Staff turnover, which refers to the number of people leaving an organisation, has dropped in the UAE recently, revealed a new study released on Sunday.

It can be mainly attributed to employers starting to realise the value of staff loyalty and their experience. Also, more workers in the UAE are sticking to their existing roles for a longer period due to uncertainty in the job market.

According to recruitment firm Nadia's annual GCC Salary Report 2018-19, staff turnover was down from 11 per cent to 8 per cent, with many employers starting to realise the value of building staff loyalty due, in part, to new government initiatives.

Other key factors are new visas for job seekers and retirees and property ownership initiatives which are encouraging residents to commit to a longer stay in Dubai, offering more permanency and stability.

"Positive initiatives at the government level such as Expo 2020, as well as macro-level global events whether political or economic such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution are contributing to this. We are confident that there is a lot of opportunity in the UAE where the new normal is a safe environment and a standard of living that is higher than many of us would enjoy in our home countries," said Ajay Malhotra, CEO of Nadia Global Group.

The firm forecast that the continued influx of talent at all levels from abroad would lead to a rise in the average country residency rate of 8 to 10 years for 25 to 50-year-olds.

Leith Ramsay, managing director, Michael Page Middle East, said candidate expectations in the UAE and GCC are now multi-layered.

"Previously, a salary increase when changing employers was expected to be around 10 to 15 per cent - sometimes more in certain sectors. Candidates now want more detail about career development plans and organisation culture, which also includes an approach to maintaining a flexible work environment," Ramsay added.

Salary in 2019
The recruitment firm's survey revealed that salaries in the UAE are expected to increase 3.5 per cent in 2019, same as last year. Ian Giulianotti, executive director of Nadia Global Recruitment and Executive Search, said the average salary increase in 2018 was 3.5 per cent and this would continue for a second year.

"A shift in employee priorities with regard to work-life balance coupled with government-led initiatives on relaxed regulation on ownership, immigration, economic investment in infrastructure and adoption of new technologies will define the regional job market trends in the coming years," Giulianotti added.

The figures are almost in line with global consultancy Korn Ferry's forecast of a 3.9 per cent salary hike for UAE workers.

Vijay Gandhi, director for Europe, Middle East & Africa, Korn Ferry, said the UAE continues to position itself as a highly attractive workplace destination in the region. "Average real salary increases are projected to move back to a positive level after being in negative figures in 2018. At the same time, inflation has halved in the last 12 months and the cost of living is declining, resulting in greater disposable income for workers at all levels."

It advised that employees must embrace new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, Big Data analytics, digital marketing, Internet of Things, cybersecurity and blockchain over the next two to five years because candidates in these fields will command the highest salaries.

Nadia emphasised that soft skills such as leadership, management and communication skills to interpret computer-led outputs in the real world with real emotional intelligence would be critical for the success of people's careers.



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