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Tips on Asking for a Promotion

By Morgan International Staff Writers

So you want a promotion? Asking your boss for a promotion can be a very daunting prospect and I would certainly advise anybody in this situation to consider a few things in advance of even approaching the subject.

  • What do you want to be promoted to?
  • Are you confident you have the skills, attributes and experience to be worthy for the promotion?
  • Are there any organisational blockers to your promotion? Such as a temporary block on hiring and promotions.
  • Do you think your boss is expecting this conversation? Have you primed them in advance?
  • How will you feel if you don’t get the promotion and what will your follow up actions be?


Considering and answering all of these questions provides a good foundation for the conversation you are planning to have with your boss. It is not to say you will share all of this information, but you should have considered it. Interestingly the tips for asking for a promotion are not actually about the conversation itself, but rather they are the things you need to do before asking the question to increase your chances of success.


  • Performance targets

As part of the performance management process, you should seek to understand the skill and/or experience gaps you have between your current role and the one you would be interested in being promoted to. First of all this will alert your boss to the fact you are actively seeking promotion, and you can agree clear attainment goals to achieve that promotion.

  • Feedback

Ask for real time feedback on your performance. A good time to ask is in your regular one to ones. Do not wait for the periodic performance reviews as typically this will not allow you sufficient time to adjust your behaviours.

  • Successors

If you are invaluable, your boss may be wary about promoting you and leaving a skill gap. Consider if there is somebody more junior on the team who you could train/coach/mentor so that you have a natural successor to your role – or at least someone who can cover whilst a replacement is found.

  • Timing

I mentioned in the introduction that there may be times when companies have freezes on promotions and hiring. This of course would be an inappropriate time to ask the question. However if your company has a yearly cycle for promotions, asking just ahead of when you think the decisions are made would likely lead to a far more fruitful outcome.


In summary, whilst asking for a promotion may seem like a scary prospect, if you are sure of your value and worth, and you follow the preparation tips above, you should have a good chance of success. By working out your back up plan in advance, if you are not successful you will have the security of knowing you have alternative options to pursue.


How to Secure Employee Loyalty

By Morgan International Staff Writers

High Turnover is a Global Problem

There is a global problem with employee turnover rates. All businesses should expect a certain level of turnover, for retirement, poorly performing employees, and some natural change. In fact some attrition is positive as it brings new people and their ideas into the organization and avoids stagnation and groupthink. However what we are witnessing in the Middle East specifically is higher than the global average and this is of course raising questions as to why employees in this region are so keen to move on so quickly.


The Research

Research has shown that employee turnover rates are predicted to rise to 23.4% by 2018, which is up from 20.6% in 2012. A report by Hays CGC showed that 31% of employees in the UAE changed jobs in 2015, with 57% saying they planned to make a move in 2016. Employee turnover at this level is problematic and extremely costly for businesses in the UAE. In fact it is estimated to cost $2.7billion per annum according to figures provided by and YouGov Siraj.


The next obvious question is, why is employee turnover so high in the Middle East compared to other regions? There is no universally accepted answer to this question, but there is one dominant theory which relates to supply and demand. In recent years, a high number of skilled workers have found employment in the UAE, which for the first time has saturated demand, causing wages to flat-line. This has meant employees have not received the pay rises of the past and are perhaps looking elsewhere to get that salary increase.


4 Tips to Secure Employee Loyalty

Many organizations are now seeking ways to increase employee loyalty and reduce attrition.

  1. Invest in the hiring process

Hiring can be a long and expensive process, but getting the right candidate in the beginning can save a lot of time, trouble, and cost later on down the road.

  1. Invest in your employees

Spend money on training and other professional qualifications they might be interested in undertaking that have a synergy with the role they are doing.

  1. Promote promotion

Have clear succession planning and make paths to promotion clear and attainable.

  1. Empower employees

Give them responsibility and ownership with tasks. Help them to understand how their contribution is important to the success of the organisation.


In Summary

High turnover is a global issue but it is a particularly prevalent issue in the UAE at the moment. One way to tackle this is by implementing the tips above, and using the expertise of a professionally qualified HR professional who can implement a retention strategy.



Google to Launch a Job Search Engine

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Earlier this month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that a job search engine was to be launched in the USA. The service is set to be available for all job types at all levels of seniority, and will be called Google for Jobs. The service will leverage Google technologies like machine learning and A.I. to better understand how jobs are classified and related, among other things.


