HR summit to shed light on HP experience
Dubai, October 6, 2013
Hundreds of Human Resources professionals from the Middle East will gather in Dubai tomorrow to learn how HR is driving business turnaround at one of the largest companies in the world.
Diaa Mohamed, vice president of Global HR Services at Hewlett-Packard (HP), is one of 45 expert speakers at the HR Summit & Expo, taking place from October 7-9 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
He will shed light on how Silicon Valley’s founding company is embarking on an HR focused five-year turnaround plan following a tough year in 2011, when its share price dropped by 60 per cent and financial results were below expectations.
With the second year of the plan now in its final phase, HP’s stock price is on the rise again, and Mohamed will share how HR was at the core of the blue chip’s remarkable transformation at the three-day summit.
“The people and culture have always been the main differentiators for HP and this has been instrumental for us since our first day in business,” said Mohamed. “The company has introduced the most innovative people management practices to the business world.
“HP was the first company to come up with the ‘open office’ design in 1940 in its Redwood Building in Palo Alto, California, and we were also one of the pioneers in introducing employee benefits such as health insurance in 1940, pension plans in 1948, stock grants in 1958, and ‘flexi-time’ working in 1969.”
“The ‘HP way’ explains why we believe employees are the real asset of the company, and is taught as best practice in many business schools. With this rich heritage, it is very normal that HR plays such an important role in the turnaround of the company.
“Since the beginning of the five-year turnaround plan, we have introduced several new innovative products, improved many important financial metrics, and are now generating more than $10 billion of cash flow every year.”
Ahead of his presentation on October 9 at the HR Summit & Expo, Mohamed said he was impressed with the excellent HR strategies at some of the leading Middle East organisations, although for the most part, companies still lag behind more developed markets.
He added: “Many companies in the Middle East still consider employees as cost rather than a competitive advantage. They invest in facilities but not in people development and the tools that enhance productivity. They think that the best way to keep employees is through residency visa control and not through true employee engagement.
“I would encourage Middle East companies to take HR through a similar journey as finance has gone through in the past: from accounting and book-keeping to becoming a core member of the senior leadership in the company. This is what large multinationals have done and the return was great for them.”
Celebrating 10 years this year, the HR Summit & Expo is the Middle East’s largest gathering of HR professionals, featuring 45 free-to-attend HR seminars and two full-day HR master classes.
An exhibition floor will provide a dedicated platform for more than 50 companies to share their latest HR solutions to help advance the profession, while the Middle East HR Excellence Awards on October 8 will recognise the achievements of individuals, departments, teams and organisations that have contributed to the growth and development of the Mid East HR industry.
The unrivalled speaker line-up at the three-day summit is headed by Tom Peters and Chester Elton - two of the world’s foremost thinkers on management, leadership, and engagement.
Other speakers include John Harker, group director of HR at Al-Futtaim Group; Constantin Salameh, Group CEO of Al Ghurair Investment; Abdulrahman Saqr, senior vice president of HR at First Gulf Bank; and Michael Schulz, senior vice president of HR at Petrofac.
The event is organised by IIR Middle East. - TradeArabia News Service