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Monday, March 8, 2021

Report: Low pay, morale spurring Qatar employees to seek new jobs

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Six out of 10 Qatar residents surveyed are actively looking to switch companies, according to a new regional job satisfaction report by Bayt.com and YouGov.

According to the poll, which questioned 5,774 people from 13 countries last month, Qatar employees are most likely to want to leave their current employers over low base salaries (67 percent), lack of career growth opportunities (63 percent) and lack of training opportunities (44 percent).

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The percentage of people who said they are looking to change jobs is about on par with the rest of the MENA region, where respondents expressed little confidence in their superiors. Additionally, only three out of 10 said they believed company morale was high.

That said, some 45 percent of Qatar respondents said they enjoyed going to work every day, compared to 44 percent regionally.

And Qatar employees appeared to enjoy better benefit packages than many of their regional counterparts:

  • Some 49 percent here have transportation to/from work, compared to 35 percent across the Middle East;
  • About 61 percent have company-provided accommodation, versus 35 percent overall; and
  • Some 12 percent have their children’s school fees covered, compared to 8 percent of respondents across the region.

However, only 50 percent of respondents in Qatar had company-provided health insurance, compared to 63 percent in the region, and 19 percent had insurance for their family members, compared to 30 percent overall.

What employees want

The latest Bayt survey also appears to show an increase in job dissatisfaction among Qatar residents.

It found that while 36 percent of respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with their present jobs (compared to 40 percent in the region), some 65 percent were somewhat or very dissatisfied (compared to 60 percent in the region).

Job satisfaction responses
Job satisfaction responses

In January, those figures seemed considerably lower, with 34 percent of Qatar residents polled saying they were somewhat or very unhappy with their jobs.

At that time, salary and benefits were the single biggest issue in choosing a job (84 percent), compared to job security, which was the key attraction for only just over a quarter of prospective job hunters in Qatar.

Besides boosting pay, Bayt.com said that companies here could help increase job satisfaction and retain their employees by offering more training opportunities.

In a statement, the company’s vice president of sales Suhail Masri said:

“It is interesting to see that only 31% of respondents are happy with training in their company, when the most important factor related to job satisfaction in the region is learning and personal growth.

Companies should thus invest more time and effort in training their employees, ensuring that they have a clear career path, satisfying pay, and a job that gives them a sense of achievement and the opportunity to give back to their community.”

Here’s the full survey:

Thoughts?

54 COMMENTS

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The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

I hate my employer. He is a nutcase. He has no concept of how my profession could help him and because of that I am often reduced to the level of a clerk. Morale in my company is one step below rock-bottom. Motivation comes in the form of threats and shouting at the staff at a minimum of 80 decibels There is no “togetherness” and everyone at senior management level is only interested in job preservation and whatever scams they can run to make their lives more comfortable. Training is nil. But you know what, I can bear it because after being made redundant and fearing for my future I have now earned so much tax-free dosh that I will soon be able to leave this repressive intolerant and sometimes inhumane land for good and recover my personal pride and sanity to enjoy the rest of my life without working. Whatever you may decide to charge me with, you are probably correct, but I really couldn’t care less because I freely admit that I am a shameless mercenary, and I suspect there may one or two others like me.

Teddy
Teddy
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

In the grand scheme of things, this sounds like just a detour on the road to financial security for you. I am in a similar position. Not entirely unhappy but certainly not challenged yet earning tax-free money to pay off my home loan back at home. Can’t have everything!

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Who do you work for ? Refreshing to see an honest expat

guest
guest
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

كس امك

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  guest

Dear Shabina, this is a very rude insult in Arabic. Please delete :/

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Got it, thanks!

jalong
jalong
5 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

But you’re OK with a comment that implies most all expats are dishonest?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  jalong

That is not what he implied. Probably sick about the moaning and it is refreshing someone is talking straight for once.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Mmmmmm. After a millisecond of deliberation I’ve decided against publishing who I work for. If I did the employer would have a witch-hunt and if he couldn’t pinpoint me he would probably fire about 30 employees just to be on the safe side – followed up by a memo from HR explaining the firings were a means “pour encourager les autres”.

Talal Mousa
Talal Mousa
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

stop making racist comments. Qatar is an extremely unprofessional country even though it has all this money. All the money is thrown on Land cruisers, and trips to London. You would be better of actually learning, working, and growing as an individual

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Good to see the honesty and not just complaining about the situation.

