Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
12 Mar 2015

Giving total reward

12 Mar 2015 • by Changeboard Team

Disengagement in UAE

According to our Global Workforce study, 45% of employees in the UAE and 35% in KSA plan to leave their current job within two years.

Although actual turnover is unlikely to match this, these figures provide a disturbing image of employee disengagement in the Middle East.

In recent years, lack of job security has made people think twice before handing in their notice. However, as the region’s growth prospects improve, as an employer you must offer more creative reward packages that will engage and retain staff for the long-term. The sharp salary increases seen between 2005 and 2007 are unsustainable.

Cash is not the only king

Good base pay and guaranteed salary are still most likely to attract and retain staff, especially in countries with a high proportion of expat workers. Pay levels and associated tax breaks are a major incentive enticing people to the Middle East.

However, now employees are committing to the region for longer periods, they expect non-financial rewards, too. Leading employers recognise this and are offering, to their advantage, anything from health and retirement benefits to career advancement opportunities.

The results of our research reveal that 50% of employees in the UAE and 45% in Saudi Arabia (compared with just 25% globally) are unsatisfied with their retirement benefits, and 50% would gladly pay more into a pension plan for guaranteed security when they retire. Increasing numbers of employers are offering savings vehicles such as International Pension Plans to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Tell it to your workforce

Several studies have shown that companies in the Middle East are poorer communicators than those outside the region. This has a direct and negative effect on employee engagement and on your ability to attract and retain key talent. Our research suggests that close to 40% of employees in the Middle East believe their organisation is doing a poor job of explaining the value of total rewards compared to just over 20% globally.

Although 40% of employees believe they are paid less fairly than people in other companies who hold similar jobs, we believe this perception is fuelled not by the level of pay, but how you, as their employer, communicate total reward to them.

You might well be excellent at customer segmentation and addressing client needs, can you apply the same philosophies with your number one resource: employees?