Employees are undoubtedly the most important asset any organization can have, and
their level of expertise and motivation greatly affects the performance of the organization.
Their input in the organizational performance through creativity and innovation can help a
company have a competitive edge in the marketplace (Kehoe & Wright 2013). Many
companies spend a lot of resources in seeking, developing and training the best talents.
Training helps employees have a firm understanding of their duties and responsibilities, and
undertaking them in accordance with the organization’s vision (Elnaga & Imran 2013).
However, it is important for employees to understand that training encompasses an important
aspect of their career development, and helps them beyond their job areas.
Qatar is one of the countries in the world which wholly depends on oil for their
subsistence productions and general national revenues. There exists many company which
produces several goods directly from oils, while some provides consultancy and similar
services to these companies and industries. It is therefore important to understand how these
companies manage to utilize high performance human resource strategies, amidst falling oil
prices that affects revenues and subsequently, programs that support employee development
such as training and rewards.
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Training and development faces significant challenges from several facets of
organizational management. Lack of an effective training program can negatively affect
employee motivation and performance (Elnaga & Imran 2013). The aim of this study is to
investigate the human resource programs regarding employee training and development
employed by companies in Qatar, and the changes they face, with the intention of providing
the best training and development procedure that ensures maximum employee engagement in
Background to the Study
a) The Necessity for Employee Training
Many employees enter the workforce having undergone rigorous academic process that
prepared them for their future careers. However, different organizations exist in very
competitive and ever changing spheres of operation, which requires a dynamic approach that
is different from the academic angle that most employees come with into the marketplace. It
necessitates organizations to invest in the training and development of their employees in
order to tailor them for the company’s expectation (Kehoe & Wright 2013). Each company
encounters different challenges in the market and uses specific management strategy that
requires employees to have the requisite skills in order to make appropriate work-related
According to Breugst et al. (2012), the main aim for employee training and development
is to bridge a skill gap that is present in the company. Additionally, the market constantly
experiences competitiveness that forces competitors to change business strategies frequently.
Constant training and employee development work as a tool for refreshing employees’
knowledge of the working of the market and the ever-changing customer expectations in
order to remain competitive. For example, the popularity of smart phones among people
FACTORS AFFECTING EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE 3
necessitates companies to engage their customers more through social media, which requires
employees of companies to be knowledgeable on how to accomplish such tasks. Customer
loyalty to an organization’s brand has a direct relation to the quality of services offered in an
organization (Dhar 2015).Therefore; employee training is a necessity to ensure they
understand customer expectation.
Another reason for training employees is to improve productivity and job performance.
Productive employees result in the company easily achieving its goals and easily meeting its
targets. A company that retains highly skilled employees gains a considerable competitive
advantage because of the high output and creative production regimes (Lee et al. 2013).
Employees will generally leave a company because of lack of guidance, poor feedback, lack
of career development initiatives from their manager, and learning nothing new in the job.
According to Westermann et al. (2012), employees reach a position of burnout and boredom
for repeating the same procedures daily, and require positive interventions to boost their
morale and make their work more fun. Therefore training and development helps in
refreshing them and making their assignments more engaging.
b) Employee Development in Qatari Companies
Crude oil is a high value product traded in U.S. dollars and whose performance affects
many markets (Mileva & Siegfried 2012). Many companies in Qatar use it for production of
medicine, chemicals, plastics, petroleum products and running the country’s irrigation
schemes, making it a very important aspect of the national economy. Rising prices of crude
oil affects stock market prices, value of goods, heating and transportation costs that generally
affects service provision (Chaibi & Gomes 2013). However, this is beneficial for an oil
producing country like Qatar as it causes increase in revenue that subsequently improves the
profitability of local companies. Subsequently, falling of oil prices affects the earnings of oil
producing nation as they have to produce more in order to achieve higher earnings, which
FACTORS AFFECTING EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE 4
affects the productivity of their local companies that rely on oil. This causes other emerging
economies to thrive while the local economy struggle due to their weakening currency and
volatile stock markets (Basher, Haug & Sadorsky 2011).
There are very few studies carried on the effect of the falling oil prices in the
international markets on local Qatari companies since 2014. In fact, many studies
concentrated on the effect on local currency, market volatility, stock prices and exchange
rates. Naifar and Al Dohaiman (2013) suggest that falling oil prices has a direct relation to
inflation, especially of oil producing country due to reduced returns and weakening local
currency. The spill over effect is that these companies will have to produce more in order to
keep revenue values high due to the falling commodity prices on the international markets.
Oil shocks and falling oil prices has hit hard most oil dependent economies like Qatar,
forcing governments and companies to adopt austerity measures (Hamdi & Sbia, 2013).
Government has reduced spending, overstaffing and wastefulness, while Qatar Petroleum in
2016 sacked almost 1,000 workers to cut on costs (World Bank.org, 2017).