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Face the same dilemma. My problem is that it seems every passing day it’s harder to rationalize the money over the career suicide. Far from progressing, my career is slowly regressing here and that makes for a poor job applicant when I do return home. Quite a quandary. I too have been able to save money but at a huge cost to my career outside of Doha.

NoUseForAName
NoUseForAName
5 years ago

Not terribly surprised by the results talked about here given the restrictions placed on individuals via the kafala system and the country’s ability to continue offering high salaries thanks to natural gas profits. The thing that struck me as refreshing is that despite high salaries and benefit packages, people desire more across the board and I hope that this is not lost on decision makers here.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  NoUseForAName

Kafala doesn’t stop them moving to say the UAE or any other country.

jalong
jalong
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Because packing up and moving to a completely new country is so easy?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  jalong

Well they all seem to be able to pack up and move to Qatar, didn’t they realise its not a one way trip?

Reem
Reem
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

The UAE had put away with much of the Kafala system. It is working out better for the UAE now.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

One of the big reasons employees don’t leave Qatar even though they might be unhappy is the high level of personal debt they have. Many come to Qatar and take out huge loans from the banks, (who throw the money at them in an irresponsible way) and cannot leave as they cannot settle their debt. If they can’t pay the bank back, the bank informs the police and they can’t leave the country.
This problem is not due to Qatar or their employers but the stupidty of the people themselves or their greed depending on how you look at it. These people trap themselves.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

How common is this? The only heavily indebted people that I know are Qatari and Lebanese. My social circle doesn’t include many nationalities, nor the very high or very low salary bracket, so I don’t have much of a reference.

Big Sumo
Big Sumo
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I’m surrounded my Anglo expats in debt and can’t leave. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the lifestyle. Dad needs a mustang, mum needs a Range Rover to cart the kids, need to live in west bay lagoon, need a maid, need a nanny, need a boat, need skiing holiday, need private tuition, need brunch on weekends, need golf membership, need nip and tuck, only write with Mont Blanc, LV bag, the list goes on. Sadly at the end, what have you got? Nothing. You go back to your home country at 60 with nothing but memories. Many people I meet, have forgotten the reason they’ve come, and I’ll only stay 2 years, changes into 5, changes into 10.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  Big Sumo

Ouch. There is a trap not to all into!

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago
Reply to  Big Sumo

I know second generation expats in Doha and kuwait… They only returned “home” for their college education… They always jokingly say “but Abdulaziz we don’t have khadams back in the UK” the easy life, when your a highly paid western expat in the gulf can be difficult to ease out

Simon
Simon
5 years ago
Reply to  Big Sumo

When I arrived here, I remember being advised to

‘keep your eyes on the fries’,

and now realise that there was never a truer word spoken.

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago
Reply to  Simon

was that “keep your eyes on the PRIZE”? Fries makes no sense.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Not if you are the fry master at MacDonalds…..

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

True that. In that case I’m usually keeping an eye on my nuggets as well. : )

KK
KK
5 years ago
Reply to  Big Sumo

Sounds very familiar, except that my boss was… Egyptian. Very keen to act like an ‘anglo expat’. Only, he has no option to go back to his home country.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  Big Sumo

You have to come here with the goal of making money short term. For people who appreciate their western lifestyle no Range Rover or huge villa can compensate for the privations of living in Qatar – so to spend spend spend is a lose lose lose situation.

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

Philipino office workers almost all are have personal bank loans.. Most western expats finance their car purchase .. Didn’t meet a western expat who a yet to take out a loan to enjoy life pleasures

jalong
jalong
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

“Almost all”? Yeah, that’s an assertion with absolutely nothing to back it up.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  jalong

I sign the letters for the banks, so I know who does and who does not….

Smile
Smile
5 years ago
Reply to  jalong

few days ago, A_qtr said “Good to see more philipinos coming in.. They’re the best expat community in Doha by far.. Hard workers… Grateful to have a steady job… Always able to laugh… And happy to spend their hard earned money in local economy…
I hope to see most other Asian nationalities replaced with Philipinos in all service sectors even if it means higher pay…”

I did not notice you rely him saying he has nothing to back up his assertion. If you are philipino, u are probably very glad that day. To you he was saying the fact even though he generalise other Asian nationalities. Jalong, such is life.

