Employees in UAE and KSA Want More Benefits

The study reveals the need for more employee benefits in UAE and Saudi Arabia.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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A survey about the future of work by Zurich International Life finds that more than 70% of employees in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are considering changing jobs for better benefits – even if the pay were to remain the same. The study found that competitive pay is no longer the main focal point for employees in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with more employees seeking benefits like workplace savings, life insurance, critical illness cover, child education allowance and financial education. More than one-third of employees surveyed in both countries said that they wanted to receive workplace savings as a benefit.

Employees Seek Better Benefits

Employees reported improved salary packages and employee benefits, defined career plans, hybrid work options, flexible working hours and a better work culture as factors that would attract them to an organization. The majority of employees also expressed a preference to work in larger organizations. Among younger professionals, factors like competitive salaries and flexibility ranked higher compared to mid-career professionals, who looked at factors like child education allowances and life insurance. Among men, cash incentives were favorable, whereas women tended to focus on incentives like training and development opportunities.  

The report found that feeling valued at work is linked to better health, engagement levels, satisfaction and motivation – all factors that can create a healthier and more productive relationship between employees and employers. In the UAE, 67% of employees surveyed reported feeling that their employers support them in developing new skills, while 62% reported in the same in Saudi Arabia – a sentiment that increased in larger organizations. Compared to results from last year, the survey found that there were improvements in creating a positive workplace culture in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Talent Scarcity and Retention, Challenges for Employers

Almost one-third of employers in the UAE reported that talent was scarce and that talent retention was a challenge. In the UAE, talent deficits in key positions made up approximately 24%, while in Saudi Arabia, it made up roughly 30%. Talent shortage was especially pronounced among SMEs (companies with 51-250 employees) in the UAE. An additional challenge for UAE employers is increasingly attractive opportunities in Saudi Arabia, which are drawing talent from the UAE. 

The report notes that the UAE’s resilience at a time of global economic volatility coupled with government initiatives, including end-of-service benefits for private sector employees, unemployment insurance, a shortened workweek, and additional leave categories, have all served to attract more global talent. 

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