Employment Policy in 2017 – 2020 for Algeria

Employment Policy in 2017 – 2020 for Algeria

Or else Facing Unemployment Increase?

The National Office of Statistics (ONS) has this month announced unemployment that is worrying but predictable is on the increase. Moreover, despite all investment and employment agencies opting for a maximum of projects with financial and tax benefits, it should however be asked if these projects were fit for purpose as per a global vision of the country’s development. And, whether these are promising segments of sustainable growth or just some cosmetic operations for the redistribution of the rentier annuity to calm the social front? This contribution would want to look at Employment policy in 2017 – 2020 for Algeria and here it is as compiled from various write-ups of mine as leader of a multidisciplinary team of economists, sociologists and demographers between 2007 and 2008 on an audit (1) for the Algerian Government on employment and wages (eight volumes 980 pages).
Algeria according to international observers, as reiterated on November 2, 2016 in Algiers by an independent expert with the delegation of the European Parliament in Algiers chaired by Mr. Antonio Panzeri, Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with the Maghreb countries, has a full potential, subject to far-reaching reforms, to establish a diversified economy responsible for the creation of sustainable jobs and therefore the stability of the Mediterranean region and Africa

Structure of employment and unemployment between 2013 / 2017

The Algerian population has grown to 41.30 million on January 1st, 2017 and in April 2017, according to the ONS, the workforce reached a total of 12.27 million people with 2.52 million (20.60%) of women, against 12.12 million in September 2016, and a positive balance of 160,000 people, or an increase of 1.3%..

By the end of 2015, the active population was 11.93 million and unemployment for the same period, according to the ONS, was 11.2% with a 29.9% of youth unemployment.

According to the ONS, quoted by the Algerian Press Service (APS), the active population, was in April 2017 estimated at 10.769 million against 10.845 in September 2016, registering a negative balance of 76,000 people as compared to September 2016 where six out of ten people are on average long-term unemployed, which means 62.2% are looking for a job for 1 or over a year.

The unemployed population reached thereby 1.50 million, or 12.3% nationally, an increase of 1.8 point compared to September 2016. Youth unemployment rate for the 16-24 years was 29.7% and the distribution according to education, it was found that 787,000 unemployed had no degree , or more than half of all the unemployed population (52.2%). Thus, unemployment without qualification rose from 7.7% in September 2016 to 10.1% in April 2017, whereas that of graduates of vocational training increased from 13% to 14.8% between the same periods.

On the other hand, unemployment amongst university graduates declined slightly from 17.7% in September 2016 to 17.6% in April 2017. Still according to the ONS, the decline in the volume of employment between September 2016 and April 2017 has affected the sector of the construction industry with a negative balance of 91,000 people, and that of trade, services, and public administration a negative balance of 84,000 whereas, a positive balance was recorded for the sector of agriculture (63,000) and industry (36,000) compared with September 2016.

The preliminary report of the International monetary Fund (IMF) on the global economic outlook for Algeria shows that if in 2016, the growth of real GDP was 4.2%, the situation is expected to significantly deteriorate in 2017 and 2018. Indeed, the IMF expects growth of 1.4% of GDP in Algeria in 2017 and 2018; the Algerian economy should know stagnation, with a growth rate of GDP of only 0.6%. A direct result of the economic slowdown, the unemployment rate should substantially increase over the same period up to an estimated 13.2% in 2018 with an inflationary trend always according to the IMF that we are trying to compensate by creating jobs to very low value added.

An April 2016 investigation of the ONS confirmed that services sector were the trend of the economy with its correlation in employment. But these services sector are basically small trade and services representing 83% of the economic area with very low productivity and not comparable to those of the developed countries where the services sector notably through the information and communication technologies create opportunities for economic growth and generate productive employment.

Indeed, in April 2016, the structure of employment by sector of activity highlights market and non-market services to absorb 61.6% of the total work force, followed by construction (16.8%), industry (13%) and agriculture (8.7%). In a more precise way, on administration, according to the public service, the number of staff on January 1, 2015 is of 2,020,172 officials including 1,608,964 full time (79,64%) and 411,208 (20.30%) contractual agents.

State central administration is represented by 313,171 agents or 15.50% and 813,725 of decentralised national authorities officers or 41.57%, 312,009 local authorities administration agents or 15.4%, public administrative bodies 449,268 agents, or 22.24%, and all public scientific and technology 105,999 agents, or 5.25%. the young represent 274,074 agents, the 30 to 40 year old 735,756 agents, the 41/50 year old 668,725, the 50 to 59 years 92,580, and the more than 60 years only 20,944.

