Muscat: A staggering 82 per cent of Oman’s employees would leave their current company for better training opportunities, according to a recent “Career Development in the Middle East and North Africa” poll conducted by Bayt.com, the region’s job site.
Confirming the results, Mohammad Belushi, an Omani citizen, said everybody looks for a better opportunity where there is ample amount of training.
“I would leave my company if I get a better training opportunity,” he told the Times of Oman (TOO) on Monday.
According to Bayt.com, lack of career development prospects can radically make or break employee engagement.
On the one hand, career development is of utmost importance to professionals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region—even if it means rebooting their whole lives or taking their careers in a totally different direction.
In Oman, 85 per cent of the respondents said career development is “very important.” At the same time, 58 per cent were prepared to move to another country to develop their careers, while another 52 per cent were willing to change their sectors completely.
On the other hand, the results also showed that in the eyes of MENA employees, companies’ human resource (HR) departments were not doing enough to provide them with the career development opportunities, including promotions, adequate appraisal performance systems, role enhancements, mentoring programs and advanced training seminars, which they need to ensure professional growth.
All in all, the analysis revealed that these gaps and inefficiencies were the reasons why certain employers struggle to retain top talent. The study found that while a total of 57 per cent of Oman’s job holders want to attain higher-level positions, over a third (34 per cent) have never been awarded a promotion at their current company.
Scope for advancement
However, an impressive 66 per cent, have. Another major take away from the survey is that 19 per cent strongly thought there was equal opportunity for advancement at their company; likewise, 20 per cent strongly claimed that job promotions are awarded fairly and without bias.
In addition, 28 per cent of working professionals in Oman are satisfied with their current career development; another 35 per cent admitted they are satisfied with the quality of orientation and training that they have received thus far.
Also, 47 per cent of those surveyed (in Oman) believed that their organisation boasts of capabilities to cross-train their employees and teach them new skills. Perhaps more noteworthy is that 45 per cent admitted that their organisation’s training and development opportunities were explicitly linked to the company’s overall strategic direction.
Interestingly, only 15 per cent of Omani respondents stated that their company was more attractive than other companies in terms of career development. An overwhelming percentage (82 per cent) also said that would leave their company for better training opportunities.
Based on the survey’s results, although over half (53 per cent) of Omani respondents have not formally set any development plans with their manager, the great majority (94 per cent) would like to have a formal career development plan in place.
On a related note, 37 per cent of Oman’s working professionals are satisfied with their supervisor’s efforts to identify their strengths and weaknesses; 39 per cent, however, are “very dissatisfied.”
Similarly, 42 per cent and 32 per cent of the employees in Oman are satisfied with the mentoring they received from senior peers and their current performance appraisal process, respectively.
In Oman, 34 per cent of job holders were satisfied with their professional learning and growth opportunities. Furthermore, 85 per cent of respondents were always trying to identify learning opportunities inside and outside of their company, and half of those surveyed in Oman felt encouraged to take initiative in determining their own career development.
In the MENA region, 43 per cent of the current employees claimed to be overqualified for their role, while another 55 per cent stated that their role was a good match for their abilities.
Only 3 per cent believed that they are under qualified for their role.
In Oman, employees have mixed feelings and perspectives when it comes to their responsibilities in proportion to their abilities. A total of 42 per cent of Oman’s job holders claimed they are overqualified for their role, while another 55 per cent stated that their role is a good match for their abilities. Only 3 per cent believed they were under qualified for their role.
In terms of knowing what their company needed and required from its employees, 28 per cent of Oman’s working professionals admitted to having a good idea.
“Today, employees in Oman are, understandably, eager to craft solid career trajectories and advance their professional development,” said Suhail Masri, vice president of Sales, Bayt.com.
“Unfortunately, however, as evidenced by the survey’s results, many of them feel that their company is failing when it comes to equipping them with well-rounded tools, blended learning approaches, and tailored training needed to ensure their career growth and progression. This leaves employees feeling stifled in their jobs, which in turn affects their loyalty, morale, and performance.”
Masri added, “At Bayt.com, as part of our steadfast commitment to building a strong, diversified workforce here in the region and meeting the talent demands of the future, we have, over the years, worked hand-in-hand with HR departments to help them devise an effective talent development strategy. Ultimately, our aim is to do our part to help HR departments spearhead employee retention efforts. How? By making sure that they are laying out multi-phased growth and career development paths for employees, so that workers can expand their expertise in key areas, fine-tune their skills, and chalk out a clear, well-structured career track for themselves. Companies and professionals across the various industry and career spectrums work with Bayt.com’s career development products, such as Tests and Courses. They also partake in specialist discussions online on Bayt.com Specialties, greatly expanding their knowledge and the knowledge of others by sharing what they know.”
“Only about three in 10 current employees strongly believe that there is equal opportunity for advancement at the company,” said Elissavet Vraka, of YouGov. “Companies in the Middle East can stand to benefit from creating transparent systems where employees feel confident about their career development.”
Data for the Bayt.com “Career Development in the Middle East and North Africa” poll was collected online in October 2015, with 3,359 respondents from 13 countries in the MENA region taking part in the survey.