“The success of any business is dependent on a motivated, highly performing and loyal workforce” (Al-Alawiyat, 2010). Well satisfied employees are more motivated and as a result, they perform their tasks better and give better results. Loyal employees are more dedicated, will defend the company and stand with it in troubled times, and will always pursue excellence. Employees’ loyalty is taken lightly by many companies, without realizing that lack of it could cost them a lot of money. To be successful, businesses must focus on gaining their employees’ trust and loyalty. Lifetime loyalty, though rare amongst employees, is the biggest asset any business can have.
Employment conditions in Saudi Arabia have been under constant criticism for a long time now and as a result, employees’ loyalty level is low and so is their satisfaction (Business Network Switzerland, 2010). Slave labor conditions in the country have left many people looking for greener pastures in other countries. Those who remain at home do not have stability as they have to keep on changing jobs, hoping for better conditions. “Casual employees are not entitled to leave while absenteeism attracts heavy penalties such as working without pay for a period stipulated by the employing company” (Spark Organization, 2010). Many times, employees have their salaries withheld for months, especially if the business is going through financial difficulties. The era of slave labor is slowly coming to an end in the whole gulf region and more organizations now recognize and respect the needs of their employees.
This research will be aimed at establishing and discussing the relationship between employees’ satisfaction and their level of loyalty to a business. To understand loyalty among employees, important points to be discussed will include training and development, respecting employees needs, creating working favorable conditions, communication channels, rewards and recognition, and what role these factors play in achieving the same. Promotions and career development, process improvement, corporate cultures, compensations and benefits, and job enrichment will also be discussed and their roles in ensuring customer satisfaction. Saudi Arabian private sector will be used as a case study.
To help understand the background of the research topic, the paper will analyze past case studies, reports and other resources by different authors and experts. The aim of the literature review is to gather opinions presented by different authors, arguments, their differences and similarities. It will also be a chance to compare the different views to what the paper will have established about the topic.
Some of the sources to be used for the paper include Loveman’s article, which addresses the essential tools to employee engagement for better performance. The author explains the importance of tools such as career development, process improvement, corporate cultures, compensations and benefits, job enrichment, and their role in a company’s performance. The author also argues out that such tools, though costly and involving, play a major role in the stability of a business in terms of human resources.
Pearson, in his research, measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty, helps the reader understand how research and other statistical methods can be used to measure employees’ level of satisfaction. According to the author, speaking to employees is the easiest way to determine whether they are happy or not. Surveys and other information collection methods have been used for a long time now, even as organizations try to encourage direct conversations between employers and employees.
In their research project, Eskilden and Mikkel construct a theoretical structural model and help the reader understand the important subsystems used human resource managers to ensure satisfaction and loyalty among employees. The paper also discusses corporate performances based on how well its employees are treated. The paper conducted a survey on human resource managers and the data analysis reveals that the more satisfied and happier employees are, the more loyal they are going to be. The data also reveals that offering open communication channels for employees allows them speak out about their concerns in a timely manner, allowing the company to consider and solve them.
In their research on labor conditions in different parts of the world, Spark Organization explains the situation in Saudi Arabia. The article points out that the region is among the most criticized for poor working conditions. According to the author, slave labor in the region means that employees’ needs are the least of an employer’s concern. Progress continues to be registered as foreign investors in the region have introduced new practices and cultures in the labor market, slowly eroding the bad habits. Today, many organizations are investing heavily in ensuring their employes needs are taken care of.
According to the report, the National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia has been recognized and awarded for being among the best employers in the region. Their management has made it clear that they respect the importance of people working for them with a realization that they make the company what it is. As a result, its one of the businesses with very loyal employees as evident by the high levels of retention. Among other resources to be used in this research paper is a report by the Saudi Network, listing the top 100 companies in the region and helping the reader understand the organization’s human resource policies.
The research methodology applied in this paper will include use of books, academic journals, online articles, past projects by different authors, government statistics and interviews with experts in the private industry in Saudi Arabia. The use of questionnaires will be used to get the employees’ take on the matter. There will also be a questionnaire to understand how satisfied and loyal employees are to their companies. The questionnaires will target employees at the junior and senior levels, from each of the industry. Information will also be collected through a study of various works on employees’ satisfaction and loyalty in the Saudi Arabian private sector. Interviews with some of the entrepreneurs will be used to understand how employers value their employees’ satisfaction and how this affects loyalty. Proper permission to do a research on this topic will be sought by seeking an approval from the relevant authorities in the region.
Data analysis and discussion
Fostering an environment of growth and learning brings out the best in an organization’s employees and helps them develop confidence (Embassy of the United States, 2010). Training and development plays an important role in ensuring this happens. In-house training saves a business a lot of money and makes it easier for employees to open-up, since they are dealing with people they know. Employees are more bound to trust a company that is investing in making them better. “Such employees are more likely to uphold the business’ best interest and keep an eye on furthering the company’s goals and enhancing its welfare” (Eskildsen and Mikkel, 2010). The paper will research and report on how the culture of training has been appreciated by studying how the big companies such as Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) are able to attract and retain the best employees in the market.
This section will also discuss what role respecting employees needs play in gaining their trust. Today’s organizations have adopted a better culture where employees’ are encouraged to develop a work and life balance through more flexible work schedules. Employees retention programs include more holistic packages that include ensuring their welfare is fully considered. More flexible arrangements such as job sharing, part-time jobs an online working are common to ensure that employees have time to cater to their other needs. More companies are also offering programs that allow employees to do this without much distractions at work. The paper will report and discus how this has been taken up in Saudi Arabia, putting into consideration the issue of slave labor and how foreign investors have influenced this.
