Basic salary and job perks drive employee loyalty in the UAE

Attractive packages lead to better work quality and increased productivity, survey finds

Competitive salary and benefits packages can help companies to attract and retain top talent. Photo: Unsplash
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Slightly more than half of all working professionals in the UAE (51 per cent) believe that a basic salary is the top factor that drives employee loyalty, a survey by jobs site and market research agency YouGov has found.

This was followed by 39 per cent who said additional benefits offered by a company are more important for employee loyalty, while 31 per cent picked an employee's job fit, according to the survey’s findings.

The survey polled 2,040 respondents from countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon and Jordan from February 27 to March 10.

Seventy-two per cent of respondents highlighted better work quality as the top perceived benefit of employee loyalty, followed by 63 per cent who cited increased productivity and 68 per cent who picked going the extra mile, the findings showed.

“Employers are investing in technology and training to support remote work and ensure that employees have the necessary resources to be successful in their roles,” Ola Haddad, director of human resources at, said on Tuesday.

“It is also essential for organisations to acknowledge the significance of employee recognition programmes, as it can lead to higher job satisfaction and motivation. Additionally, offering competitive salary and benefits packages can attract and retain top talent in the industry.”

The UAE jobs market has made a strong recovery from the coronavirus-induced slowdown, boosted by the government’s fiscal and monetary measures.

In October, a separate study by and YouGov found that 86 per cent of working professionals in the UAE had a positive career outlook for 2023.

About 53 per cent of all employees in the UAE expect to receive a salary increase this year, according to a separate survey in January by

In the UAE, 42 per cent of employees polled said they feel “very loyal” to their current employer while 18 per cent feel “somewhat loyal”, the latest survey found.

Six in 10 employees would recommend their company as a good workplace to others, according to the findings.

Furthermore, 87 per cent of workers in the UAE said they feel highly engaged in their daily work and 47 per cent would stay in their current organisation for a long time even though other companies might offer them better salaries, said.

In contrast, 60 per cent of respondents cited lack of trust in the management of their current employer as the top reason for not feeling loyal towards a company, followed by 43 per cent who cited a lack of job security.

Asked what employers can do to increase loyalty among workers, 54 per cent suggested taking steps to give rewards or recognition, 47 per cent recommended creating growth opportunities for employees and 45 per cent cited the provision of benefits, according to the survey.

“Successful companies create a positive work culture that fosters employee engagement, motivation and loyalty,” said Zafar Shah, research director at YouGov.

“When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their work, leading to higher productivity and better business outcomes.

“Additionally, providing opportunities for personal and professional growth can help employees develop new skills and advance their careers within the organisation.”

Nearly half of all respondents (47 per cent) said consistently disregarding employee suggestions was a top catalyst that could damage workers' loyalty, according to

Other reasons that could weigh on employee loyalty include a heavy workload at all times, the unequal distribution of work, a lack of open communication with direct managers and a lack of opportunities to grow, the survey revealed.

Some of the stats behind the UAE's hiring boom

Some of the stats behind the UAE's hiring boom
Updated: May 17, 2023, 5:00 AM