By sectors, the Interior represent 29,22%, education 29,34% with 592,831 of which 297,394 female agents, public health 13.19% with 138,581 out of a total 266,525 agents, higher education with women’s 8.50% of a workforce of 95,118 out of 171,761 total agents, finance with 4.15% vocational training with 2.80%, justice with 2.16% and other sectors 10.64%.

Investment between 2000 and 2017 allocation

Knowing that the industrial sector represents less than 5% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and on these 95% are SMIs/SMEs making up the Algerian productive fabric today going through difficulties because of bureaucratic, sclerotic financial system, socio-educational system not adapted, land disorganisation, in addition to competition from an informal sphere that controls 40 to 50% of the money in circulation. It must be asked if the young developers approved by programs such as the National Agency of Investment Development (ANDI), “Agence Nationale de Soutien a l’emploi des Jeunes” (ANSEJ) and other agencies responsible for the promotion of employment, have the qualification and above all the experience necessary to manager projects, like what is happening everywhere in the world, running a business in a competitive environment in order to have competitive prices.

Is there not a risk of wastage of oil revenues related financial resources and the use of Treasury towards the reorganization of public enterprises? As this is currently the case for El Hajar real financial chasms despite its public euphoric promises of the resolution of all problems between 2014 and 2015.

Because the current political  industrial, without coherence is based on the material age (iron-cement) of the 1970s believing it to be the silver bullet.

Was it not a reasonable path meanwhile a real revival of non-hydrocarbon segments, to invest in the acquisition of knowledge by additional training and internships so as to prepare seriously for insertion in active life permanently?

How can we not forget that, according to official data in terms of the distribution of projects by sectors is transport that has attracted the most investment, closely followed by the building, public works, followed by far less than 15 to 20% of the industry and agriculture sectors with a low foreign direct investment FDI.

Large firms choose to settle in the neighbouring countries and trade with us mainly because of the 2009 Finance Act with its widespread share ownership rule of 49 / 51% is considered too protectionist by all foreign investors hence slowing the momentum of the IDEs towards the SMIs/SMEs. In General, the results of employment of the ANDI, the ANSEJ and the CNAC agencies with reference to projects and not in intention are mixed despite many benefits.

As according to some sources, more than 50% of the projects are abandoned after receiving benefits and the many disputes with banks about non refunds attest to this.

However, before any costly operation without analyzing its profitability in terms of dynamics in the light of the new technological changes and global managerial systems, a serene balance would mean to answer the following questions and this in a way specific and quantified:

  • What is the assessment of the ANDI, “Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Chomage” (CNAC) and the ANSEJ since their existence in the effective realisation of these projects and not those filed in and their legal status;
  • What is the time limit for projects carried out between the time of the deposit and the actual realization knowing that time management is of the essence;
  • For those realised projects how many got bankrupt according to the rules of the commercial code;
  • What is the share of hard currency vs. Dinars of these projects;
  • What is the level of bank debt of projects with the amount of bad debts;
  • What is the breakdown of bank credit per projects;
  • What is the exact amount of tax benefits for both the realised projects and those not carried out;
  • What is the breakdown of the jobs with the level of qualification per projects and those created insofar as the development of the 21st century is based on the development of knowledge;
  • What is the contribution to the country’s real added value of these projects;
  • Are these projects notably those realised up to international values insofar as with globalization, that despite the crisis, we have an open economy due to the fact to Algeria’s international commitments.

Also, to get an idea of the necessary balance and in order to go beyond the current entropy, it is necessary to assess the impact of public spending thus:

  • On the rate of growth, the unemployment rate and the purchasing power of citizens
  • Conducting surveys so as to highlight the distribution of income and consumption by strata model and determine the concentration index in real and not fictitious terms, and according to a dynamic medium and long term vision
  • The share of markets granted to national (public and private), distinguishing also self-financing and borrowing from banks and especially their production capacities,
  • Clearly distinguish within the investment part of hard currencies and part in Dinars;
  • The share of contracts awarded to foreigners;
  • Have these contributed to the accumulation of the organizational and technological know-how or was it turnkey contracts ;
  • What is their equity contribution and the share covered by Algerian banks;
  • What has been the amount of the flow of foreign direct investment and transfers of capital to Algeria;
  • What is the amount of currency outflow (goods – services often ignored of 10 to $12 billion dollars per year between 2010 and 2016) and legal capital transfers and finally analyze the impact of the implementation of the import licenses that must be part of a strategic goal of boosting without complacency the national productive fabric, being transitional and granted in total transparency to avoid pension situation and respecting international agreements.

