93% of UAE-based employers feel responsible for their employees’ financial wellness, Zurich study finds
A new YouGov survey, commissioned by Zurich International Life (Zurich), part of Zurich Insurance Group, revealed that 94% of UAE employers offer or are keen to offer financial well-being initiatives to aid employee engagement.
Zurich surveyed employers across the UAE to learn more about employee behaviors and financial needs. The survey explored the disbursement and utilization of annual bonuses from the perspectives of employers and employees.
Initiatives that aid in attracting top talent, retaining employees, and increasing employee engagement rates are critical, as over 7 in 10 employees in the UAE have either changed jobs or were planning to do so in the next 12 months, according to a 2022 YouGov survey by Zurich in the Middle East.
“Our latest survey has ignited a crucial conversation, highlighting the need for employers to adopt a proactive approach in supporting the financial well-being of their employees. By integrating strategies such as providing access to financial advisors to guide employees, employers can help employees secure their financial future,” said Swarnaleka Shetty, Head of Corporate Life and Pension at Zurich in the Middle East.
“I am happy that most employers care about their employees’ financial well-being as a way of rewarding them for their loyalty and hard work. I would, therefore, like to see other employers follow suit and start providing financial literacy as part of their onboarding process for new employees,” said Cindy Simbulan, an HR professional based in Dubai.
Employers are adopting financial well-being initiatives
Employers are looking towards initiatives such as financial well-being and effective recruitment and retention incentives. Apart from increasing employee engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction, they also help lower attrition rates and attract top talent.
The survey revealed that 94% of UAE employers are investing or are motivated to provide adequate resources that would improve the financial well-being of their employees. While an overwhelming 69% of employers feel fully accountable for their employees’ financial wellness, another 24% feel partially responsible.
The survey also revealed several insights into employee satisfaction and financial wellness needs, with 69% of employees believing the employer is responsible for providing economic well-being initiatives.
The survey revealed that the top three initiatives implemented by employers to build wealth and offer protection include pension plans and life cover (62%), providing resources to improve financial literacy (47%), and initiating conversation and counselling to address financial worries at work (38%).
“It is encouraging to see that employers are taking action to improve and secure the financial well-being of their employees, now and in the future. Becoming an employer of choice is a key motivating factor for employers in implementing financial wellness initiatives, with an impressive 70% of the employers surveyed stating this as their top motivator,” said Shetty.
According to the survey, one of the main barriers to investment in such initiatives is difficulty in finding suitable resources, with 48% of employers stating that the cost of offering such employee benefits is too high and 39% indicating a need for more internal resources.
Financial well-being is a deciding factor in job selection
While the Great Resignation may be a thing of the past, employers are still looking for ways to create loyal, engaged, and productive employees. Companies that deliver financial wellness initiatives for their employees tend to retain talent longer and build employee loyalty. In fact, 91% of employees surveyed said that financial wellness initiatives are a key factor in staying with the current employer. Hence, employers in the UAE are keen to introduce financial well-being programs for their employees to retain talent.
Investing in financial wellness initiatives can help employers retain top talent, reduce the cost of recruitment, and decrease employees' financial stress. To achieve this, organizations must work towards implementing well-established programs such as pension and life insurance plans and provide educational resources that aid financial literacy in order to meet employee needs and address their financial concerns.
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