Keep your workforce engaged, experts say
Companies across the Middle East that fail to keep their employees engaged at work will end up losing them to other firms, experts have said.
New data by Bayt.com has shown that 83 per cent of professionals in the region have no qualms about changing their career path completely, with the majority further citing the ease with which they can do so as one of the main reasons. More than 50 per cent of professionals cited finding their real passion as the main reason for switching jobs. Other reasons included better salaries, more challenging roles, personal development, and looking for better compensation.
"Changing careers is a big step but if the job seeker has thought it through, they can set themselves up for a future that aligns with their personal goals and financial expectations. Professionals switch jobs all the time - often the switch is to something related, and other times the career path swerves in a completely different direction," said Suhail Masri, VP of Employer Solutions at Bayt.com.
Bayt.com's survey showed that today's workforce may be more mobile, but they still are strategic and thorough about the process of switching careers. Nearly 47 per cent of respondents believe that they should stay in their current role for at least a year before they switch to another one; while 10 per cent believe they should stay between one and two years. In addition, 19.1 per cent think they stay between two and three years before making the change, while 18.8 per cent said that it doesn't matter how long you stay in one job.
Similar research on workforce trends has shown that millennials in particular tend to switch jobs more often. A Gallup report on the millennial generation revealed that 21 per cent of millennials say they've changed jobs within the past year. Gallup's research also found that 60 per cent of millennials say they are open to a different job opportunity, and that they are the most willing to act on better opportunities.
Many millennials have pointed to low engagement in the workplace as one of the main reasons for job hopping. Gallup has found that only 29 per cent of millennials are engaged at work.
Recent research by Aon on employees in the Middle East & North Africa (Mena) region, showed that at 69 per cent employee engagement across the Mena region is higher than the global average at 65 per cent. The GCC region continued to record strong employee engagement levels at 70 per cent, which is higher than the Mena region average. The UAE saw its engagement drop two points from 70 per cent to 68 per cent; similar to Saudi Arabia, which also witnessed a drop of two points from 71 per cent to 69 per cent.
Khalid Youssef, associate partner and Employee Engagement Practice lead at Aon Middle East & Africa, said: "Organisations in the Mena region continue to face uncertainty and disruption, but our report underpins that they are making a conscious effort to invest in people and talent strategies that enhance the work experience for long-term success. The bottom line for businesses is that they must clearly understand their top engagement focus areas and identify the best interventions to elevate the employee experience around those."