Google don’t tend to enter into new arenas without a solid foundation of reasoning, and typically a bucket load of knowledge they can throw at it. Of course this case is no different, with Mr Pichai identifying a big disconnect between employers and job seekers; “46% of U.S. employers say they face talent shortages and have issues filling open job positions….. We want to better connect employers and job seekers through a new initiative, Google for Jobs.”


They plan to do this by partnering with job search providers such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Careerbuilder, Monster, and Glassdoor. Within a few weeks, when a Google user in the USA undertakes a job search query, the Google results will include available jobs matching the parameters set by the user.


The big question is, what is in it for job seekers? Google are set to leverage their gargantuan machine learning and AI capabilities to enhance the ways jobs are classified, and they will also search across multiple job sites. In essence, this provides an aggregated job seeking service that will save lots of time for job hunters as they no longer will have to visit multiple sites. We also know that Google for Jobs will have lots of search parameters that can be set up to easily refine a job search. An integration with Google Maps will allow users to quickly see average commute times to the jobs that are returned from their search.


Google have certainly identified a search vertical that up until now had been ignored. It will be interesting to see how successful Google for Jobs is in the USA – with Google intending to roll out to more countries in the near future.



How to choose HR Analytics software


By Morgan International Staff Writers


At some point in your HR career you will likely have input to software selection decisions. This specific article is to provide guidance when looking to procure an HR analytics software.


  1. Be clear about your requirements

Speak to stakeholders and consider the requirements for the new software. It is useful to classify these requirements using MoSCoW prioritisation or something similar.

  • Must have
  • Should have
  • Could have
  • Would have

The way to use this is to ensure prospective software covers the must have requirements and hopefully the majority of the ‘should haves’. The ‘could have’ and ‘would have’ are usually nice to haves, but you might want to see some of those on the product road map.


  1. Prioritize self service

The analytics produced should be of value to many stakeholders throughout the organization and within reason you do not want to be a gatekeeper for that data. Therefore you should seek a system that has access control and then a user friendly interface. Don’t forget this is real time data, so the power is in stakeholders being able to access data at specific points in time. Therefore you do not want to be in a scenario where you are creating reports at short notice for stakeholders.


  1. Seek flexibility

Most software offerings in this space will have lots of out of the box reports, graphs, set input data expectations, and so on. That is all great and will probably be very useful; however each organization is individual, with individual requirements. Therefore find out how flexible the software is in terms of you being able to create fully bespoke reports and charts/graphs.


  1. Opt for cloud

Choosing a cloud based solution offers a large amount of flexibility to the HR team. Furthermore, it restricts the input needed from the IT team. A lot of changes you want to make can be done by yourself and/or the supplier, without the need to rely on a change control process at the mercy of your IT team.


In Summary

There will undoubtedly be some front runners in the HR analytics software space and are already prime candidates to be selected. However that does not mean they are all created equal. Use the tips above to undertake a proper evaluation before making your selection.



Skills HR Professionals Need From Other Functions

By Morgan International Staff Writers


There was a time when roles and responsibilities fitted fairly neatly within their respective departments – for example HR, Finance, IT, Project Management, Risk, and so on. Typically those within each department were not expected to have knowledge of the other functions as if they had a need for that input they would ask for an individual within that department to assist them.

However in today’s economy, there has been a large shift that has caused professionals to work cross functionally and often take on responsibilities outside of their own primary skill set. To be a successful HR professional in 2017, it is not sufficient to just know about human resources. A successful professional will be well-rounded and have at least basic knowledge of other functions:

Project Management

When things need to be done in an organization, it is very often run as a project. In some organizations there will be a bank of PM’s ready to swoop in and run everything. However in many cases there will not be a PM available, so the HR professional will need to take the reins. Even if there is a PM, there will likely be an expectation that the HR professional will input to various documents such as the business case, budget, etc. Therefore it is imperative that an understanding of project management is sought and more and more professionals cross functionally are undertaking project management qualifications.


You will likely get involved in budgeting, forecasting, financial modelling and various other financial matters. Or perhaps you are producing the financial elements to build a business case for a strategic change. While you may get support and input from a finance team, you will need to have a good understanding of mathematics in general and commercial structures more generally.


A lot of transformational change within the HR space is coming from technological advances. Therefore to be an HR professional who can offer strategic organizational change, you need to keep pace with the latest IT change and how it can benefit your function – think cloud, big data, automation, IoT, and so on.

