Image Courtesy of Google Images & Hok.com
When I first started to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia about six years ago, it was common place to be stuck at passport control / immigration in Jeddah, Riyadh or Dammam for as long as four hours (two on a good day), and when you tend to arrive on a flight after 10pm, that really didn’t set you up for the next day of client meetings.
Other than the seemingly endless queues, a traveller had to contend with staff at the airport who did little to ingratiate themselves, and generally made entry into the Kingdom a challenging experience.
Over the last 18 months I’ve seen huge changes in the attitude of the team at the airports of entry and the immigration clearing process. On my flight in from Doha last week, it was only 25 minutes from the plane doors opening to me walking out with my luggage: as good as anywhere I’ve travelled in the world.
I’ve made some enquiries as to what has driven this change and, maybe unsurprisingly it’s down to training, and the development of the people at the front end of immigration control. Not only that, but the Immigration’s team understanding of why they needed to change, how they could improve people’s first impression of the country and how they could measure their results.
I’m a great believer in having people take responsibility for their actions and the adage, ‘make people understand why, and they’ll figure out how’.
It would have been easy for them to attend the training program, get a certificate, put it on their wall, update their LinkedIn profile, and then go back to work and change nothing. The real step change has come about by ensuring delegates understand the why, and the change is clearly measurable.
It’s great to see training and development paying dividends like this, benefiting the individual, the organization and in this case the impression of the country for future first-time visitors.
At AchieveGlobal Middle East, we work to the same principals – getting buy in, having people take ownership and measuring results. If you’d like to discuss how we can assist you in developing improved outputs from your sales, service or leadership teams please contact me!