With job-hopping being the new trend, according to the Emirates Nationals Development Programme, there’s a growing concern among private sector employers across the Gulf about how to retain employees. While offering more money may seem like the go-to option, a new Monster Gulf poll on “What Benefits Would Retain You For Long In An Organization” reveals that surprisingly, a salary hike isn’t what most employees are looking for.
Career growth is the number one factor that keeps employees in a job
Career advancement opportunities (39%) beat more obvious choices like job security and salary to come out ahead as the main reason to stay on in a job. It’s no coincidence this comes at a time when a growing number of Gulf locals are setting their public sector dreams aside to opt for jobs in private companies. Operating in a global economy, today’s workforce aims at touching new professional heights and comes armed with personal career goals to fulfil. Career advancement – where employees are encouraged to develop new skills and responsibilities and coached, trained and mentored by seniors – is given the importance it deserves in this work environment.
In a related move, 12% of Gulf employees polled cited learning and development — through new assignments, developmental feedback, conversations and mentoring – as a reason to hold off on changing companies.
Job security comes a close second
Given the preference for public sector positions in the region, it’s not surprising that 24% of those polled in the Monster Gulf survey value job security. Especially given the economic downturn due to the fall in oil prices, political turmoil and refugee situation in neighbouring countries like Syria. Employees take an organization’s tenure, legacy, how it has withstood economic challenges and how it is poised for growth very seriously. In a shaky economy, they don’t want to spend days and nights worrying about how and where to get a job. Today’s multigenerational workforce may have its differences, but the importance of a steady job that gives you financial stability is the one thing everyone agrees on.
Only 17% cited money as a reason to stay back
Base pay and salary may not be the most important determinant according to the poll. But it remains an important decider for people to continue in jobs. The Gulf’s large expatriate work force is always weighing the benefits of staying on versus going back home. Many have begun to demand higher pay packages, particularly for skilled and technical roles. Local hires are also reimbursed well. UAE nationals, in particular graduates for instance, are being offered attractive salaries and benefits to enter the private sector.
Flexitime is compulsory to retain 8% employees
In a region striving to bring a gender balance to the workforce, it’s not surprising that work-life balance is given importance. Several companies in the Gulf offer flexitime to counter absenteeism. Working from a location that better suits your lifestyle along suitable hours are some of the measures put in place to increase motivational levels and employee productivity.