(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) More than 63 per cent of employees in the UAE are expecting salary hikes over the next year, as a new survey gave insights into the salary trends and job expectations.
The Mena Salary Survey conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, has revealed that despite 44 per cent of employees having been unhappy with their last pay rise, more than half expect that salaries would increase in the UAE.
"The survey's results suggest that companies are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn, as they are generally not fully catering to the financial expectations of their employees or to their employees' perceptions of the rising cost of living across the region," said Suhail Masri, vice-president of Sales, Bayt.com.
More than half of the survey respondents believe that salaries in the UAE would increase either 'marginally' or 'moderately' with increasing opportunities and economic growth. Respondents, meanwhile, blame the poor economy and poor corporate performance and profitability as being the top reasons for salaries not increasing.
The preferred pay structure in the UAE is fixed salary, according to 62 per cent of the respondents. They also expect other popular incentives including those that are performance-based, and professional training and development courses.
According to 85 per cent of the survey respondents, the cost of living in the UAE has increased in the last 12 months (between December 2010 and December 2011), as a majority believe that the cost of living will continue to rise in the coming year. "The survey respondents believe that there is an increase, however small, in salaries and it is a positive sign for the future. However, the fact that they also consider there to be an excess of talent suggests that unemployment levels are currently relatively high, and that competition for existing jobs is fierce," said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov.
Data for the Bayt.com Salary Survey March 2012 was collected online from March 1 to 13 this year. Results are reported on a base of 16,067 respondents. - firstname.lastname@example.org
Increase remains stable
Data from the latest Salary Increase Survey (SIS) from Aon Hewitt shows that salary increase levels have stayed constant over the last two quarters, promising some stability for companies in the UAE.
Dr Markus Wiesner, CEO of Aon Hewitt Mena, said "Despite continued uncertainty elsewhere in the world about a return to economic growth, regional employers are showing a positive outlook overall. Some organisations remain wary and have continued to implement pay freezes but this development is more evident in Oman, Bahrain and Egypt, whereas the percentage of organisations doing this remains below 10 per cent for leading Gulf economies such as the UAE.
"We are seeing an increasing trend towards linking compensation with performance and better placement bycompanies to engage and retain their key talent."
While the UAE did not witness as dramatic an upward projection as the region did, this is to be expected due to the relative maturity of the market, lower inflation rate and stability of the overall economy. Data for the latest survey, collected in January and February this year, came from more than 130 organisations across the Middle East across 25 industry sectors, submitting salary data for seven countries.