For a new political job and wages policy

There is a universal law; the employment rate is a function of the rate of growth and of the structures of the productivity rates of competitive value-added enterprise. Jobs are not created through decrees or State voluntarism; the solution of ease is creating jobs in the administration.

The official unemployment rate of 12.3% for April 2017 is heavily biased including overstaffing in both Governments as in public companies, the fictitious temporary jobs and jobs in the informal sphere.

Paradoxically, because of the sectoral allocation of investment through public spending, strongly biased emphasis on jobs with very low qualifications such as the construction industry, graduates are more likely to be unemployed. This sector will create between 300,000 / 400 000 jobs a year between 2017 and 2020, which are in addition to the current unemployment rate underestimated due to demographic pressure, the entry on the labour market of women underestimated in the statistics, in order to solve the nagging problem of unemployment.

What will become of the 2 million students out of universities between 2018 and 2020? In general, foreign exchange reserves are only a monetary sign to stabilise the currency against the Dollar and the Euro and no sign of development.

Inflation and unemployment that we might artificially be compressing through the rentier revenues of hydrocarbons are the consequences of the disease of the social body, i.e. of the inconsistencies of the socio-economic policies. Without widespread subsidies, non-targeted, combined with the slippage of the Dinar, in the case of non-increasing production and real productivity, of the decline in foreign exchange reserves that sustain the Dinar value by up to 70%, the inflation rate could, in the coming years, reach double-digit with inevitable social tensions.

With the decline in receipts from hydrocarbons, this situation of widespread subsidies, tax benefits and subsidized interest granted in many areas without impact analysis, is untenable.  Without the unproductive jobs and more in case the reduction of public expenditure, the growth rate being pulled to 70 and 80% directly and indirectly by public expenditure through hydrocarbons related revenues, including the construction industry, with the risk of a property bubble, with the decline in purchasing power, the unemployment rate beyond the official rate.

While not having a mainly negative view, there were lots of achievements, perhaps with many deficiencies but there is urgent need for a strategic vision to move beyond the current situation in this world in perpetual motion and a discourse of truth would be required. The fact is that Algeria still in 2017 in transition, is neither a State-controlled economy still very far from a true market economy that is characterised by a productive and competitive economy.

During this difficult period of transition from a State to a competitive market economy and the rule of law is that the reforms are timidly initiated despite speeches that contradict daily social practices, and always restrained especially as the price of oil increases. Banks or rather rentier pension distributers continue to operate as administrative shops, and often by doing so delay reforms issues through attacking the technical more than the organizational aspects, whilst they are the driving reforms; with privatization and partnership as a means of investment and value-added trampling due to lack of consistency and transparency; food bill is high despite the famous agricultural program (NADP) which should take stock of the fact of several billions of dollars in spending and bureaucracy and corruption continue to plague.

As consequence of the inconsistency and lack of visibility of the socio-economic policy and practice for many decades not only for the current period, the currency, we are witnessing the dizzying fall of the Dinar in the official market and on the parallel market with the return to inflation that is compressed by widespread unfair subsidies via the rentier pension whereas the targeting is necessary, in the speculative activities, the discouragement of knowledge and the enterprising creator of wealth, to the extension of the informal sphere, to social tensions through the various local governorates that reflected the difficulties of the economic system to generate growth away from hydrocarbon, only condition to deal with this social unrest.


Facing inevitable budget tensions between 2017 and 2020 and the price of oil being down for a long time, it will be as based on the results quantified and dated a matter to implement both economic and social strategies on adaptation and solidarity policy, assuming a broad national front, taking into account the different sensitivities of all local and international, the mutations at the dawn of the fourth world economic revolution with geostrategic upheaval (1).

