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Tue 19 Feb 2008 12:00 AM

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Promotion prospects key to retaining talent

ArabianBusiness.com Salary Survey reveals third of employees put career before salary.

Opportunities for promotion and salary are the most important thing employees in the Gulf look for in their job, according to the ArabianBusiness.com Salary Survey.

In total 33.18% of respondents said opportunities for promotion was their key motivator, while salary just edged it in terms of preference with 35.94% of the vote. Until the last week of voting opportunities for promotion had been ahead.

Office environment was also an important factor (17.94%), followed by peer recognition (5.62%), training (4.14%) and share options (3.18%).

The data revealed interesting correlations between what employees judged to be the most important thing they look for in their job, how much they earn, their nationality and the country they work in.

For example, the largest proportion of respondents that voted opportunities for promotion their key driver came from the low and middle income brackets, those earning between $20,000 and $80,000 a year.

While salary, although important for all income brackets, was voted the most important by those in the high income brackets, earning over $81,000.

Similarly, the largest percentage of respondents that picked training as most important earned between $20,000 and $49,000, while under 2% of high income earners chose it has their biggest motivator.

The data indicates Gulf businesses, under pressure to hike wages in order to recruit and retain staff, could save money and still attract and keep talent by offering incentives to such as training and career development programmes.

Where companies are located and where they source staff from could also have a big impact on their bottom line, with the survey revealing clear differences in priorities between nationalities, countries and regions.

Many more respondents from the GCC, Middle East and Asian subcontinent chose opportunities for promotion as their biggest motivating factor than those from Europe and South Africa, the majority of whom picked salary.

Interestingly, many more Arab respondents highlighted office environment over those from Europe and the subcontinent. Over a fifth of voters from Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar said it was the most important thing they look for in their job.

In the UAE there is a fairly even split between salary and opportunities for promotion as the key motivator for workers.

However, in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait opportunities for promotion was the biggest motivating factor, while in Qatar and Oman salary came first.

In Bahrain the most importance was placed on the quality of the atmosphere in the office as well as remuneration.

Get interactive: What is the biggest motivating in your career, by nationality?
Get interactive: What is the biggest motivating in your career, by annual salary range?

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