Top Reasons Oil & Gas Employees Quit

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Oil and Gas is the preferred industry for 14% of the UAE workforce according to
Oil and Gas salaries not keeping pace with the rising cost of living, says
Employees of Oil and Gas companies set too little of their income aside. logo blue The Middle East’s #1 Job Site.

While oil and gas emerges as the preferred industry for 14 percent of the UAE workforce according a recent study done by, the study also shows that priority hasn’t been given to ‘saving’ one’s earnings.

Suhail Masri, Vice President Sales, told Arabian Gazette that personal savings seems to be an issue in the region.

“The results of the MENA Salary Survey 2013 suggest that salaries are not keeping pace with the rising cost of living. This is a general trend across the Middle East that companies must begin to address; in doing so, they will be able to contribute to building employee loyalty and satisfaction, and will have the opportunity to reduce the number of employees looking to change jobs within the next year.” — Suhail Masri, Vice President Sales,

In fact, the overwhelming sentiment in the MENA is that the salaries received by respondents in their current companies are lower than other companies in their industry. During the past year, Mr. Masri says that 45 percent received a raise of up to 15 percent in 2012 and 11 percent received more than 15 percent. A full 38 percent did not receive any raise in 2012.

“On the other hand, according to the Employee Retention in the MENA Workplace poll, February 2013, not being paid enough is the main motivator for resigning, with 45.2 percent of respondents indicating this insecurity as their primary reason for changing jobs.” — Suhail Masri, Vice President Sales,

Lowered retention levels for the Petrochemical Industry.

As retention levels are now lower than before, companies struggling to keep employees should consider introducing more creative and sophisticated compensation and benefits structures to encourage them to stay.

“Simply providing regular positive reinforcement and recognition for a job well done would also seem to be a key motivator, as would clear and transparent career progression guidelines and regular career development counseling and coaching conversations.”Suhail Masri, Vice President Sales,

The study also shows that construction comes in second at 8 percent, followed by banking and finance; advertising, marketing and public relations; tourism, and hospitality.

“The Top Industries in the MENA Report, December 2012, said that the Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals industry is a regional leader in terms of satisfaction, employee experience, and the perception of professionals employed in other industries. The industry came out top in salary packages (48%), work-life balance (28%), career growth opportunities (34%) and job security and stability (34%).” — Suhail Masri, Vice President Sales,

Mr. Masri says that adding levels of satisfaction play a major role in employees deciding to whether to change industries, and for those who participated in the survey, a quarter of them changed from one industry to another in the last 24 months. In descending order, the top reasons for doing so are better salaries, better growth opportunities, and a lack of recognition in their previous industry.

Oil and Gas Employees Top Reasons for Changing to Different Industries.

Factors causing salaries in the UAE to increase are considered to be inflation and the rising cost of living (54%), growth in opportunities and economic growth (39%), and good corporate performance (17%). Reasons for salaries not increasing are seen to be the poor economy (29%), poor corporate performance and profitability (23%), and more top talent than available jobs (23%).

In terms of jobs, the GCC has always been a very active market with some of the highest number of job listings within MENA.

Employees in the MENA Region Show a Definite Bias Toward Gaining Professional Expertise.

Discussing staff penchant to be inclined towards being an expert in their field, Mr. Masri says that “Becoming an expert” basically means reaching impressive depth and skill in a certain element of a professional’s work. For example, a person who works in digital marketing could become an expert in social media, or a web developer could become an expert in PHP or ASP, he says, noting that it’s a highly competitive world out there, and professionals can stand out among their peers by being specialised.

New opportunities could arise for the person with specialised skills whether a person is braving the job market or looking to boost his or her prospects with current employer.

In fact, according to the Personal Branding in the Middle East and North Africa poll, conducted by in September 2013, the overwhelming majority (92%) of respondents think that personal online branding increases their career opportunities, with the most important benefits being the ability to showcase their abilities (23.2%), and connect to their target audience (21.1%). Being able to distinguish themselves from others in their field (14.7%) and becoming an expert or thought leader (13.2%) were also considered to be important by those polled.

Employee motivation is high in the UAE, with 65 percent of respondents claiming to be ‘quite motivated’ or ‘highly motivated’ at work. Those who are presently employed are of the opinion that motivation can be further improved by offering higher salaries, more benefits and perks (57%), followed by opportunity to express creativity and showcase skills (43%), and a better work/life balance (41%). Roughly one in three would also be driven by promotions and the opportunity to learn new skills.

Why Do People Want to Work?

Reasons given for seeking employment include “to continuously learn and gain experience” (72%), and “the chance to be gainfully employed” (59%). “Gaining financial independence through employment” is also important to 44% of those taking part in the survey.

Three quarters of those working or seeking employment have set professional goals for themselves, with 30 percent having goals for the next 5 years. In comparison, only 15 percent indicate they have not set any goals for themselves.

“The survey indeed shows much positivity for UAE’s economy in the years to come,” said Masri, adding that all the ingredients are right: employees are happy, motivated, and have for the most part, have set personal and professional goals.

Barriers to Career Growth.

When asked to identify barriers to career growth, the survey’s respondents specified a lack of growth opportunities (40%) and poor management within their current company (38%) as the top barriers.

Overall, respondents are happy with their work environment, with 39 percent being either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very happy’. However, some believe that “the government can help improve the working environment through increased transparency in terms of salaries within companies” (62%), by “increasing job opportunities” (59%), and by “further improving labour laws” (44%).

‘After the Career is Over’ Years — Retirement Plans.

Higher education is in the plans for 67 percent, out of whom 33 percent intend to attend a university in their country of residence. Four-in-ten would like to retire after they turn 60, though 43 percent are looking to retire between 50-60 years.

For UAE respondents, the top priorities in life comprise a successful career (64%) and financial stability and independence (also at 64%). Good health (54%) emerges as a top priority.

In general, respondents are worried about financial issues as well as losing their job and unemployment, career path uncertainty (37%), and not being able to maintain a work/life balance (35%). For the majority, unemployment could have significant consequences, as a full 29 percent of respondents indicate they were not able to set any savings aside from their income over the past year.

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