A broad social front is necessary to accelerate all structural reforms. Algeria needs to avoid the lethargy and sterility that all of its children in their diversity join forces in a same economic and social development objective. Because, a multidimensional crisis in today’s Algerian society is fundamentally systemic, beyond the strictly economic scope, referring to political aspects involving renewed governance and therefore the reestablishment of the State would be the wisest. Moreover per all international observers, Algeria having all the required potential, it is only a matter of far-reaching reforms, that are aimed at establishing a diversified economy that will in the end be the guarantor of stability not only in the country but also in the Mediterranean region and the African continent.  ademmebtoul@gmail.com


The intra-African Migration 2016 Streams

The intra-African Migration 2016 Streams

While international media focus on all those migrants’ influx to Europe, the phenomenon is a growing one but in between the African regions and countries as from a recent study of the International Organization for Migration relating to an investigation on year 2015. The intra-African migration 2016 streams is here looked at further to Algeria facing Sub Saharan Migration with Difficulty, knowing that demographers consider that migration will be a significant variable of any adjustment up to 2050, due to which 2 or 3 billion additional people are expected whilst the effects of climate change would probably be felt by now with some areas no longer able to feed any additional population.

Human migration is the movement of the place of life of individuals. It is probably as old as humanity itself, growing 2 percent a year. It measures a stock and includes voluntary as well as forced migration. Internal migrations within countries are also increasing, but it is then referred to population displacement.

Statistics show a recent decrease in the very large migrations that tend to be of the chosen immigration favourable to the brain and skills drain out of poor countries, at the expense of the latter. The characteristics of the current migratory phenomenon are about the diversification of countries of origin and destination, as well as the forms taken by the migration phenomenon itself.

Estimates of capital repatriation to the country of origin from the host country show that these are at least equal if not higher than the amount of financial aid given by the so-called ‘wealthy’ countries to the poorest ones.

Immigration today means the entry into a country or a particular geographical area, of foreign people for either a long stay or to settle.

The word immigration comes from the Latin in-migrare that means ‘falling into place.”  In addition to this phenomenon are there are those of dual citizenship and nomadism. The notion of immigrant is based on the statement of the place of birth and nationality. The immigrant is the one who left his place of birth or domiciliation for another place or another State, in order to settle there permanently.

According to international experts immigration can have several causes:

  • Economic: job search, greater prosperity, better working conditions. This is the main cause of current emigration;
  • Political: the escape of an oppressive regime.
  • Religious: hope of a more tolerant land.
  • Climate: taste for a different meteorological environment (typically warmer and sunnier);
  • Tax: will to enter a more favourable legal and financial environment. This is particular to the highest strata of society and in favour of tax havens.


For Africa, the international organization in its 2016 study highlights the following intra-African regional streams:

  1. West Africa… 5,927,519 people
  2. East Africa… 4,583,385 people
  3. Southern Africa… 2,761,732 people
  4. Central Africa… 2,039,776 people
  5. Maghreb… 319,954 people

Top countries of departure

  1. Burkina Faso .           .           425,661 of which. .           .         1,294,323 in Ivory Coast
  2. DR of Congo .           .           192,697 of which  .           .          303,580 in Uganda
  3. Sudan .           .           .          190,255 of which  .           .          552,391 in South Sudan
  4. Mali .           .           .              902,272 of which  .      .          .    356,019 in Ivory Coast

Top host countries

  1. Ivory Coast .           .        2,093,354 of which  .           .           1,294,323 from Burkina Faso
  2. South Africa .           .       1,230,732 including   .           .           475,403 from Zimbabwe
  3. Nigeria .           .              1,076,442 including            .           .    351,985 from Benin
  4. Ethiopia .           .            1,063,000 including            .           .     375,202 from South Sudan

For the Maghreb region, the study cites 319.954 people.

Algerian experts advise these data ought to be taken with all due precaution, and;

  • 40% of migrants, say experts of migratory movements, came into Algeria to work;
  • 40% are in a kind of ‘transit’ to the European continent; these are the most educated and they aim to settle in Spain, in Italy or in France and
  • 20% of these migrants present in Algeria would return home, but cannot do so.

In the face of the magnitude of the phenomenon, the Government recently revealed the preparation of a national file to record all African migrants, and the development of legislation on asylum seekers and refugees.

The Minister of the Interior stated, that in addition to the various possibilities of employment in either construction sites or among others, Algeria would as always be considering itself in need of as varied a workforce in as varied areas of activities as can be had.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs on the other hand stated that the official position of the country as to be keen in welcoming all stressing that Algeria has always been in solidarity with Africa but that there is reason to pay attention to its national security, and that broad international agreement is needed to share the migratory stocks, but through a long-term resolution of the true development of Africa.  This should be based on a win/win partnership for each and every party far from any spirit of domination.  ademmebtoul@gmail.com


Algeria facing Sub Saharan Migration with Difficulty

Algeria facing Sub Saharan Migration with Difficulty

And it needs a strategy adapted to the new realities

Algeria facing sub Saharan migration with difficulty is currently a very sensitive subject that divides the Algerians and in the opinion of the majority of the experts I consulted it is more complex than it appears. The migration issue would, to paraphrase the military language require having a strategic vision, taking account of the present world’s socio-political mutations. So it will be a matter of posing the real problems in order to perhaps get real solutions away from any demagoguery and one-upmanship. If the security aspect has to be looked at, so be it but as guarantor of national security.

