Aon, a global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has unveiled the state of Employee Engagement in the Middle East and North Africa MENA for 2018, which analyses the levels and drivers of engagement amongst employees across the region. Aon measured employee engagement for more than 200 companies across the MENA region and analysed data from more than 250,000 employee responses. More than 28 industries were represented in the study.
The most significant finding in the study is how businesses are now preparing for future technologies through employee engagement programmes. They are now looking at nurturing the skills of staff and strengthening their technical know-how on technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. Importantly, businesses have also set increased exposure to senior leadership and strategy as priority areas for their employees.
Christopher Page, CEO, Talent, Rewards and Performance, Aon Middle East and Africa, said: “The findings of our proprietary employee engagement study in MENA reflect the transformational changes that the region is witnessing today. With increased focus by regional governments on embracing digital technology as a driver for socio-economic progress, it is rewarding to see that businesses are aligned with this vision and investing in building the future-tech skills of their employees.”
“This fits in with the true definition of employee engagement – which is all about the level of an employee’s psychological investment in their organisation. Through enhanced employee engagement and continuous listening, businesses can not only achieve their organisational goals but also contribute to a happy and productive society.”
The 2018 report by Aon entitled, Trends in Middle East and North Africa Employee Engagement, identifies that after two consecutive years of stagnation, employee engagement by businesses has bounced back to its all-time high in the MENA region – four points higher than the global average – with the rebound most predominant in North Africa and Levant, while the GCC region recorded a slight decline.
Aon’s 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement Report revealed that global employee engagement stood at 65%, while in the MENA region the figure was above average at 69%, marking a five-point increase on 2017. The GCC continued to record strong employee engagement levels at 70%, higher than the MENA average, although suffering a one-point decline over 2017. Levant had the highest engagement score and increase across the region at 74% previously 65%, while North Africa, surged eight points from 2016 to 65% engagement levels.
The UAE saw engagement drop two points from 70% to 68%. The most significant drop was in the employees’ motivation and willingness to try new things for fear of occasional mistakes. Previously maintaining the highest employee engagement score in the region for two consecutive years, Saudi Arabia is now witnessing a drop of two points from 71% to 69%. The introduction of major economic and social reforms is seen as a potential contributing factor for the decline.
For the study, employees were asked if they say positive things about their organisation and act as advocates, if they intend to stay at their workplace for a long time, and if they are motivated to strive to give their best to help the organisation succeed. In addition to this Say, Stay, Strive model, the Aon Employee Engagement model also evaluated 16 work-experience dimensions.
These included: Career and Development, Collaboration, Customer Focus, Decision-making, Diversity and Inclusion, Empowerment Autonomy, Enabling Infrastructure, Employee Value Proposition, Manager, Mission Values, Performance Management, Rewards and Recognition, Senior Leadership, Talent and Staffing, Work Tasks and Work Life Balance. Across the MENA region, the study observed an increased focus on work-life balance, with the largest gains recorded in Rewards and Recognition, Work Tasks, Work-Life Balance, Senior Leadership and Talent and Staffing.
Khalid Youssef, Associate Partner and Employee Engagement Practice Lead, Aon Middle East and Africa, said: “Organisations in the MENA region continue to face uncertainty and disruption, but our report underpins that they are making a conscious effort to invest in people and talent strategies that enhance the work experience for long-term success. The bottom line for businesses is that they must clearly understand their top engagement focus areas and identify the best interventions to elevate the employee experience around those.”
The regional study was supported by Aon’s Middle East Culture and Engagement Practice, an all Arabic-speaking team, which offers an unmatched combination of global consulting and benchmarks, integrated HR measurement technology and tools that include assessments, selection and talent analytics.
- The most significant finding is how businesses are preparing for future technologies through employee engagement programmes.
- They are looking at nurturing skills of staff and strengthening technical know-how on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
- Businesses have also set increased exposure to senior leadership and strategy as priority areas for employees.
- In addition to Say, Stay, Strive model, the Aon Employee Engagement model also evaluated 16 work-experience dimensions.