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

Mostly it’s people who come here and say they want to save X amount of $. Due to high inflation and costs of good and services they realize before coming here, that 2 yr plan has turned into 4. But they see everyone else buying new cars, traveling every couple months, etc etc and do the same and now that amended 4 yr plan turns into 8. And the cycle continues. Not only have your job skills regressed but you’ve somehow ended up here for a decade. People stay focused on your financial goals and don’t be swayed because now you can somehow justify buying a Porsche.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

Sadly very common. Banks such as QNB are recklessly loaning 20 times salary to people in Qatar these days and then get them jailed when they lose their jobs. If you are Filipino earning 10,000 a month that 200,000 QR more than you would ever get back home from a bank and even if you did you would have to secure it against something. So when contracts get cancelled and your employer says go home, you are screwed….. no job, no way to pay the money back and the bank informs the police. You have to beg, borrow and steal from friends and family to get out of jail.
What I also notice is many Asians don’t have a plan to pay the money back either, they pay the installments for 6 months and then go back to the bank for a top up. So they are continually maxed out but forget they have to leave Qatar at some point.
I blame the banks for being reckless and the individuals for their greed and stupidity.

Pete
Pete
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Why single out Filipinos earning 10 000 a month? Why racialise your comment at all? Your point is valid for anyone who has a loan of 20 times their monthly salary.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Just an example as it maninly applies to non westerners, could have used Lebanese. Debt up to the eye balls for the fancy car, fancy holidays and expensive restuarants.
I didn’t use Qatari as they have no where to go, although debt amongst Qataris is eye watering as well.

Diego
Diego
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Thats it in many cases.When you are not allowed to transfer your debt to a bank in another Country, how could you leave in some cases,unless of course you can pay it off.Does this apply to non Qatar banks such as Standard Chatered?I know banks have to protect themselves from those who would do the airport runner and leave their car and all MOI tickets and debts on the tarmac. However I am sure there would be a high number of expats who would like to have the ability to carry some debt with them to facilitate a move.North American banks allow their credit card users to maintain the cc as long as its being paid on monthly. It seems like another case of perhaps two things.1- The good bank clients paying for those who are not.2- Control over people.

Talal Mousa
Talal Mousa
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Dude how ignorant are you? Wake up and live in the real world…there are many expats who do not take loans here but they complain because this country is ungrateful to expats even though expats do everything in this country. Who cleans the roads? builds the buildings? teaches the students? sell the products and services? who are the nurses and doctors that take care of u? Shall I go on.. If we are so useless why do you rely on us? In fact, who extracted your oil? you do nothing

Ali
Ali
5 years ago

What is the validity of this survey which performed on internet ? How many blue collars have internet facilities? it is better to make a title as executive jobs survey . Nearly 1.6 million workers in qatar dose that survey represent them ?

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
5 years ago
Reply to  Ali

They only asked managers and above, not a single (!) blue collar employee appears in the sample.

Ali
Ali
5 years ago

@ Daniel .. thats why i asked about the validity for this survey ………. but more than a validity the Bayt considerd nearly 6000 employee response as overall response of 1.6 million workers .
what is the importance and purpose for that survey … didn’t understand :/

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Ali

Its just advertising for Bayt and it worked…..

ALI
ALI
5 years ago

Just read the previous News ” Report: Number of high-net worth individuals in Qatar grows 300 percent ” you will get the idea ………

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  ALI

First time I hear of that

Ali
Ali
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

WHAT ? Incline of High net worth individuals in qatar ? ……

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  Ali

Call me ignorant

Farhan Khurshid
5 years ago

Getting employees is not an issue here; retaining is an issue. Apply Human Resource Management Practices to retain employees. Give them performance appraisals, give them benefits, make them feel part of the company, apply equality and diversity at work-place, read Maslow’s Theory of motivation (if the HR department exists) to ensure that you don’t have bunch of unmotivated employees dreaming of getting NOC one day.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago

Mmm, same refrain in my world too. Trying to convince the powers-that-be that it is cheaper to retain than to constantly get new is like pushing a rope. They have no experience of good HR departments, so don’t understand what an advantage it can be to them.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago

Where I used to work, there was another motive for people to leave, in addition to the three mentioned above (low pay, no career growth and no training). It is the feeling that you are doing something useless and futile, and that you are wasting your time in it without learning anything that would make you change your perception of what you are doing.

