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Talent retention key challenge for Mena firms

Dubai, June 18, 2014

With better opportunities and economic benefits offered by other employers, qualified people are constantly moving and this has become a major challenge for organizations in the Mena region, said a report by leading jobsite Bayt.com.

About 96 per cent of Mena professionals indicate medium to low level of satisfaction towards their current pay, according to the 'Mena Salary Survey 2014' by bayt.com for June.

According to the same survey, 67 per cent of Mena professionals feel that their salary is lower than the industry standards in their region, while 4 in 10 respondents say that they have not received a pay raise in the last 12 months.

In such circumstances, the retention of real talent has become a big challenge for the organizations in the Mena region.

When looking at the reasons that push employees in the region to quit their jobs, Bayt.com research has always pointed in one direction: unsatisfactory compensation.

While compensation isn’t the only reason professionals stay in a job, unfair and uncompetitive compensation is often cited as the ‘top’ reason job seekers are in the market for a new role.

Compensation issues aren’t only the salary but also the composition of the compensation and the types and scale of benefits offered, said the report.

The survey found that a third of Mena professionals (32 per cent) in countries including Syria, Morocco, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia and Kuwait claimed that their current salary package consists of a basic salary only.

According to bayt.com survey, the human capital was the most significant resource of any given business.

According to experts, studies have shown, time and time again, that employees who feel valued, recognized and appreciated are the most loyal.

"As a top employer, you must make sure formal mechanisms for evaluating and rewarding employees are in place, are competitive and are in-sync with industry norms," they stated.

"Do recognize outstanding performance and reward it on a periodic basis. Do set regular special initiatives that identify, celebrate, motivate and incentivize your star employees and promote their loyalty and retention," said the experts.

Although compensation is generally fixed for most roles, incorporating some aspect of a ‘bonus’ tied to performance for all roles, i.e. not just sales roles, may incentivize employees.

In fact, 40 per cent of professionals in the region would prefer a partially-fixed pay structure with a variable pay for commissions and incentives. Although this strategy may appeal to a segment of the workforce, its implementation needs to be carefully assessed given the associated risks with the measure (lower morale stemming from employees not achieving targets).

Most of the reasons employees leave are because employers don’t think proactively about the steps necessary to make them choose to stay.

In case of women employees, the Bayt.com survey found that there were many reasons for their resignation and most of them were hard to address because they involve life events that are beyond an employer’s control.

Majority quit their job as they had to follow their spouses across the world, while some had to stay at home with children, or go back to school.

While employees also leave for other more ‘controllable’ factors, such as higher salaries, shorter commutes, and better benefits, said the experts.

"Most likely than not, your best performers are the ones most likely to leave. And when a top performer leaves, the impact can be disproportionate – and costly" they pointed out.

"In the workplace, you have to provide what employees need to do their jobs well. You also have to provide that important emotional connection by connecting the heart of the employee to the work, workplace, manager, and team.  If pay is one way of achieving it, then why not?," they added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Mena | talent | challenge |

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