Reducing workforce is one of the ways most companies use in a bid to cut costs and
reduce expenditure. However, the remaining employees have to work twice as much in order
to cover up for their departing colleagues. This could have psychological effects as well as
fatigue or burnout from increased responsibility. This may cause low employee turnover and
absenteeism (Westermann et al. 2012). Cutting spending may also affect employee
development initiatives such as reward systems, training programs and bonuses that aid
greatly in promoting employee motivation (Campbell et al 2012). Therefore, the companies
in Qatar need to have cost-friendly employee training programs that does not strain their
budgets amidst call by the government to stem up austerity measures.
Many companies and government institutions risk losing their highly skilled expats
due to lower salaries and lack of development initiatives (Cafiero 2016). Lack of coherency
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in the needs of the employees, and increased job instability has a negative effect on
employees’ turnover. Therefore, in the midst of implementing austerity measures, companies
can still employ cost-friendly initiatives in keeping the remaining workers while employing
effective educational programs in order to enable remaining employees handle multiple tasks
effectively. Job training is important and faces several problems which may render it
ineffective. This study aims to provide a proper method that ensures employees receive
training tailored for their jobs and their job description.
Statement of the problem
The role of education and development in business settings is changing towards a
more education type. It has become common for firms to tailor human resource to fit the
goals of the organization by impacting skills and knowledge unique to the firm. This
research seeks to identify problems in employee training and development and suggest
strategic measures ensure a cost-friendly and meaningful training.
Purpose of the Study
The study employs a qualitative study design aimed at gathering information from
employees from Qatari companies, using open ended questionnaires and semi-structured
interviews. This will help in understanding undocumented problems associated with training
and development and how to bridge these gaps using the best evidence based methods that
leads to lower costs and increased efficiency. The study will utilize 200 randomly selected
subjects to provide this information from their company practices.
Significance of the Study
The study aims at describing problems related to employee training and development
with a purpose of providing an alternative to these problems. The study takes pace in Qatar
because of its significance as an area with one of the best human resource management
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practices in the word. The solutions will help human resource managers adopt cost friendly
and more effective employee training and development procedures in order to meet company
- To explain the role of training and development on the performance of organizations
- To identify the strategic measures organizations can pursue in training and
- How do training and development impact an organization’s overall performance?
- What are then challenges encountered by both the firm and employees in training and
Justification of study
The impact of training and development has received an overwhelming research and
pragmatic strategies to help businesses empower their workforce with the latest skills.
However, learning is a regular and continuous activity that needs new techniques and plans.
To remain competitive in a changing world, managers and leaders must remain relevant
regarding skills and knowledge. This study seeks to add to the current literature novel
concepts and approaches in training and development.
Scope and Limitation
The research will be limited in the number of participants used for the study due to the
complexity of conducting semi structured interviews. They researcher will only use 200
respondents to represent organizations in Qatar. The study will therefore be prone to a small
amount of sampling error.
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Over time, organizations have changed the way they used to conduct training and
development. It used to be job-focused and limited to technical skills (Bartlett, 2001). As the
nature of training has changed, new literature and approaches have come in place to explain
the role of training and development in enhancing performance. One of these theories is the
Action Theory put forward by Frese & Beer (2007). The theory attempts to explain how
learning is controlled and gives insight on how people can change behavior to meet the
requirements of the firm. Unlike the cognitive and information processing theories, Action
Theory links behavior and specific working outcomes (Milhem, Abushamsieh & Aróstegui,
2014). It is concerned with the process involved in the interaction that exists between the
environmental inputs and behavior and how cognition regulates this behavior.
The theory is a systematic tool for explaining how knowledge of cognitive process in
performance is regulated by using focus and structure components. The managers should
have the confidence in the value of collaboration and communication among the departments,
and also commit to and implement a regular employee performance. Finally, it’s important for
the organization to belief in the power of personal connections and relationships among the
Employee training and development is an important company initiative as it aims at
increasing employee productivity and job specificity. Understanding the best cost friendly
and effective initiatives in employee training is imperative in sustaining best human resource
initiatives. Therefore, this study seeks information from employees in the best companies in
Qatar known for quality human resource practises, in order to understand problems
associated with employee development and providing solutions to managers. The study is
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qualitative in design and is polycentric in nature. The literature review provides further
information on the subject and the theoretical framework behind the study. This expounds on
the need of effective training programs that leads to higher employee productivity.
Bartlett, K.R., 2001. The relationship between training and organizational commitment: A
study in the health care field. Human resource development quarterly, 12(4), pp.335-
Basher, S.A., Haug, A.A. and Sadorsky, P., 2012. Oil prices, exchange rates and emerging
stock markets. Energy Economics, 34(1), pp.227-240.
Breugst, N., Domurath, A., Patzelt, H. and Klaukien, A., 2012. Perceptions of entrepreneurial
passion and employees’ commitment to entrepreneurial ventures. Entrepreneurship
Theory and Practice, 36(1), pp.171-192.
Cafiero, G., 2016. Qatar Cuts Spending to Cope with Low Oil Prices. (Updated 1 March