I have written previously about working generations but the problem was that the working generations were focused mainly on people in the United States of America. Therefore I have dedicated adequate time to focus on this matter. And as a result, I ended up with “A Century in Saudi’s Labor Market”.
Below I will be expanding on Aramco Generation (Started Working (1960-1980))
This was the generation that entered the workforce during the first economic boom of Saudi Arabia A.K.A. “Tafrah”(1960 to 1980). This generation grew up seeing their fathers and uncles go to remote areas and come back home with enough money to nourish them and save some for emergencies. But they also felt the burden on their shoulders and they could have seen the tough times that they have been through. This generation had the opportunity to learn first hand from foreign experts the vital knowledge in administration and management.
Additionally, the market faced an interesting wave. For example, during those times many people went into business for themselves which was greatly aided by the increase of oil prices. It is also noteworthy that this period marked the creation of the General Organization for Social Insurance.
Since the information was not flowing as it is now, This generation was influenced by the oil generation and the newly arriving foreigners “even if it was just stories about them”. Moreover, people who continued in the private sector started climbing the corporate ladder and witnessed the best time of opportunities ever to come to Saudi’s labor market, and the foreign management highly influenced their style.
- Business Savvy: This can go for both (people that started their business and people that decided to climb the corporate ladder)
- Hard & Smart Work: Having evolved from purely focused on low-level operations towards understanding business needs and management required possession of said characteristics.
- Large Family Focus: The tribal thought was still strong. The adoption of the family home was introduced where multiple generations lived with each other. This reinforced family focus more than tribe focus.
- Business Savvy: (Already mentioned above)
- Hard & Smart Work: (Already mentioned above)
- Administrative Scheme: Starting to understand the basic operational methods and having the upper hand of understanding and withstanding the land and climate respectively sparked the natural growth towards the organizational side of the business.
- Unprejudiced Towards Foreigners: although the culture wasn’t very welcoming due to tribal mentality and Xenophobia. With the vast wealth, “Tafrah”(1960 to 1980) generated. Foreign expertise was needed, therefore a shift in attitude towards foreigners was necessary.
- Detail-Oriented: This orientation was exactly what assisted in the transition towards the administrative side.
- Start of Continued Education: To be more clear here, proper education was in its early stages, and universities were being established.
- Economical Shift: As mentioned earlier, due to the oil crisis during that period, the Kingdom went through a huge economical shift towards a better future.
- Lack of Proper Education: This period marked the beginning of proper education. Therefore most workers weren’t properly educated when they began.
- Demeaning Outlook Towards Labor Jobs: When the focus started to shift towards bettering their economical status, this period faced a change of heart towards low-level labor jobs.
- Processes Over Goals: The main drive when shifting towards management (especially during that period) was the great focus on processes rather than goals. As a result, creating proper processes assured the smoothness of the work
The need for working in remote locations began its descent. Large companies (as per the standards at that time) had HQs in the main cities (a large number of families relocated to the closest major city to reap the benefits). That reflected on the desire to work in HQ in administrative/supportive roles to better learn the business from the inside.
- Work Philosophy (why they work):
Month-by-month: With the Safety need being covered by the larger family unit, they general public have started to budget on a month-by-month basis having the need for “belonging” (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) became the primary focus of the time.
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