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Employees in the UAE and the rest of the region are more engaged with their jobs than most people in other markets, but they are not quite happy with the human resources (HR) practices and people programs at the workplace.
In a study conducted by Aon Hewitt among more than nine million employees at over 1,000 organisations in 164 countries, nearly seven out of ten (67 per cent) employees in the Middle East and Africa said they are committed to their work.
The number is the second-highest in the world. Latin America emerged as the region with the most engaged workers. Those in the North America were ranked the third-most committed, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe.
Workers who are engaged are those who are committed to and have passion for their jobs, thus they are likely to be performing well and helping their organisations grow.
Several studies have shown that companies with engaged employees are financially better off than those whose staff are emotionally disconnected.
A five per cent increase in employee engagement is linked to a three per cent rise in an organisation's revenue growth.
''The financial implications of engaged workforce are significant. Our research reveals consistent, statistically significant relationships between higher levels of employee engagement and financial performance,'' said Aon Hewitt's recent report.
In another research done by pwc, employees who are committed to their companies put in 57 per cent more effort on the work and are 87 per cent less likely to resign, compared to those who are emotionally disconnected.
Among the reasons many employees care about their jobs is that they believe there are opportunities for growth if they put more effort in what they do.
Aon Hewitt's study showed that the top drivers for employee engagement in the region are career opportunities, employee value proposition and recognition programs.
However, compared to last year's study, employees' perceptions about HR practices plummeted by 24 per cent, while satisfaction about salaries remained flat.
Across the world, employee engagement levels remained flat at 61 per cent, with workers' perceptions about their work experience dropping 28 percentage points in 2014.
Dr. Ken Oehler, Aon Hewitt's global engagement practice leader, warned that any improvements in engagement levels could be offset by rising employee dissatisfaction with a number of work-related resources and programs that enable them to effectively perform.
''Employees who are engaged, but not empowered, are more likely to be frustrated, burned out and become disengaged, which puts organisations at risk of having suboptimal productivity and higher-than-average employee turnover.''
Aon Hewitt's study found that globally, employees' satisfaction about career opportunities, the main driver of engagement, has dropped by three percentage points.
About half of the global population are also not happy with salary, as well as their companies' employee value proposition, reputation and innovation.
Percentage of workers considered ''engaged'' by region:
1. Latin America: 71%
2. Africa/Middle East: 67%
3. North America: 66%
4. Asia Pacific: 64%
5. Europe: 57%
Did you know that Emirates jobs attract 400,000 applications a year
Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter, gulfnews.com