5 kinds of UAE employees likely to get increments this year

After the turbulent years of 2008 and the next, many employees complained of not receiving salary increments due to the tough conditions in the domestic and international job market.

Then, came the years of marginal pay hikes, when, employees were happy to get even a 3 to 5 per cent increment on their basic pay. Performance related increments and bonuses became the norm as bosses drilled the common knowledge that employees should consider themselves fortunate enough to have a job rather than harp on an annual increment – a sentence that became the favourite line of the management.

Even though the real estate market is going great and banks are once again trying to out-lend one another with promotions reminiscent of the boom years, a double-digit pay hike across the board should not be expected anytime soon, as was the case before 2008.

These two sectors were blamed for bringing down the job market single-handedly but they are not pushing up the job market as some had expected. So being realistic, staffers may get increments of 5-6 per cent this year, as consultancy firm Mercer predicted in its latest total remuneration survey, which was released earlier this year.

Industry watchers point out that while the so-called nominal pay hikes (as stated by Mercer) is becoming the norm now, it does not hint that everybody is under the radar of this pay hike.

So, who exactly or which kinds of employees are in line for an increment this year? In simple words – employees working with companies reporting profits or in sectors that are growing faster than the others will get more into their bank account at the end of the month.

But that doesn’t mean one should lose heart. You may not be in the most booming sectors but if you have the qualities listed below, you will be in line for an increment as others who fail on these counts are likely to be sidelined.

“There is no magic pill to get an increment in your company since it depends on your industry, the financial health of your company and your performance. Assuming all these are in your favour, then there are certain types of employees who are likely to be considered for an increment or possibly a bonus,” Ash Athawale, Recruitment Manager at Reed Specialist Recruitment, told Emirates 24|7.

#1 Ones who deliver results

Bosses like employees who are able to deliver what is expected of them and achieve their targets. This category of employees will come first when it comes to getting increments and bonuses.

“Those who hit/exceed their targets are ones who deserve it,” says Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates.

“Employers will always appreciate employees who at the very minimum meet their goals and deliver on their projects. Consistency does triumph over peak-and-trough performances. If the results are not always forthcoming, the next measurable criteria that management looks at is KPIs. Is the individual at least doing the right things to lead to a good result? Such employees are appreciated with increments as well. Have you improved the process or made changes in the methodology that has increased profits or reduced costs? If yes, the management will take note of such things and might reward you with increments and promotions,” elaborates Athawale.

#2 Ones who work hard

“Although a fairly obvious trait, hard work goes a long way to impress a manager and help drive a business forward. Having said that, hard work should not mean working long hours, it should be about working smart, focusing and setting attainable goals for each day,” says Caroline Gentles, Senior Consultant at Cobalt HR Consultancy.

#3 Ones with strong work ethics

A strong work ethic is vital to a company achieving its goals and employees who understand, respect and adhere to this keep the company functioning at its peak and will be rewarded by the management.

“Employees who have a strong work ethic are always appreciated by employers. In my experience, I have never heard any manager complain about having someone on their team who shows a strong work ethic,” said Athawale listing such employees as possible candidates for increments this year.

Work ethics can include many things and many factors have to come together to prove that you are one with strong work ethics.

To begin with, you need to be a team player as a sense of teamwork is integral to work ethics. An employee with a high sense of teamwork helps a team meet its goals and deliver quality work. “It is amazing how performance can be improved within an organisation when everyone works as a team. It can allow each employee to focus on their key strengths, as well as opening up to new ideas and strategies through discussion,” emphasizes Gentles.

The punctual, structured and organised employees are the ones who understand work ethics and live up to it. “In any line of work, it is important to be on time and organised, and is a trait that all managers appreciate and is essential to impress clients,” adds Gentles.

#4 Ones with a positive attitude

One can deal with a slow coach. They can be trained and taught but people who come with a negative attitude will be perhaps the first ones to be shown the door.

On the contrary, those with a positive attitude are fun to work with and bosses will appreciate this trait and reward them at the next round of appraisal.

“Positive attitude is sure to rub off on co-workers and generally maintains a good atmosphere at the workplace. No one likes negativity either in their personal or professional space,” as the Reed expert puts it.

People who have a positive attitude also tend to be motivators, something that bosses like. “A manager is always going to prefer the employee who wants to work and comes into the office with an air of energy and enthusiasm,” says Gentles.

#5 Ones who adapt

Employers appreciate workers who change and adapt with time. Adaptability and flexibility are traits that bosses’ look out for.

“As much as we like to have a perfect timetable for every day at work, this is not always the case. Sometimes a spanner can be thrown into the works which means that the tasks required for that day must be adapted. It is the ability to adapt in a positive manner that can really help employers progress within the organisation,” explains the consultant from Cobalt HR Consultancy.

Some employees would argue that even after scoring well on all the above mentioned traits, they have failed to secure an increment. It’s not impossible to have skipped an increment even after being a role model employee but in such a case they should look at the big picture. There may be a possible valid reason for not getting an increment. Your company may not have achieved the targets and can be on a sustenance level. In such a case even the best employee will not be rewarded.

“Increments are never a given, but good HR and line managers tend to observe and take notice throughout the year and not just during annual reviews. If an employee was overlooked for an increase the previous year, there should be an opportunity to correct that if they show the signs of a proverbial ‘good employee’. Increments don’t always take the form of salary increases. They can be in the form of a performance bonus, annual bonus, increases in benefits, gift certificates, awards and also promotions,” sums up Athawale.

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