Creating favorable work conditions is another important tool that will be discussed, as well as how far Saudi Arabia has come in achieving this. Many organizations have today realized the need to invest in their employees’ well-being and providing them with good working conditions. Pleasant working conditions encourage a hardworking spirit and motivates innovations. In Saudi Arabia, extreme slave labor includes people working with their legs chained (The Saudi Network, 2011). Even though such practices are no longer in existence in big companies, they still do happen in small businesses in the rural settings. Working hours in the region still raise questions, as it is not rare to find people working for 12 hours a day, many times without extra compensation.
Maintaining open channels of communication is of a big significance when a business is trying to earn employees’ trust and loyalty. The fastest way an organization can gain its employees’ trust and loyalty is by showing them that it cares and paying attention to their concerns. Organizations today are investing heavily on team building activities, counseling and any other avenue that encourages employees to open up (Business Network Switzerland, 2010). It is also important for an organization to communicate its vision, mission and plans to its employees, especially plans that affect them directly. It is in the same spirit of communication that an organization will be able to create an environment of inclusion (International Labor Office, 2010). The paper will discuss how through labor unions, business are being forced to establish communication channels, a measure that has gone a long way in improving employer-employee relationships in Saudi Arabia.
Rewards and recognition will be an important to understand in this research. “Studies have shown time and time again that employees who feel valued, recognized and appreciated are the most loyal” (Gulf Business Group, 2009). Performance needs to be recognized and so should good ideas. Employees creativity an inventions should be followed up and implemented where possible. Consulting employees on their ideas also shows appreciation and recognition. According to Loveman (2010), “ formal mechanisms for evaluating and rewarding employees need to be in place and these needs to be competitive and in sync with industry norms”. Many organizations today are investing a lot on rewards, both monetary and those in other forms. The research will discuss the role of bonuses and allowances programs in Saudi Arabian private companies.
To understand employees’ satisfaction and its role in how loyal they are to a business, the paper will research and report on promotions and career development as one of the most important tools. Organizations with developed programs to promote all titles and levels of employees have more satisfied employees (Persson, 2010). Process improvement will also be discussed and how by making effort to make a working system better, an organization makes it easier for employees to work. Other important measures in ensuring employees’ satisfaction that will be discussed in this paper include building a good corporate culture, job enrichment and proper compensations and benefits. According to Jun and Shaohan (2009), employees are looking for challenges, excitement, growth and fulfillment in a job.
Data analysis and discussions will be written using the findings from my research. It will review and classify findings from different statistics and the situation in Saudi Arabia as far as employees’ satisfaction and loyalty is concerned. It will also present statistics and information collected from the experts interviewed to get a professional aspect of the topic. The findings will be used to structure an argument and different discussions. The Saudi’s private sector position and capability to manage human resource challenges will also be reviewed, discussed and evidence presented. The results will be interpreted and a more detailed examination given.
Employees’ satisfaction determines how loyal they will be to a business. It also determines how long employees will stay. Retention is one of the biggest problems facing human resource managers today (Spark Organization, 2010). Different industries in Saudi Arabia have different labor practices. The oil and banking industry in the region are considered the best to work for, since they have had a lot of external influence from foreign investors and stakeholders (Al-Sulami, 2011). These industries also have to compete for the few experts and professionals in their fields. Employee satisfaction therefore has to be priority, and the process by which this is done helps the organizations earn their employees’ loyalty.
Like consumers, employees tend to be more loyal to a product that is working and performing well in the market. The bigger companies in the region are therefore expected to have more loyal employees than the smaller ones. Bigger companies also have financial advantages, which allow them to pay more and give better compensation packages to their employees. The region is still under much criticism for poor labor practices, factors that make it hard for employees in the region to be loyal to their employers. With time, this is expected to change as more businesses put in more effort to earn employees’ loyalty.
The conclusion will summarize the research and give my opinion on the situation in Saudi Arabia, as far as employees’ satisfaction and loyalty is concerned. It will also point out the few weakness areas that can be corrected to give the region’s private sector a better reputation as employers. Recommendations will include solutions to all the problems identified in the research. They will also be a brief overview of what other regions in a better position are doing.
Al-Alawiyat, A.A., 2010. Project paper on training, a motivational tool for the job satisfaction in Saudi Arabia. Web.
Al-Sulami, M., 2011. Saudi private sector employees are highly motivated: Study. Arab News, pp. 5.
Business Network Switzerland, 2010. Saudi Arabia Major business sectors. Web.
Embassy of the United States, 2010. Personal and domestic employees in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. Washington, D.C.: Department of Labor.
Eskildsen, J.C. and Mikkel, L.N., 2010. The managerial drivers of employee satisfaction and loyalty. Web.
Gulf Business Group, 2009. Employees’ satisfaction survey. Ridayith: Gulf Business Group.
International Labor Office, 2010. G20 statistical update: Saudi Arabia. Web.
Jun, M. and Shaohan, C., 2009. TQM practice in Maquiladora: Antecedents of employee satisfaction and loyalty. Journal Operations Management, 24(6), pp. 791-812.
Loveman, G.W., 2010. Employee satisfaction, costumer loyalty and financial performance. Journal of Service Research, 22, pp. 379-413.
Persson, A., 2010. Customer assets and customer equity: Management and measurement issues. Marketing Theory, 35(3), pp. 417-436.
Spark Organization, 2010. Slave labor conditions in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Network, 2011. Top 100 Saudi Arabia Companies.