GNcareers, from Gulf News

59% of Mideast workers want to quit to get better pay

Dubai: There are a lot of reasons why workers quit their jobs to join another company. They dislike their boss, feel demotivated or want better pay. In many cases, workers leave because they want a bigger paycheque and career advancement.

Willis Towers Watson has recently released the findings of its latest Global Workforce Study, which includes responses from 31,000 employees around the world including the UAE and other countries in the Middle East. The study found that salary is the number one reason employees move on to the next employer, followed by career growth.

Nearly six in ten (59 per cent) said they want to leave their company to get a better pay, while (55 per cent) said they want to progress in their career. HR specialists said the findings clearly indicate that there is a room for improvement in companies’ employee retention strategies.

“Given the high percentage of employees who say they need to leave their current employer to advance their career [and get better pay], there is a clear misalignment between employers and employees on this question,” said Marjola Rintjema, lead consultant for talent and change management at Willis Towers Watson Middle East.

Many employees in the Middle East also don’t seem too pleased with management policies toward staff’s personal happiness, with only about a third (34 per cent) saying they believe that their “senior leadership has sincere interest” in their well-being. It doesn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that only one third (32 per cent) of the workers feel “highly engaged.”

“In addition to attracting and retaining talented employees, employers need to focus on engaging employees in order to achieve better business results. We know from our research that leadership plays a critical role in driving engagement among their employees,” said Rintjema.

“When we see that only 34 per cent of employees in the Middle East believe that senior leadership has sincere interest in their employees’ well-being (versus 44 per cent globally), it’s clear that leaders need to work on creating trust to build an engaged workforce,” Rintjema added.

The Willis Towers Watson Global Workforce Study includes responses from 748 employees in the region.

While employers may need to work on their retention strategies, the good news is that companies across the region are hiring new staff.

According to Willis Towers Watson’s Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey, which polled 50 Middle East organisations, almost half (40 per cent) of employers have increased hiring levels over the past 12 months.

However, three quarters of employers admitted that they also have trouble attracting top performing employees (76 per cent)  and high-potential employees (71 per cent). Around half of the respondents reported challenges in retaining high-potential employees (49 per cent) and top performers (49 per cent).

“Given today’s fast changing workplace and new demands in skills, the need for employers to successfully attract and retain the best employees has never been greater,” said Elie Georgiou-Botaris, Middle East practice leader for talent management and organisational alignment at Wilis Towers Watson.

“This changing environment would cater to the employees’  need for opportunities to learn new skills, but it will not meet their need for job security.”

Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter, GN