‘Kuwait lags behind GCC countries in terms of pay hike, bonuses’.

Saudi Arabia tops in granting annual raise

Procapita Management Consulting reported that Kuwait recorded the lowest percentage compared to its counterparts in the GCC countries, in terms of salary increases or bonuses, reports Al-Qabas daily. In its first annual report for the Gulf countries for the year 2022, which was issued covering the entire region for the first time, Procapita noted that 67.2% of the participants in the survey, which included more than 750 establishments in various sectors, expected an increase in employment rates during 2023, with an average of 11.8%, indicating that Saudi Arabia and Qatar witnessed the largest increase in employment rates, while Kuwait ranked last.

The CEO of Procapita, Muhammad Abu Al-Rub, said that this year’s participation exceeded expectations, as more than 3 times the participating facilities and experts participated in last year. He added that this report is the most comprehensive among all reports specialized in human resources, which adds distinctive value to companies, human resources experts and specialists alike, as the main observations of the study showed the following: 84.6% of the participating establishments granted annual increases to employees in 2022. Saudi Arabia was the most in granting annual increases by 88%, while Oman and Kuwait recorded the lowest by 63.1%. 62.7% of the establishments paid annual bonuses to their employees in honor of their efforts in 2022.

Saudi Arabia was the most with 83%, Oman the least with 51%, while Kuwait ranked third. 39.6% of companies are expected to either increase salaries or bonuses, while 40.5% of them intend to increase salaries and bonuses, with Kuwait recording the lowest percentage compared to its peers. 19.9% of the participants and business leaders indicated that there is no intention to pay annual increases or bonuses in 2023, as the struggle for talent requires them to provide comprehensive, competitive compensation and financial benefits. 45.3% of the participants plan to update and develop the structure of job grades and the wage scale to match inflation rates in 2023. 89.7% of the respondents provide at least one type of non-monetary benefits to their employees, as private medical insurance services are still the most common with 82.5%, followed by flexible working hours with 55.6%.

Kuwait was the least among the countries in applying this policy. 31.9% of the respondents provide long-term incentive plans to their employees that give them long-term incentives to keep talents and leaders. Deferred Bonus/ Cash accounts for the highest percentage at 41.8%, followed by Phantom Stocks at 33%. Procapita revealed that Kuwait recorded the lowest percentage among GCC countries in implementing the remote work policy, at 51.4%, with 15.7% implementing it fully and 35.7% partially while the UAE recorded the highest percentage at 87% (22% in full and 65% in part). Procapita said that the average number of board members in the GCC countries for the year 2022 is 10 individuals, while the total average of their remunerations amounted to about $3.16 million, as the listed establishments distribute about 1.45% of their profits as an allowance for board remuneration, while maintaining the

The average member cost is fixed at $337,000. The report stated that Kuwait witnessed a positive change in the employment of national workers, as between 12,400 and 13,000 new jobs were created in the public and private sectors during 2022.

In terms of planning and staffing the following was identified:
■ Some sectors are expected to witness a recovery and an increase in employment rates in 2023, including the health care sector, the oil and gas sector, and the construction and infrastructure sector.
■ Based on the results of the survey, the most important factors that affected the supply and demand for competencies in the Gulf labor market were represented by legislation and regulations, in addition to changes in the sectors targeted for investment, and Emiratization policies may affect the demand for certain specializations, while legislation related to employment can affect abroad on display.
■ 71.5% of the participants stated that “compensations and benefits” are the main reason behind employees leaving jobs, and this confirms the reality of the labor markets in the Gulf countries because they are based largely on financial benefits, which led to conflicts over attracting talents in multiple sectors.
■ The fact that the percentage of employees who left their jobs to “start their own business” was much higher than those who quit for “flexible job opportunities” which is remarkable in Kuwait and Bahrain because it is in line with the government’s efforts to enable entrepreneurial activity.
■ 53% of the participants indicated that the main employment challenges are that “the local labor market does not provide the required skills”, as 78.3% of the participants relied on outsourcing due to the lack of talents and special skills in the labor market. Talent management
■ Reliance by establishments recently on tools for analyzing and measuring employee experiences is still remarkable, as 80.3% of the participants stressed the importance of analyzing and measuring the experience of employees in creating a healthy work environment that preserves talents, while 63.5% of the participants reported that employee satisfaction is the most common way to evaluate Staff experience and expertise.
■ 27.7% apply the employee health and well-being questionnaire periodically, and 19.5% seek to evaluate the culture of the establishment to create a healthy environment that retains talents.
■ According to the ZENITHR database specialized in measuring and analyzing employee experience, the average job integration rate for various sectors in the Middle East and North Africa region is 81.5%; The retail sector and the investment and financial services sector recorded the highest rates, while the real estate and manufacturing sectors recorded the lowest rates.

Source- Arab Times.

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