It was an art institution…

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I think for some people money overtakes common sense. I can understand expats that come here short term to pay off all their debts and set themselves up for the rest of their life as I’m trying to, but I think there are western expats who become “institutionalised” and now think that the Qatar lifestyle and huge tax-free salary is the norm – so they stay here swallowing sand and carry on building up an enormous bank balance to pay for their golden coffin. Not only do they seem to have lost a grip on reality but they do appear to be older than their years, seem to care less about their appearance, and I know one guy who is now a dead-ringer for Gollum. I think people’s fear of their career going down the pan is a bit overstated though because the western economies are certainly picking up and good jobs are now available.

Skippy1111
Skippy1111
5 years ago

This article shouldn’t surprise anyone – Pay rates in Qatar for expats at least have stagnated or, in some cases, actually dropped, fallen, been lowered while the cost of living has increased for no good reason. Rents increase annually or when ever a premise becomes vacant, traffic increases, transport costs increase.
Hr departments seem to be run by an excess of incompetent and apathetic locals whose response to requests for increased pay rates, training, opportunities for promotion etc seems to be ‘if you don’t like it we can get someone cheaper from Malaysia, Bangladesh, Philippines etc “.
My own experience over the last 5 years has been to see a drop in western expats coming to work for the company i work for and a steady increase in the departure of western expats whose rates, hours & conditions have all been decreased over the same period as locals have had theirs increased.
Decreased pay rates, decreased accommodation standards or housing allowances to compensate for the incredible increase in rental rates, despite the rentals being in Doha, no health care provisions and no consideration that for many expats, they also have bills at home and have to be compensated to manage two sets of bills. My company can get people from cheaper countries to work for them but as my company is an english based company, in fact it calls itself an english network, that relies upon presenting itself as an english based service it does get difficult when the people running the place, doing the actual day to day work have great difficulties with the english language. Then again, it is Doha, where common sense & consideration for other people do not exist, a country where the locals have more care & concern for their shiny cars than for their drivers & maids needs.

FalconFlyer
FalconFlyer
5 years ago

There are many reasons for the low morale, some of them due to the local policies & conditions, some due to the workplace and lastly some directly fixed on the individuals.

Coming to the local policies & conditions. It is no secret that the Qatar job market is heavily lop sided to benefit the employers and not the employees. This puts into action an unfair game where the employer tries to flex his muscles at the drop of the hat. “You no like, leave” is the standard phrase heard around here. The Kafala system makes it impossible for people to change their situations and at the end the employees feel trapped, if the situation is not to the liking. Most of the people show the following four reactions to an ugly event….disbelief, denial, anger and acceptance/change. I am sure all are experiencing this at any given point of time.

Coming to the workplaces. Most of the companies, and I work for a MNC who prides on their fair practices & equal opportunities. When they are operating in Qatar, somehow all of this goes out of the window. It is human nature to control situations/ people and these companies start following what is institutionalized in the local job market, instead of bringing about change. More like “Do in Rome as the Roman’s do”. So, even though I joined the company as an MNC knowing its repute around the world, they operate here like any other local company because the HR knows they can get away with it. Rent has increased, schooling has become more expensive, inflation is biting into the savings. Well, all of this is the employee’s problem. I am giving an agreed salary and will continue this for the next 5 years. Your problem, you manage.

Coming to the individuals, many people do not do a good research before accepting an offer and land themselves into a game facilitated by the NOC requirement. So you are stuck, whether the reason is low salary, no increments, bad boss or bad company. The only option is to ship out.

Kazmister
Kazmister
5 years ago

Well, you are locked in when you sign the contract. I believe that once you leave your current Qatari employer, you can only move on to another job in Qatar or anywhere else in GCC if the current employer does not cancel your visa (they do this to recover visas allocated to the employer. recovered/cancelled visas are back into the pool for use by employer). If they cancel your visa, I believe 2 year waiting period applies to Qatar and rest of GCC. Correct me if I am wrong

HRH
HRH
5 years ago

loooooooooooool , the arguments go on and on XD XD
if qataris just moved their butts and actually cared about their country, they would’ve built their country instead of bringing in hundreds of thousands of foreigners to do their job for them.

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