The current landscape of the job market has given rise to what is being dubbed the "age of the counteroffer". Despite employers willing to negotiate in a bid to retain their employees, 9 out of 10 candidates who accept them still leave within 12 months. Not only that, but 50% of candidates who accept counteroffers are actively looking for a new role within 60 days.

When you consider that counteroffers don’t offer a long-term solution for many employees, organisations need to take proactive measures to retain their existing team and stop them from looking for a new role. Especially when replacing a senior executive could cost your organisation as much as 213% of their annual salary.

In fact, one study has shown that 69% of employers in the APAC region plan to revamp their employee benefits strategy, with 57% citing the growing war for talent as a factor. In addition, research in the MENA region has highlighted that 87% of HR professionals consider employee retention as a major concern, as well as 70% of professionals are willing to leave their jobs because of lack of flexible working.

From offering competitive social benefits to prioritising employee wellbeing, investing in these initiatives could not only help your organisation avoid losing top talent to competitors, but also mitigate the costly process of replacing them. So, don’t wait until it’s too late, start taking the necessary steps today!


Social benefits and wellbeing

According to a World Poll, MENA employees are among the most unhappy in the world. Employees in the region reported the world’s highest rates of sadness (35%) and 50% said they were stressed “a lot” during the previous day. When you consider these alarming statistics, it comes as no surprise that employees in the region are now prioritising their mental health and well-being over anything else, with 56% saying there needs to be more emphasis on employee wellness and work-life balance. Furthermore, a study conducted in the APAC region also showed that employers are now prioritising employee wellbeing, with physical wellbeing (59%) and social wellbeing (45%) among the top concerns.

Through initiatives such as free mental health support and screening or simply raising mental health awareness in the workplace, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to their employees' wellbeing. In fact, studies show that when companies engage in recognition-led wellness programmes, employees are 10 times more likely to strongly agree that they belong at their organisation. Not only that but investing in the social and mental health of employees could lead to increased productivity, higher morale, and lower turnover rates.



The post-pandemic world has shifted employee preferences in the MENA region, with well-being, purpose, and learning becoming the key differentiators. By failing to focus on upskilling as a unique employer value proposition, companies could see high employee attrition rates.

For example, one survey has found that two in five employees could leave their workplace in the next 6 to 12 months, with the majority citing lack of available career prospects. Not only that, but only 29% of employees are "very satisfied" with the current career advancement opportunities available within their organisation.

Investing in the professional development of employees could be essential for retaining top talent. From offering training and development programs to mentorship opportunities, these types of initiatives have been shown to improve job satisfaction and increase employee engagement, ultimately leading to higher productivity and better performance. Not to mention, your organisation will benefit from a more skilled and competitive workforce.


Flexible working arrangements

Spurred by the pandemic, businesses in the MENA region are embracing flexible workforce models and utilising independent consultants to cut costs in response to the global shift towards remote work. By incorporating remote workers into their teams, these companies access skilled talent worldwide and cutting expenses. Whilst one study highlighted that 85% of APAC organisations are promoting hybrid working, and 70% are now recruiting talent from all locations. Not only that, but 74% of employees in the region reported being more productive with flexible work arrangements.

When it comes to improving employee retention, studies have shown that employees with a good work-life balance said they were 12% more likely to stay with their employers. In addition, one study found that flexible workers on average work 1.4 more days every month than traditional office workers - that’s a staggering 16.8 more days of productivity every year.

From hybrid-working to flexitime, organisations could improve employee productivity, morale and engagement and creates a more supportive and accommodating workplace that benefits the employees and organisation as a whole.


Financial rewards

According to one study, 80% of professionals in the MENA region want to make a career change for a promotion or pay increase.

Financial benefits play a critical role in retaining staff and staying competitive in the job market. Providing employees with a competitive salary, bonuses, and other financial incentives could not only improve their overall quality of life but also increase their job satisfaction and long term loyalty to the organisation.

Other employee benefits could include: health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off which could also play a significant role in retaining top talent. Therefore, offering financial benefits that go beyond the standard expectations helps companies stand out and stay ahead of their competitors.


Key takeaways

The age of the counteroffer is a growing challenge for businesses, who must continually adapt, to retain their top performers and attract new talent. To prevent employees from seeking job opportunities elsewhere, companies must prioritise preventative measures and processes that focus on employee engagement, loyalty, and overall satisfaction.

Moreover, companies must stay informed about market trends and the factors that are important to job seekers. By being aware, companies can create a workplace culture that attracts and retains the best talent and ultimately avoid an environment where counteroffers can foster.


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