We are in the era of globalization where migration flows are a reality.   Transhumance as it were migration are fundamentally for the same causes of rapid urbanization and metropolization of the world, over-population pressures, sporadic unemployment, rapid spread of news and literally transnationalization of migratory networks.

The categories of migrants and countries have become more complex, the globalisation of migration with a regionalisation of migratory flows. Globally, migrations are organized geographically where complementarities are built between start and host areas. These correspond to geographical proximity, historical, linguistic and cultural ties to transnational networks built by migrants and smugglers that form a formal or informal traffic, with space or no institutional facilities of passage.

Migration has more than tripled since the middle of 1970s: 77 million in 1975, 120 million in 1999, 150 million in the early 2000s, nearly 300 million in 2017. In 2016, immigration from the Africa of 1.2 billion people exceeded the Syrian, Iraqi, and Afghan arrivals in Europe. What will it be when that continent will accommodate 2.5 billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population in 2050?

According to an article by Le Monde of January 6, 2017 citing Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, 93% of those who landed in Italy, came from that continent. This agency estimated that “this reflects the growing migratory pressure on the African continent, and particularly in Western Africa that is responsible for the bulk of the growth in arrivals by this route in 2016”.

African immigration is mixed, consisting of eligible refugees in Asylum Law (Eritreans, Sudanese, Ethiopians), but also economic, particularly from the West African migrants. The main communities arriving in Italy, the Nigerians constituted 21% of the entrants, followed by Eritreans (11.7%), Guineans (7.2%) and the Ivoirians (6.7%). This reflected the factors of mobility for different reasons: discrepancies between the levels of human development, political and environmental crises producing refugees and displaced, decreasing costs of transport, generalization of passports issuance, role of the media, rising consciousness that change to life by international migration is feasible.

Global warming that is already affecting Africa is anticipated to hit it harder by 2025/2030/2040, thus will most certainly accentuate this exodus.

 The reasons are multiple and could be that : a prevailing hopelessness in all those poor countries that are badly governed. It is up to the leaders of the South to take their responsibility instead of always taking advantage of the exceptional wealth of resources of this continent whilst encouraging corruption and enabling purchases of luxury assets deposited in tax havens.

If there is a corrupted, then there must be a corruptor. A recent report by the United Nations shows illegal capital transfers from Africa to the rest of the world between 1980 and 2010 exceeded the current gross domestic product of Africa and all related cumulated aid.  The Valletta summit in November 2015 that brought European and African leaders together was devoted to this topic, but the measures announced are not considered sufficient despite the €1.8 billion cheque signed by the European Union to these countries.

Lack of good governance and total absence of a real fight against corruption, hence demonstrating a certain lack of morality, the African leaders, would go as far as instead of avoid these fratricidal wars for either seizing power or any other objective not always honourable.  The majority of them leaders were unable to lay real development programs, not to mention having a very contemptuous attitude for their elite pushing its members to a certain brain drain, unlike their speeches that under a false guise of “nationalism” that does not carry anymore.

These factors highlight the bipolarization between three worlds that of the wealthy, the emerging and the poor countries that push their people of the latter to a certain and continuous exodus as we can daily witness from this tragic collective suicide of thousands trying desperately to cross seas and land borders for a better and / or safe life. Leaders of the North and equally of the South are largely responsible for this state of affairs.

Faced with this situation, the Algerian leaders must have a different vision because Algeria is no longer considered a transit or passage only, but a country where Africans and others settle permanently.

The agreement between the EU and Turkey, signed in March 2016 and by which Ankara agrees against finance to control the passing emigration to Europe through its territory, is an explanation to what many Africans decide to settle permanently in the neighbouring countries including Algeria.

Today Africans from south of the Sahara represent barely 10% of migrants in the world, and most of these ‘displaced’ just moved into a neighbouring country of their own. According to the IOM, in 2015, I quote from the report: “on the 32 million who took to the road, half of them have asked their bag on their continent.

