Complex Made Simple

Job dissatisfaction “alarmingly high” in GCC: survey

Are you satisfied with your job and workplace? If not, you are among nearly half of the workforce in the GCC countries who are not happy about the jobs they are currently in, a new study claims.


In a survey of 20,000 jobseekers and employers across the region, recruitment portal has revealed that 43 per cent of respondents are dissatisfied with their current jobs.


Low pay is the concerns for some of those polled in the survey, while others lament a job mismatch. Poor organisational culture and lack of career progression also were cited as reasons for widespread dissatisfaction in employment.


“We found an alarmingly high level of dissatisfaction. This dissatisfaction reduces aggregate productivity, leads to churn and also increases the cost of finding replacement talent. It’s startling to find that half of the GCC’s workforce is dissatisfied and potentially ready to switch jobs,” says Ahmad Khamis, CEO of


Job mismatch, or a poor fit between the employee and their role in the company, was the biggest concern for 43.4 per cent in the survey, while 33.8 per cent of the dissatisfied employees felt that low pay was the largest factor in their low motivation.


“For most employees, a salary is a direct indicator of their worth in the company. Importantly, academic research has shown time and again that salary expectations are relative – employees become far more dissatisfied if they feel their peers are being paid more than them. It’s very important for organisations to be transparent about pay grades and scales,” Khamis states.


The survey showed that 8.5 per cent of the respondents said poor organisational culture played the biggest role in dissatisfaction, whereas 7.7 per cent of put job dissatisfaction down to a lack of career progression.


Meanwhile, 6.6 per cent of respondents said that not getting along with their immediate supervisor was the main cause of their job dissatisfaction.


“While diverse multi-cultural organisations can sometimes see friction between employees, the most successful employers have proven strategies in place to de-escalate and address conflict. Good employers also have regular 360- reviews, where concerns can be brought to light,” Khamis notes.