Why Egyptians stay or quit: The driving forces behind employees’ job satisfaction

(Photo courtesy of Andrés Nieto Porras)

Egypt ranks 96 out of 125 countries in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2019, which is published by INSEAD, The Adecco Group and Tata Communications. The report reveals that between enabling, attracting, growing and retaining employees, Egyptian companies are best at retaining talent, ranking 68 out of 125 countries. The market’s worst trait is the attraction of talent (rank 116).

Hence, understanding what makes employees stay or leave is essential to building a work culture that leads to satisfied human capital. The question is: What contributes to employees’ satisfaction and what drives them out?

What makes people stay:

Higher wages as a synonym to higher satisfaction levels
A recent study-co-authored by lecturer at Cairo University’s Faculty of Economics and Political Science Asmaa Ezzat and researcher at the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES) Maye Ehab – reveals that wages are a major contributor to job satisfaction in Egypt.

Entitled “The determinants of job satisfaction in the Egyptian labor market,” the paper states that long commutes are not associated with lower job satisfaction levels. Contrary to popular belief, employees are willing to endure long commutes to and from work as long as they enjoy a financially rewarding employment package.

These findings align with those of recent survey results published by Acumen Research and Consulting, arguing that equitable monetary compensation is a top reason for employee retention.

‘Stability’ as a top priority
Egyptian laborers are scared of instability. According to the paper, there is a positive association between higher levels of job satisfaction and job stability.

The authors further argue that public sector employees enjoy greater satisfaction than their private sector counterparts due to stability. The same applies to temporary or seasoned employees when compared to their fixed-term counterparts.

Why people quit:

Lack of growth potential leads to job dissatisfaction
Trudging into work everyday, knowing that there is nothing new to learn, makes people consider a jump-off point, according toAcumen’s report, which highlights the lack of career growth potential and a flattened learning curve as a top reason for people quitting their jobs.

The report says that middle managers operating in multinational companies are found to be the most likely to quit because of their dead-end jobs.

Importance of individuality and independence on the job
Denying employees of personal autonomy increases their likelihood of leaving, Acumen reveals.

Agreeing with these conclusions, Ezzat and Ehab mention that employees in micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) show greater satisfaction than their counterparts working in large firms – which boils down to the latter’s inflexible working agreement.

Quitting managers and the lack of systems and processes
According to Acumen’s findings, having a poor relationship with managers could lead people to jump ship, alongside the absence of a well-defined organizational structure. “Companies should seek to document processes even if no automation or EPR solutions exist,” Acumen concludes.

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