A new situation is before us and it is that of the African migrants who did not come of their own accord but have fled misery and war, no longer pass but settle permanently at the level of the regions of the Maghreb including Algeria as per international agreements.

This new situation therefore calls for new solutions; certainly not from a vision of xenophobic, racist, or from a behaviour alien to the nature of the Algerian population. It comes from adapting the Algerian legislation, but especially to coordinate all actions with Europe, with neighbouring countries, with all concerned African leaders with any involved repatriation, without devaluing the human person.  Also there is need to establish some of residence and transitional system of identification for a chosen emigration depending on the particular needs of Algeria in agriculture, tourism, building and infrastructure development, etc. all whilst avoiding any demeaning assistance.

The position of Algeria since independence has been a consistent one towards Africa, its natural economic space.  It would be a trial of intention to, as we currently see it through the majority of the international media to misrepresent it as efforts against these migratory flows.  These must be pooled, Algeria being unable to endure the financial weight to it, on its own.

As such I would think that the words of the Chief Clerk of the Presidency, speaking as a supporter as a Secretary General. of a leading party can only be as or poorly formulated and therefore have been widely misinterpreted. It simply belongs to the Algerian leaders to speak with one voice so as to avoid misinterpretation. 

In short, immigration raises the issue of global security that would require quick involvement with an overhaul of international relations based on win/win partnership but also and especially a renewed governance of each and every African country.  Africa is endowed with a high and rich potential but is presently enduring growing hardship with no end in sight.  For as far as Algeria is concerned, his Excellency Mr. the President of the Republic has always paid a particular attention as demonstrated with the NEPAD initiative. 



How To Secure Employee Loyalty In The Middle East

How To Secure Employee Loyalty In The Middle East

Suhail Al Masri

Suhail Al-Masri wrote on June 12th, 2017 on Entrepreneur Middle East about How To Secure Employee Loyalty In The Middle East. This is a very important topic that is often overlooked in the workplace. Please find below the extensive version of the article.

Once you have got the best people on board your enterprise, it’s then important to not be complacent about your employees- doing so will see you losing your best people, and we all know that recruiting a new person will involve a lot of time, energy and cost, all of which are resources that startups or SMEs cannot afford to waste. To retain talent, you need to secure their loyalty, and that means you, the entrepreneur at the helm of the company, need to be consistently reviewing the work environment that you are building in your organization. Remember, employee loyalty is not something you can be lax about- it is a key indicator of your startup’s efficiency, and your likelihood of success in the long term.

Companies are highly interested in discovering the best practices out there for securing top talent. Every employer wants to make sure every new member they add to the company is able to contribute positively. But sometimes, companies find themselves without a clear plan to engage those employees who have long ago passed the screening and hiring phases. Namely, those who have began their months and years of hard work and dedication, and are no longer under the spotlight. Some employees might’ve assimilated so well to the company culture and work requirement that it is hard to recall their induction phase.

Others have proven to be extremely talented and skillful to the extent that they are taken for granted, which could cause them to feel neglected or undervalued at times. The reality is, it takes just as much effort to retain top talent as it does to find them in the first place. Employee loyalty often comes to focus around this time of the year. Having undergone a busy season of performance evaluations, feedback, and possible promotions or salary raises, most professionals find it now appropriate to evaluate their career trajectory and to begin making adjustments as they see fit.

 Having said that, employee loyalty is not a seasonal topic. It is, in fact, one of the most important indicators of efficient work environments; it affects individual performance and often correlates with overall productivity and healthy work dynamics. Bayt.com poll, Employee Loyalty in the Middle East and North Africa, revealed that nearly nine in 10 respondents (88.9%) agree that high employee loyalty drives more productivity in the workplace.

Many managers and business leaders would be happy to hear that 79.4% of respondents from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) said that they are loyal to their companies. But take that with a grain of salt: employee loyalty is not unconditional. There are several requisites that professionals always expect to have and there are many areas that could be enhanced in order to truly secure employee loyalty. Employee loyalty can quickly decline if companies stop listening to their employees and finding new methods to give them the necessary career boost.

Related: Protecting Your MVP: Going To Great Lengths For Your Team Is In Your Best Interest

What employee loyalty really means

Many companies mistakenly look at only one element when measuring employee loyalty. It is easy to get this wrong but employee loyalty is not synonymous with retention rate. Surely, with higher employee attrition loyalty will suffer, but employee loyalty comprises many more elements. In fact, only 11.1% of professionals polled by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s leading job site, associate the number of years at a company with loyalty, making it the least commonly cited one.

