Dubai: Although you may be forgiven for thinking the employment market is challenging for job hunters these days, a new study suggests that about seven in ten people in the UAE have a “good job”.
No other country in the world, or any popular expatriate destination, has a higher share.
In its 2018 Global Great Jobs report, Gallup found that more than half (69 per cent) of the adult population in the country have what it considers a good job – the type of job that three billion men and women in the world today are looking for: it offers a regular paycheque and allows an employee to work at least 30 hours a week.
According to the management consultancy, that’s a six percentage-point jump from the 2016 report, indicating that the job situation is improving.
Gallup’s study covers 128 countries and highlights where the good jobs are. It also looks at the level of employee engagement, whether more people are feeling better at their jobs, and what needs to be done to lift people’s spirits at work.
Among the countries included in the study, the UAE has the third-highest percentage of population who are happy at work, just behind US and Russia.
According to Gallup, among those with a full-time job, 12 per cent said they have a “great job”, which simply means they feel engaged with what they do every day in the workplace. That’s a three-percentage-point jump from the 2016 report.
“The UAE leads the region in workplace engagement among the general adult population,” Gallup said in a statement sent to Gulf News.
Gallup also found that another Gulf country, Bahrain, is doing better in terms of offering employment opportunities and keeping workers engaged. More than half (59 per cent) of adults in the country have good jobs, ranked second in the world.
“The results offer clear evidence of the UAE and Bahrain’s strong job markets and opportunities for adults looking to enter the workforce,” said Gallup.
“Their share of great jobs is higher than in many other countries but still represent a small minority of residents, emphasizing the need for local business leaders to focus on workplace engagement.”
According to Vijay Gandhi, regional director EMEA – products group at Korn Ferry Hay Group, the employment landscape in UAE is indeed showing signs of improvement and companies are looking for ways to keep more staff engaged.
“We are seeing more dynamic workforce and hiring picking up across UAE. The demand is for executive roles at the top end of the middle management in specialized functions like audit, compliance, security and digital roles,” Gandhi told Gulf News.
Gandhi added that UAE organisations are now trying to improve employee engagement by focusing on:
1. Values and endorsing behaviours to match with the vision and values
2. Leadership and Managerial development on behaviour based competencies
3. Creation of simplicity through process optimization to promote better customer experience internally (employees) and externally (clients and partners)
4. Active promotion of gender diversity within the office, with equal opportunities and equal pay
Chris Greaves, managing director at Hays Gulf region, said companies can have an engaged workforce if they keep their employment packages attractive.
“If packages do not reflect the market rate, retention in the medium to long term will be difficult as individuals will feel little sense of loyalty to the firm if they can get a better offer elsewhere,” Greaves told Gulf News.
He also noted that employers should also ensure they hold regular meetings with employees. This will encourage “ambition and understand any grievances before they surface as a reason for leaving the company.”
“Within reviews, line managers will need to be clear of their expectations so as to create a strong sense of purpose from employees and determination for achieving overall business outcomes. It is important also that employers openly praise staff when merited and that they help them build career maps for growing within the company in the longer term.”