The work landscape in the Middle East is undergoing a rapid transformation, driven by economic challenges, high unemployment rates, and technological advancements with the rapid adoption of AI, cloud computing, and other emerging technologies.
The priorities of employees in the UAE and KSA have changed due to the rapidly evolving work landscape.
According to new research by Zurich International Life in the Middle East, 25% of employees in these two countries have changed jobs in the past year, seeking better pay, benefits, and career growth.
A remarkable 78% of employees in KSA and 74% of their UAE counterparts are considering a change in jobs in the next 12 to 18 months. This trend is particularly pronounced among women and younger employees in the 25-34 age group.
Flexibility within the workplace is emerging as a key factor for employers and employees when attracting and retaining talent. Other critical factors relate to the importance of having a diverse workforce and addressing pay gaps in the market.
The UAE and KSA are grappling with a significant talent shortage, at approximately 24% and 30%, respectively. This shortage is most pronounced in the operations and logistics sectors in both countries.
Over 80% of employees surveyed stated they would willingly change jobs for a new role with the same pay but better employee benefits.
When it comes to employee benefits, there’s a clear gap observed between what employers currently offer and what employees wish to receive, with more than one-third of employees in the UAE and KSA expressing dissatisfaction with their current employee benefits packages, especially concerning workplace savings, financial wellbeing education, life insurance, child education allowances, and critical illness cover.
Adam Watterson, Senior Executive Officer at Zurich Workplace Solutions, said: “Employee benefits have taken center stage and are rapidly evolving, pushing employers to adopt a holistic approach to talent retention.”
“The global pandemic drove employers and employees to rethink priorities, and employers have become more accommodative to include mutually beneficial retention policies,” Watterson added.