According to the Bayt.com poll, Employee Loyalty in the Middle East and North Africa, a third of employees refer to confidentiality, even after resigning from a company, as the most vital factor for being loyal. 30.3% of respondents think of loyalty as being dedicated and abiding by the rules and values of the business. Another quarter (25.3%) define loyalty as taking initiative and promoting the company’s vision and interests. Loyalty in the Middle East entails the aforementioned definitions and more. Now is the time that such a comprehensive definition and approach towards employee loyalty are adopted by all companies and organizations in the MENA region.

Why companies should care about loyalty The general consensus among respondents across the MENA region (88.9%) is that employee loyalty contributes extensively towards productivity and towards achieving goals and objectives. Having such understanding of loyalty can be transformative for every business. Employee loyalty is not a microscopic issue concerning individual workers or distinct personalities. Employee loyalty is a company-wide development that can hugely influence the bottom line. Securing loyalty is a big endeavor that employers should aim to implement with the help of managers, human resource officers, and all employees.

Other benefits of employee loyalty cited in the Bayt.com poll, Employee Loyalty in the Middle East and North Africa, include higher efficiency (32.1%) and stronger team relationships and dynamics (30.8%). A quarter of respondents feel that employee loyalty correlates with employee satisfaction. 6.2% of respondents suggest that loyalty leads to lower turnover rates, which in turn means lower costs spent on sourcing, hiring, onboarding, and training talent. What influences employee loyalty Having recovered a more wide-ranging definition of employee loyalty, it is no longer surprising that the factors and elements that drive loyalty up and down are varied.

Indeed, this is where differences in personalities and work styles come into play. Certain employees may be influenced by one factor and not the other. Nonetheless, there is agreement among professionals over certain factors. 83.2% of respondents to the Bayt.com poll, Employee Loyalty in the Middle East and North Africa, say that the office and work environment is an important factor for fostering loyalty. Without doubt, work environment is more than architecture and furniture; it also involves communication, flexibility, and overall work culture.

More than a quarter (28%) of respondents feel that loyalty depends on income. Others (19.2%) disclosed that loyalty is dependent on being rewarded. Top management has also been listed for its impact on loyalty by 19.1% of respondents, whereas 17.4% believe it’s all about team members and the people they work with on regular basis.

How companies can secure employee loyalty

answer may sound very simple: employees want to feel that they are valued, and that the company is still invested in them and wants to improve their career beyond the initial stages of hiring and on-boarding. The lack of career growth opportunities was cited as the top reason for damaging employee loyalty in the Bayt.com poll, Employee Loyalty in the Middle East and North Africa. This sentiment was also echoed in the 2016 Bayt. com Career Development in the Middle East survey.

Many employees felt that their companies are failing to equip them with the learning and training opportunities needed to ensure their career growth. This leaves the employee feeling disadvantaged in their jobs. In fact, more than three quarters of professionals say that they are ready to leave their company for better training opportunities. Companies need to focus on providing training opportunities that address their employees’ exact needs and preferences.

Bayt.com, for example, has repeatedly emphasized providing state-of-the-art training and support. The Middle East’s leading job site also cares about fostering a work environment where teamwork and creativity can flourish and ideas can be shared freely. As a result, Bayt.com’s headcount has been growing steadily and rapidly, their turnover is at a healthy low-level, and they have been awarded the Top Ten Places to Work in the UAE award for four consecutive years, the People and Culture of the Year award (2012), and the Best Workplaces in Asia list (2015).

Aside from continuous learning and professional development opportunities, employees have many expectations from their companies that would in turn enhance their loyalty. Fairness in treatment was named the most popular choice by 22.4% of respondents to the Bayt.com poll, Employee Loyalty in the Middle East and North Africa, followed by wanting credit and rewards for their achievements by 21.9% of respondents. 18.1% of polltakers look for a company that helps them balance between work and life, and 14.5% believe in the importance of strong relationships with the company and other employees.

The responsibility of enhancing employee loyalty partially falls on the shoulders of managers. In their relationships with their direct managers, employees want to feel that they matter and that they are listened to. Four in 10 respondents (40.7%) think that a direct manager should listen and align the employee goals with the company goals. More than a quarter (27.5%) want managers to help them understand the company’s mission and values and another 23.9% care about strengthening their relationships with management.

