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Work-life balance ‘most motivating factor’

Dubai, January 8, 2013

Three-quarters of the employees in the UAE respondents believe that a good work-life balance is a very important source of motivation, said a new report.

Sixty per cent claimed that their current organisation offers support for them to achieve this, according to the Employee Motivation in the Mena survey conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number on job site, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation.

On a day-to-day basis, more than half of the employees in the UAE (56 per cent) feel that they are either ’highly motivated’ (28 per cent) or ‘motivated’ (28 per cent) by the work that they do, the report said.

Other than work-life balance, the leading motivators for employees across the Mena region are recognition of work and achievements (47 per cent); training and development opportunities (45 per cent); the opportunity for career advancement (42 per cent); being able to feel that their work has an impact (40 per cent); personal fulfilment (39 per cent) and opportunities for long-term career growth (39 per cent).

Also ranking highly were participating in decision making (37 per cent); the respondent’s colleagues and work environment (34 per cent); the nature of their daily responsibilities (31 per cent) and being able to set and reach goals (31 per cent).

Despite these high motivation factors, there are not many respondents who prefer to maintain their position at the company they’re currently employed at, the report noted.

Only four in every 10 UAE respondents are intending to stay with their current organisation for a minimum of 12 months, compared to the regional average of 39 per cent. A further 29 per cent intend to stay for a minimum of 3 to 5 years, with only 10 per cent stating that they will continue for at least 10 years, or until retirement.

“Retaining quality performers simply adds to increased productivity and morale, while reducing the associated costs of turnover,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com.

“Our survey’s results show that companies need to be doing more to help boost levels of motivation for the employees, specifically on the work-life balance front as that’s what matters to most professionals.

“Bayt.com specialises not only in empowering job seekers by helping them to find their ideal job, but by providing all involved in the recruitment industry with essential statistics that shape the region’s employment scene from all perspectives. We recommend using the benchmarks in Bayt.com’s Employee Motivation in the Mena survey to help HR policymakers assess and identify the specific motivational factors that are important to employees. A proven process and strategy should then be set to boost retention levels, as with just any other business goal.”

To help increase retention levels, the incentives that respondents claim are most important to them are monetary rewards (55 per cent); certificates (35 per cent); time off (19 per cent); medals, or plaques of achievement (14 per cent), and functional awards, such as gym memberships, discount vouchers and so on (13 per cent).

Attitude towards work

Across the Mena region, the majority (92 per cent) of respondents feel that the work that they do is significant to their company, with 86 per cent stating that their job is significant and important to their colleagues, customers and business partners.

Also 72 per cent believe that their work is important to their country of residence, while 72 per cent say that what they do is significant to their society. Three-quarters (76 per cent) claim that their work gives them a sense of personal achievement, with 77 per cent stating it offers them a sense of professional achievement.

In the UAE, respondents’ personal attitudes towards work are high, in accordance with regional sentiments. 92 per cent say that their job is significant to their company; 87 per cent say their job is important to their colleagues, customers and business partners; 70 per cent state that what they do is important to the country, and 67 per cent believe their job is important to society. Three-quarters state that their work offers them a sense of personal achievement (75 per cent), and a sense of professional achievement (74 per cent).

On a regional level, respondents are most loyal to their profession/line of work, followed by loyalty to their customers, clients and business partners. Those who command the least loyalty are line managers, with only 44 per cent saying their manager communicates what is going on in the organisation to them.

Across the Mena region, respondents believe that levels of internal communication are high, with 71 per cent stating that they are either ‘fully informed’ or ‘fairly well informed’ of their company’s short and long term goals plus recent plans and developments. Companies are considered to be transparent by 64 per cent of respondents.

On an average working day, 49 per cent of respondents in the UAE feel either ‘under stress’ (32 per cent), or ‘under severe stress’ (17 per cent), in comparison to regional figures of 30 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, the report said.

“Levels of stress and the number of people working overtime are most likely a prolonged effect of downsizing, due to the recent recession. As the economy picks up and companies once more begin to grow, these statistics may reduce further as the workload is spread more evenly between employees,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov.

Respondents on the whole feel that they are relatively free to find solutions to their own work challenges, with only 12 per cent in the UAE stating that they can ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ do so.

The survey shows that the majority (59 per cent) of Mena companies engage in CSR activities. Respondents feel most strongly that their organisation should be involved in providing job opportunities (35 per cent), though the preservation of the environment also ranked highly (30 per cent).

Taking all of these factors into consideration, the respondents’ overall satisfaction with their work and organisation is high. They are especially happy with their relationships with co-workers (85 per cent), the responsibilities they are assigned (78 per cent) and their physical working conditions (75 per cent).

According to the report, points of most dissatisfaction include compensation and benefits (48 per cent satisfied), promises to employees not being kept (50 per cent satisfied), and the quality of job and skill-training opportunities (50 per cent satisfied).

Employees in private-sector multinational companies are most likely to recommend their organisation as an employer, according to 84 per cent of respondents. Private sector LLCs would be recommended by 81 per cent of employees, followed by public, government, semi-government or charity employees, with 79 per cent. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Bayt.com | Survey | Employees | YouGov | Motivation |

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