Dubai Employees’ well-being is believed to be directly proportional to the productivity and performance of an organisation. If workers feel content and happy about their job, they are motivated to stay and work harder, thus helping the company achieve its goals.

However, a recent survey shows that a lot needs to be done to boost the morale of the UAE workforce. According to the latest Towers Watson’s Global Workforce Study (GWS), work-related stress and money continue to weigh on the minds of UAE employees more than their global peers. Consequently, companies run the risk of low employee productivity and financial performance.

The study showed that 42 per cent feel excessive pressure from their job, while 56 per cent are insecure about the future of their finances. Only a few employees (30 per cent) feel their company supports policies that promote staff health and well-being, 12 per cent less than the global average.

As a result, employee loyalty in the UAE is falling, with almost half of employees (44 per cent) believing they are likely to leave their company within the next two years and a further 31 per cent are unsure if they can stick to their current job.

Worrying picture

“The research paints a worrying picture of employee well-being and overall engagement levels within the UAE. Many organisations are currently operating with a disillusioned workforce that is not working to its full potential,” Billy Turriff, business leader for data, surveys and technology at Towers Watson Middle East, said.

The study, conducted between February and May 2012, covered 32,000 employees around the world, of which 1,000 are based in the UAE.

As to why employees feel much less stable about their job, Turriff said the employment landscape in the UAE, which used to be a jobseeker’s market, has changed.

The “golden packages” of 2006 and 2007 are no longer as readily available and salary expectations have been capped. The cost of living may have dropped, thanks to falling rents, but this benefit has been eroded by increases in the cost of education, medical insurance and utilities, among others. Besides, employers have yet to address worker savings or pension schemes.

In view of their findings, Turriff advised employers to introduce innovation, creativity and confidence back into their business, to ensure that employees feel assured of their career options and “can break through the current ambition ceiling we are seeing.”

Review reward offering

“Employers need to review their total reward offering [both financial and non-financial] and challenge if the current arrangements support the business strategy and are aligned to employee preferences,” Turriff said.

Hazel Jackson, CEO of biz-group, suggested that business leaders should also ask their staff to contribute their ideas and opinions before making decisions.

“If employees feel unvalued or unsupported by their leaders, it is definitely going to lead to poor performance, job burnout and ultimately employee turnover,” she warned.