Monday 18 November 2019

Christopher Page and Khalid Youssef

Employees in Mena ‘most engaged in the world’

DUBAI, August 2, 2018

Employee engagement in the Mena region stands at 69 per cent, four percentage points above the global average of 65 per cent and marking a five point increase on 2017, said a new report.

The GCC continued to record strong employee engagement levels at 70 per cent, higher than the Mena average, although suffering a one-point decline over 2017, added the report titled “Trends in Middle East & North Africa Employee Engagement” from Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.

Levant had the highest engagement score and increase across the region at 74 per cent (previously 65 per cent), while North Africa, surged eight points from 2016 to 65 per cent engagement levels.

The UAE saw engagement drop two points from 70 per cent to 68 per cent. The most significant drop was in the employees’ motivation and willingness to try new things for fear of occasional mistakes. Previously maintaining the highest employee engagement score in the region for two consecutive years, Saudi Arabia is now witnessing a drop of two points from 71 per cent to 69 per cent. The introduction of major economic and social reforms is seen as a potential contributing factor for the decline.

Top engagement opportunities in Mena

According to Aon, rewards and recognition ranked as the strongest driver of engagement in Mena this year, from a previous ranking of 4th in 2017.

The most significant finding in the study is how businesses are now preparing for future technologies through employee engagement programmes.  They are now looking at nurturing the skills of staff and strengthening their technical know-how on technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Importantly, businesses have also set increased exposure to senior leadership and strategy as priority areas for their employees.

Christopher Page, CEO, Talent, Rewards & Performance, Aon Middle East and Africa, said: “The findings of our proprietary employee engagement study in Mena reflect the transformational changes that the region is witnessing today.”

“With increased focus by regional governments on embracing digital technology as a driver for socio-economic progress, it is rewarding to see that businesses are aligned with this vision and investing in building the future-tech skills of their employees.

“This fits in with the true definition of employee engagement – which is all about the level of an employee’s psychological investment in their organization. Through enhanced employee engagement and continuous listening, businesses can not only achieve their organizational goals but also contribute to a happy and productive society,” he added.

For the study, employees were asked if they say positive things about their organization and act as advocates, if they intend to stay at their workplace for a long time, and if they are motivated to strive to give their best to help the organization succeed. In addition to this ‘Say, Stay, Strive’ model, the Aon Employee Engagement model also evaluated 16 work-experience dimensions.

These included: Career & Development, Collaboration, Customer Focus, Decision-making, Diversity & Inclusion, Empowerment/Autonomy, Enabling Infrastructure, Employee Value Proposition (EVP), Manager, Mission/Values, Performance Management, Rewards & Recognition, Senior Leadership, Talent & Staffing, Work Tasks and Work/Life Balance.

Across the Mena region, the study observed an increased focus on work-life balance, with the largest gains recorded in Rewards & Recognition, Work Tasks, Work-Life Balance, Senior Leadership and Talent & Staffing.

Khalid Youssef, associate partner and Employee Engagement Practice Lead, Aon Middle East & Africa, said: “Organizations 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.”

The regional study was supported by Aon’s Middle East Culture & Engagement Practice, an all Arabic-speaking team, which offers an unmatched combination of global consulting and benchmarks, integrated HR measurement technology and tools that include assessments, selection and talent analytics. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Mena | GCC | aon | Employee Engagement |

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