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Mon 28 Apr 2014 01:38 PM

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One-third of Saudis plan to quit jobs within 3 years

Mercer survey finds clear gaps between worker and employer expectations on compensation, employee development, motivation

One-third of Saudis plan to quit jobs within 3 years
Saudi businessmen attend a meeting at the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) in Riyadh, 18 April 2007. Saudi Arabia, flush with huge oil revenues, said today it had launched 1,800 development projects worth 120 billion riyals (32 billion dollars) in the kingdoms capital Riyadh. The money is being spent across a wide range of sectors including health, education, housing and transportation, the official SPA news agency said. Saudi Arabia is the worlds leading oil producer and has reserves totalling 261.2 billion barrels, or more than a quarter of the global total. The projects in the capital were approved in December after the government announced a record budget surplus of 70 billion dollars for 2006 on the back of high crude prices. (Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images)

Up to one-third of working Saudi nationals say they intend to leave their employer within three years, according to a new survey.

The survey of employers and employees across the kingdom, carried out by the global HR consulting firm Mercer, showed a clear gap between worker and employer expectations around compensation, employee development, motivation, and at times, the nature of work itself, Saudi Gazette reported.

“One in four Saudi men and one in three Saudi women told us they plan to leave their current employer within three years,” said the head of Mercer’s business in Saudi Arabia, Tom O’Byrne.

He added: “Up to 17 percent among younger employees stated they planned to stay less than 12 months. These rates are cause for concern.”

O’Byrne said the survey also found key disparities between what both rate as important when it comes to attracting and retaining employees.

“The findings are a clear wake-up call for employers of Saudi men and women,” he was quoted as saying.

“Employers who don’t prepare their workforce, their HR programs and their policies to better reflect and accommodate the Saudi workforce of today and tomorrow, will end up paying a high price.”

The study was said to have been prompted following signs that turnover among key hires across the Saudi labour market was on the rise.

The findings came from responses from 116 HR managers, business owners and senior executives, as well as more than 400 Saudi men and women currently employed in the kingdom.

Omar Alsanousi, an associate with Mercer Consulting in Saudi Arabia, told the Gazette that HR managers and business leaders continued to attract Saudi nationals into their organisations in response to government directives on Saudisation.

“Our study has uncovered that while compensation is key to attracting Saudi nationals into and away from an employer, it is not the only driver to employee motivation and engagement to stay and grow with his or her employer,” he said.

He said 72 percent of employer respondents ranked short and long-term variable pay as having either a moderate or weak impact as an element of reward. This compared to 90 percent of Saudi nationals who saw this element of compensation as either important or somewhat important.

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