In Summary

In a day and age where we all work increasingly cross functionally, it is necessary to have skills outside of your chosen career. A good place to start is of course a professional qualification in HR, but beyond that you might want to consider further professional development in other topics such as Project Management, IT and Finance.


Avoid Picking the Wrong Career Path


By Morgan International Staff Writers

For some, picking a career path has to happen way before University is ever applied for because certain qualifications and subjects are mandatory for the career – medicine and dentistry are good examples. However there are plenty of careers out there that will consider most university degree subjects and therefore for students graduating, they have a lot of options. However many people at points in their career feel regret and wish that they had picked something else. These are our top 5 tips to avoid choosing the wrong career path:


  1. Don’t be pressured by others

You should not feel pressured to follow someone else’s legacy. Just because your parents are doctors or lawyers does not mean it is the right path for you. Do not make a choice to please others.


  1. Do your research

You will be in your career for a long time. Make sure you spend lots of time doing your research and finding out what the career prospects are, potential earnings, educational requirements, job responsibilities and so on. If you can speak to people who are in that career then that would be very beneficial.


  1. Don’t just chase the money

You need to pay the bills and of course you want to choose a career that will allow you to be comfortable, however don’t pick a career based on potential earnings alone. It is a recipe for disaster later on down the line when yes you have lots of money, but you hate going to work each day.


  1. Consider the location

Some careers are more heavily focussed in certain geographical areas so consider where you want to live as well as what career you want to have. Of course if you are happy to relocate anywhere, then this one will not be too much of a concern.


  1. Consider the future

There are some careers that will likely become extinct in the couple of decades. These are the careers to avoid. Any career that is already being effected by automation is one to steer clear of if you want career longevity.



Picking a career is a daunting task, and of course your career may well change direction over time. However it is important to consider our tips above to maximise your career success and satisfaction.

5 Steps to Career Success-02

5 Steps to Career Success

By Morgan International Staff Writers


The most important thing that I can share with you is that you own your career – it belongs to you in a way that your other possessions do. Your career is not static, and you will carry it around with you and need to nurture it in order to receive the results you expect and deserve. An organisation you work for at any given point in time does not own your career – YOU DO. On that note, I am going to share with you 5 steps to career success.

  • Own your career

I covered this one in the intro, but it is really the most important of them all and to some extent it is a state of mind. You are in control of your career and you shape the direction it takes. Do not rely on others. Take some time to sit down and consider your career to date and where you want to be in the next 5, 10, 20 years.

  • Grow your network

A job for life is extremely rare these days and for most of us we will rely upon an established network throughout our career for advice, job opportunities, and so on. Your network should be broad and deep – you should have colleagues past and present, hiring managers, recruiters, and industry leaders, etc. A great tool to manage this network is LinkedIn.

  • Create a brand

Depending on where you want to take your career, this may be more or less relevant. However for many it pays dividends to create a brand for themselves as a way to differentiate and be remembered as the go to person for a particular skill set. This is often used by those who have interim careers and they will perhaps have a logo, website, and so on.

  • Create content

To build a brand and also to grow your network, it is really useful to produce content that will be of interest to others. One quick and easy way to do this is to blog about topics within your career, or perhaps produce whitepapers. Taking it a step further, you may present at various industry conferences.

  • Be passionate about your client

Just because you own your career and perhaps move between clients/employers regularly – it does not remove the need to be passionate about the work you are doing at that particular point in time. In fact it is your great results and dedication that will get you brilliant references, word of mouth, and help you build your career even more.

In Summary

You own your career and if you nurture it you will personally receive the rewards. It does take time and commitment and the five steps will not be quick to implement. However these are steps that you can work upon over the course of your career.


Are you a secret work superstar?


By Morgan International Staff Writers


As an employee in most companies, there will be formal ways for receiving feedback and finding out how you are performing. However the truth is that in many organizations this process can be a little lacklustre and not really reflect how good or bad you really are at your job. For example, many evaluation systems have a 4 or 5 point scale which is not hugely reflective of ability. So what are some of the signs that you are pretty amazing at your job?


  • Eyes are on you

You notice that in meetings, lots of eyes are on you for reassurance when your peers speak, people seek your feedback, or perhaps you are frequently directly asked for your opinion.


  • You get invited to many projects and meetings

Your input is valued and you are invited to way more meetings and onto project teams than your peers.


