Aside from insufficient salary, there are other high-stress factors that compel workers to quit their jobs.

Lack of communication and involvement by top management, lack of promotion, lack of company vision, lengthy commute to work and a boss taking the credit for a subordinate's own work figure in the top five reasons for UAE professionals to resign, according to a study by Regus.

"Stress caused by overwork has escalated during the past recession with people working harder and longer to make sure they can pay the mortgage. Bonuses and job perks were cut back to weather the storm, but as the economy picks up, employees will be flocking to businesses that promise them better conditions and not necessarily the biggest wage," said Mark Dixon of Regus. Citing their own study, Michael Burchell of Great Place to Work Institute UAE said "workplace trust" is the largest determining factor in employee commitment and cooperation.

"In fact, great workplaces have half the turnover of their industry peers on average, yet salary ranges tend to be similar or less than their peers," he added.

Another major get-me-out-of-here factor is the job itself. A humdrum job can lead employees to lose interest. An irreconcilable difference between a worker and a manager can also drive an employee away.

"In situations where there is no trust and employees aren't respected, they simply will not stay for very long. Indeed, our research indicates that employees start looking for new opportunities when they aren't respected in the workplace," Burchell said.

Company politics, lack of career development and poor leadership and management can also turn off workers, according to Hazel Jackson of biz-group. She added, though, that the number one reason people leave a company is because of their boss.

"During times of economic instability, leadership and communication are king. Poor leadership and management result in no empowerment, direction or motivation for employees. This leads to a breakdown in trust and becomes a key factor in why employees may look to leave their employer," Jackson said.

In terms of why workers stay loyal, personal growth ranks among the top three reasons according to global HR studies.

"This is the same situation in the UAE. Employees are more likely to stay with an employer if they feel they are growing and developing in their career. This doesn't just mean a promotion, but that they are bettering themselves and their future," said Jackson.

Since people are motivated for different reasons, organisations would do well to focus more on an employee's bene-fits aside from salary.

"A cafeteria style benefits system allows each employee to decide how they spend their benefits allocation. Some might increase their housing allowance, or get school fees. Others might want extra leave or to join a pension scheme. This system allows employees to tailor benefits to what suits them best and can be a great motivator to stay with an employer," Jackson said.