Employers in the Middle East and North Africa should be well aware that granting opportunities for growth and advancement and truly listening to what matters to the employee are among the best ways to win their loyalty and support. Once again, we are not simply talking about retention here. Employee loyalty is parallel to dedication, trustworthiness, and positive work ethics that are of huge value to every business. Targeting loyalty plays a central role in furthering the success strategy of any organization or company, regardless of size and activity sector.

Keep this in mind: not only does high employee loyalty translate to higher productivity and satisfaction, it also reassures employers that their work environment is of a high caliber and that they are in a stronger position to keep their highly valued employees motivated and attract more top talent in the future.

Suhail Al-Masri is the VP of Employer Solutions at Bayt.com. Al-Masri has more than 20 years of experience in sales leadership, consultative sales, account management, marketing management, and operations management. His mission at Bayt.com goes in line with the company’s mission to empower people with the tools and knowledge to build their lifestyles of choice.

“Think big, start small and move fast.”

“Think big, start small and move fast.”

The Algerian entrepreneur and owner of Cevital announced last week that he plans to link South Africa to North Africa by rail. He at the same time intends to run a line from Mauritania to Djibouti. “Think big, start small and move fast.” This motto, a kind of mantra, has brought success to Issad Rebrab.

Issad Rebrab, the founder of the Cevital Group, an Algerian born in 1944 entrepreneur set up his own accountancy practice in 1968, before moving into a wide range of industries spanning from the agro-industrial to white goods appliances production, real estate development, etc.
Issad’s counterparts in the Gulf region were lately reported to openly blame their respective government for restricting their states budgeted investments and planning to bring in different forms of taxations as soon as this year’s end.
Meanwhile, GulfBusiness.com produced an eye opening article on the prevailing situation in 2016 citing a gcc wealth insight report – Emirates Investment Bank and gives some insight of the near future.

Gulf millionaires see regional economy worsening in 2017 – report

The region’s wealthy forecast flat or declining economic performance this year

More millionaires in the Gulf believe regional economic conditions are worsening in 2017 than last year, according to a new report.

Emirates Investment Bank said that 44 per cent of 100 high net worth individual respondents to its 2016 GULF  WEALTH INSIGHT REPORT believed that the current economic situation in the GCC was getting worse compared to 36 per cent last year.

In comparison 36 per cent said it had stayed the same, down from 47 per cent in 2016 and 20 per cent said the situation was improving, up from 17 per cent last year.

On a country-by-country basis views were most positive in the UAE, with 69 per cent saying the situation is improving and 42 per cent in Qatar. Respondents in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were the least positive and those in Oman were most likely to feel the situation was worsening, at 75 per cent.

Regional respondents were more optimistic about the economic prospects of the Gulf region over the next five years but there was a decline in those that were very optimistic from 40 per cent to 20 per cent, while 55 per cent were somewhat optimistic compared to 43 per cent last year.

When asked about their approach to investing in the region, 49 per cent said local economic conditions had changed their approach to investing, with 20 per cent citing increased investment in new/growing sectors and 20 per cent more caution due to losses.

Almost two in ten (18 per cent) respondents said they had discontinued projects due to local economic conditions.

In addition, 45 per cent said the geopolitical situation in the Arab region had changed their strategy, while 37 per cent respectively said oil price movements and regional structural reform had changed their decisions a great deal.

On a global level, GCC respondents were also pessimistic about the economy, with 47 per cent saying the situation was worsening and just 15 per cent that it was improving, while 76 per cent wee at least somewhat optimistic about the global economy over the next five years.

“From a global perspective, 2016 was marked by heightened volatility across a range of markets and asset classes. This was certainly felt here in the GCC and, despite governments implementing structural reform plans and steady gains in the price of oil, liquidity remained relatively tight,” said Khaled Sifri, CEO of Emirates Investment Bank.

“It is, therefore, no surprise that this year’s GCC Wealth Insight Report shows that investors are expecting a flat or, possibly, declining economic performance in 2017 – both at a regional and international level.”

The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews between September and December 2016 with 100 respondents holding $2m or more of investable assets, including 12 from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar respectively and 26 each from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Respondents were found most likely to allocate wealth to their own business (44 per cent), followed by cash at 27 per cent and real estate at 15 per cent.

More than half of respondents (51 per cent) said that planned to increase investment in cash deposits and half in their own business in the near future.


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