GNcareers, from Gulf News

Salary is top priority for job happiness

The study showed that 95 per cent of respondents listed salaries as their top priority when it comes to a job criteria that would make them happy.Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai government employees listed salaries, compensations and financial benefits as their top priority when it comes to factors that make them happy at their jobs, a recent study by Dubai Statistic Centre (DSC) showed.

The study, which surveyed 5,029 government employees in multiple fields, both Emirati and non-Emirati, men and women, aimed to reveal the 10 factors that make employees happy when it comes to their job.

Tareq Al Janahi, deputy executive director of DSC, pointed out that the study aims to assess the current happiness level of Dubai government employees, and to use the collected data to help departments better understand their employees’ preferences.

“The criteria is different from one person to another and from one work environment to another hence, from our point of view, the targeted group is to be given the liberty of defining their needs that will realise their happiness,” he added.

The study showed that 95 per cent of respondents listed salaries as their top priority when it comes to a job criteria that would make them happy.

In second place was positivity and work environment, followed by job security and stability in third place, and opportunity for development and career progress in fourth place.

“The results of such studies support entities in elevating the level of their employees’ happiness, developing regulations, and policies and programmes that are capable of dealing with employees’ needs,” said Al Janahi.

He pointed out that a large number of government entities showed interest in taking part in the study, which surveyed employees over a period of one week.

Among the top 10 priorities for happiness at a job were factors such as retirement packages and end-of-service remuneration, entity’s leadership, and corporate reputation.

Is money happiness?

While the majority of employees agreed that financial benefits and incentives are their main priority, many could question if money is happiness.

Gulf News talked to Jennifer Randive, chief empowerment officer at Focus Direct for management and training consultants, about the trends seen in the DSC survey.

Randive, who was a recruiter for 17 years, referred to the high percentage of employees listing salaries as their main priority for happiness as a common trend, pointing out that many people are looking to “survive” instead of "thrive".

“That is how everyone is operating because they feel threatened. People are operating from desperation for money, thinking that will make them happy, but what they don’t realise is that money follows joy — joy doesn’t follow money,” said Randive.

She explained that she often advises people in her training programme to be “the CEO of their own happiness” and to take charge of their life through self-empowerment.

Once self-happiness is achieved, a person can then search for a job that appeals to their interests and makes them creative.

Which age group is the happiest?

The DSC study also showed that employees who exceeded the age of 56 were the most happy at their job, followed by the 18-25 age group, 46-55 age group and 36-45 age group. Employees between the ages of 26-35 seemed to be the least happy at their jobs, said Al Janahi.

Randive pointed out that many youngsters feel like they are boxed in by the traditional office structure of partitions and separated desks. “They feel they have to conform to the norm to be able to perform,” she said.

“A job should be a space where a person’s creative juices and innovative ideas flow,” added Randive.

Referring to innovation as a creative process, Randive urged organisations to let employees take charge and allow for creativity and expression.

Source: Jumana Khamis, Staff Reporter,