  • Your colleagues miss you when you are away

When you mention you are taking annual leave, your stakeholders or colleagues look unsettled, and very relieved when you return back from your break.


  • Your manager is more lenient on you

Another tell-tale sign is that your line manager is more receptive to your requests compared to others in your team. For example your holiday is granted more readily, or leaving early to pop to the dentist seems to be no bother.


  • You are your boss’s right hand man/woman

Your boss confides in you and asks for input into work they are doing for their superiors. Furthermore they ask you to steer the ship when they are on annual leave.


  • You have a unique differentiator

You have a particular skill set or area of knowledge that is not readily available within the organization.


  • You get good feedback

It might be a colleague giving you good feedback, or perhaps your line manager – but you notice that you get more praise than others seem to.
8)            You have a respected professional qualification

Perhaps you have a professional qualification that your team mates do not have that is of importance or held in high esteem in the role you do.


In Summary

Most of us are quite modest when it comes to our own abilities, and it may be difficult to evaluate how well we are doing in the workplace. If you found yourself reading the points above and realised you are often in those situations, perhaps you are a secret work superstar!


Mastering 1-to-1 meetings

By Morgan International Staff Writers


When we discuss the workplace, we speak frequently of the importance of teams, and sometimes we forget how important individuals are. Most line managers do at least make some effort to spend dedicated time with their direct reports. Yet this can be difficult when there are many competing commitments. However, getting 1-to-1 meetings right will make that time more productive and hopefully increase the motivation and satisfaction of the employee.

  • Have them

How basic does this one sound? Schedule the meeting and make sure it happens. It may be one hour fortnightly or 30 minutes each week. Regardless of the length of the meeting and frequency, make sure they happen. If you always end up cancelling on your direct report for something ‘more important’ it is counterproductive to improving morale.

  • Have an agenda

Each 1-to-1 should have a clear agenda which can either be pulled together by the line manager or the direct report, but the other party should always have input. The agenda should always include follow up actions from the last meeting.

  • Get an update on their projects

This is the ideal time to have the employee update you on the progress of everything they are working on, and for you to provide support/coaching if required.

  • Check in with them personally

It does not all need to be work focussed, show some interest in their personal life if appropriate. It might be enquiring about a recent holiday or how their children or partner are doing. Obviously this one will depend on how open your direct report has been with you about life outside work.

  • Review progress

If you speak about performance on a regular basis then there will be no surprises when it is time for the annual performance review. Furthermore, discussing progress throughout the year gives the employee an opportunity to improve.

  • Get their feedback

Make sure the conversation is two way. Ensure the format of the 1-to-1 is working for them and furthermore that you take time to listen to their comments/concerns about work.


It can be difficult to give dedicated time to each direct report, but the periodic 1-to-1 is a great way to take a moment out of a busy day to focus on your employee. Make sure these meetings happen, that they are always prepared for, and that the time is used constructively.


5 Tips to Retain Top Talent

You have worked really hard to hire the right candidate for the role; it took time, effort, and financial resources. Over time you have invested in these resources by giving them training and ongoing support, and they now have a mass of intrinsic knowledge about your business. I suspect you are keen not to lose your top talent! However top talent will always be the subject of head hunting activities as other organisations seek to steal the competitive advantage your top resources offer you. So how do you hold onto this set of employees?

  • A culture of reward

Recognise and reward talent. The process for doing this can vary quite widely from a simple thank you from a line manager, to a formal appraisal process. The reward itself may not be monetary, it might be a day of leave or perhaps a gift token.

  • Salary benchmark

Money isn’t everything, but it is very important for most employees! Stay competitive and ensure salaries are on par with the market, or even a nudge in front if possible.

  • Provide growth opportunities

Top talent are typically looking to progress in their career and will become frustrated if they feel they are stuck in the same role with no possibility of promotion. Set out progression plans with these employees and provide as many opportunities as possible to satisfy their aspiration for growth.

  • Encourage feedback

It would be better to deal with any potential issues top talent have before they decide to leave. This feedback will be far more forthcoming in an environment where honest and open communication is encouraged.

  • Assets not numbers

Do not treat your employees like they are no more than a number. They are an asset and they should be made to feel that is the case. There are many ways to do this, but examples include consulting them in business decisions and sharing information with them.

In Summary

Hiring, and training talent is expensive and the costs of losing that talent can be considerable. The HR team have a responsibility to design an appropriate retention strategy. If you are interested in pursuing an HR qualification, take a look at our website.