A salary is compensation for routine work, but companies must reward employees for outstanding performance, says Amâncio Torres, the chief executive at ShiftIN Partners, a regional management consultancy with its headquarters in Abu Dhabi. He explains why employees are key in executing workplace strategies.
What problems do companies experience with employing strategies here?
I think the biggest challenge is the execution itself. For two reasons: for the capabilities that they have, because they need to rely on expatriates to do this and also the crisis that we have at the moment. Companies can start to be a little stressed in terms of the growth of their own business. In this region there is, in my opinion, another stress in terms of strategy execution.
What is it?
Companies [in the West] need to find new markets to deliver their services and products … They need to go outside … [which creates] more competition for the companies that are here.
How much importance do chief executives here attach to strategy execution?
Normally, they feel it is very important. They need help in that and they accept that help. They have a good reaction. The other thing is how they do that, and that depends on the style of leadership.
If you are going to give a chief executive advice about strategy execution, what would it be?
Be careful, pay attention how to align your people and make a good reward system based on outstanding work, because you already pay a salary. The second one is be sure that the way you do the things is the best way, not only for the present but to prepare for the future. And be ready to change tomorrow, if necessary.
What can ShiftIN achieve here in the UAE?
We realised that this market needs people who really engage with the customer. I started a project a few [weeks] ago that my role will be as adviser, so I work with a company not to teach them but to guide them. I go there with my knowledge and experience and decide what they need to do and we do it. This is not so easy to find. At the moment in the country, we need people more in an advising approach than a consulting approach.
ShiftIN was started by six people who all previously worked in steady jobs. Why did you decide to leave and set up a company?
We learned the culture of this country and the people. We looked to form a company, but I could not really do this 100 per cent because I had an office in the United States in Boston telling me what I had to do, so we decided to set up this to do the things we think is better to do. And we decided also because we were tired of being an employee of a rich company. [We would rather] be the bosses of a poor company.
* Gillian Duncan