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What are Egyptian execs looking for in the workplace today?

: Tuesday, July 06 - 2004 @ 09:41

We may spend nearly a third of our day or more in the office, but how often do we stop to reflect on how our work environment meets our needs, or indeed, how things should be developed to meet our future requirements ?

Businesses need to continue to grow to compete in the marketplace, and so they must always be responsive to the needs of their customers. Similarly, they must be responsive to the needs of their employees. In this respect, employees are also customers of their own organizations.

So the question is – what are businesses in Egypt doing to retain their employees and attract the best caliber ?

TNS Egypt conducted an online survey over the internet in March 2004 to find out. The survey doesn’t claim to represent all of Egypt’s 20-odd million workers, of course, if only due to the method and sampling technique used, but we can claim that the results are representative of Egypt’s most qualified high caliber individuals working in multinationals.

Whilst the common perception is that the main driver for attracting and retaining the best employees is financial remuneration, our survey findings put this factor in third place – while the number one key motivator is future career prospects and opportunities for promotion.

Overall our sample felt fairly alright about their current job. However, looking at the different age groups, the 30-40 age bracket seemed to be most concerned. This was due to such factors as rising expectations, scope for more individualism, responsibility, personal growth. And the older they were, the more important job security became to our sample.

Respondents of the survey were two-thirds male and one-third female, yet they viewed the workplace with surprising uniformity – which poses a question; has Egypt succeeded in offering equal rights to employees regardless of gender ?

Perhaps not so surprisingly, the majority got along better with their colleagues than their boss. They seemed fairly content with the flexibility of their working hours and their salary, but there was frustration with companies’ bonus schemes, or often a lack of them — a fifth said they were totally dis-satisfied.

The physical workplace environment often got respectively low marks. Such factors as air conditioning, photocopiers and water coolers hovered just slightly above the rank of “poor.”
Finally, an interesting response came to the question : do you agree with your company’s strategy in conducting business ? 50% said ‘yes’, 27% said ‘no’, 8% said ‘‘do not know’ , and 15% said “ what strategy ? “ !

This last 15% may be interpreted in three ways ; as an indicator that the company does not have a strategy, that it has one but has not communicated it satisfactorily to its employees, or that our respondents are just being cynical !

The new millennium has heralded many predictions about how the business environment will change and lead to new ways of working e.g. more flexible working patterns. There has been much talk about remote home working replacing the office culture of the last century, the creation of a new flexible workforce, and strides towards a greater balance between work and the rest of our lives.

Whatever, workplace structures are changing, driven by new economic and social orders, and increasing globalization. Therefore, there is a need to continuously keep track of how your organization is responding to change – and how well it is matching your employees’ changing aspirations from their jobs and the workplace environment your organization offers.

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Tuesday, July 6- 2004 @ 9:41 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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