About the Author(s)

Raed A. Awashreh Email symbol
Department of Management, Faculty of Business Administration, A’Sharqiyah University, Ibra, Oman

Imen Omri symbol
Department of Finance, Faculty: Masters of Business Administration, Law and Business School, Tunis, Tunisia


Awashreh, R.A., & Omri, I. (2024). Factors determinant of career happiness in Oman banking sector. SA Journal of Human Resource Management/SA Tydskrif vir Menslikehulpbronbestuur, 22(0), a2384. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v22i0.2384

Original Research

Factors determinant of career happiness in Oman banking sector

Raed A. Awashreh, Imen Omri

Received: 12 July 2023; Accepted: 12 Oct. 2023; Published: 29 Feb. 2024

Copyright: © 2024. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Orientation: The concept of happiness at work has attracted increasing interest, and research shows that employee performance does not only depend on skills and abilities. Job satisfaction or career happiness also plays an important role. When employees are satisfied with their careers, they are more likely to be motivated, engaged and committed to their work, which leads to better performance.

Research purpose: To investigate the factors that determine the career happiness of employees who are working in the banking sector in Oman, and identify the factors that influence career happiness.

Motivation for the study: Career happiness in Oman’s banking sector is a crucial and new topic. This study aims to identify causes and improve performance for researchers and practitioners.

Research approach/design and method: The study relies on quantitative methods, using a survey gathered electronically from 144 respondents from different banks operating in Oman. The survey has eight major aspects with questions for each aspect. Data are analysed using various statistical methods, including descriptive analysis, independent sample tests, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and multiple comparisons.

Main findings: The study found that line manager and colleagues are the top factors influencing career happiness, followed by working days, work environment, job security and financial incentives. No differences were found on gender or educational level.

Practical/managerial implications: This research explores factors influencing career happiness in the banking sector, providing insights for managers to create a positive work environment, boosting employee performance and contributing to the growth and success of the Oman banking sector.

Contribution/Value-add: This study provides specific determinant factors affecting the career happiness of employees working in banking sectors in Oman. Both human resources researchers and practitioners could benefit from the research findings.

Keywords: career happiness; happiness factors; employees performance; banking sector; Oman.


In recent years, the concept of career happiness has garnered increasing interest, and research suggests that employee performance is not solely a matter of skills and abilities. Job satisfaction, or career happiness, also plays a significant role. When employees are happy in their careers, they are more likely to be motivated, engaged and committed to their work, leading to better job performance. Therefore, it is crucial for employers to create a work environment that fosters career happiness, which can ultimately lead to better business outcomes (Kumar & Pansari, 2016; Wahyudi et al., 2023; Yousuf & Saqib, 2021).

Although, the effect of career happiness on employee performance has been widely explored in various industries, limited studies however, have focussed on the banking sector (Mishra et al., 2020; Singh & Banerji, 2022; Yousuf & Saqib, 2021). This sector is particularly important as it plays a vital role in the economies of every country. About 20 banks are operating in Oman. The banking system in Oman can be divided into two particular sectors. The first sector is the local commercial sector, under which most of the banks in Oman fall. The second sector is the foreign bank sector, where branches of different foreign banks have opened offices in Oman Central Bank of Oman, 2023).

Oman’s economy heavily relies on oil and gas (Al-Sarihi & Cherni, 2022), with approximately 78% of the revenue coming from this sector (The International Trade Administration, 2023). To reduce this dependence, the Government of Oman has set a goal to achieve significant diversification through its Vision 2040 (Oman Government, 2020). The banking sector is expected to play a crucial role in achieving this objective. Oman’s 2040 vision intends to build a competitive business hub, and the banking sector is key to supporting the country’s growth (Oman Government, 2020). Therefore, this article aims to investigate the factors that lead to employee happiness or, in other words, what causes employee happiness in the banking sector in Oman. Specifically, the aims of study are twofold: (1) to assess and identify the factors that contribute to employee happiness and (2) to determine how banks can promote happiness in the workplace (Oman Government, 2020). At this point, it should be noted that there is a dearth of research on career happiness in Arab countries and in Oman. Hence, by exploring the matter, the study aims to provide valuable insights into the factors that can enhance employee performance and contribute to the success of the banking sector in Oman.

The article is structured as follows: Section 2 presents the theoretical framework, Section 3 discusses the literature review, Section 4 outlines research design and methodology, Section 5 presents the findings from quantitative study and Section 6 discusses the main results, followed by a conclusion and recommendation.

Theoretical framework

The theory underpinning career and job happiness can be attributed to several psychological and organisational theories. Job satisfaction theory posits that individuals experience happiness and contentment when their job provides them with factors such as meaningful work, fair compensation, positive relationships with coworkers and opportunities for advancement. Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory, which distinguishes between hygiene factors (job context) and motivators (job content), is often cited in discussions of job satisfaction. Moreover, positive psychology emphasises the study of positive emotions, strengths and factors that contribute to human well-being. In the context of work and careers, this theory suggests that individuals experience happiness when they can leverage their strengths, find purpose in their work and cultivate positive emotions while on the job.

On the other hand, self-determination theory posits that individuals are most satisfied and motivated in their careers when they have a sense of autonomy, competence and relatedness. In other words, when people feel they have control over their work, are competent in what they do and have meaningful relationships with colleagues, they are more likely to experience career and job happiness. Job-Demands-Resources Model suggests that job demands (such as workload and stress) and job resources (such as support from supervisors and opportunities for growth) can impact job satisfaction and well-being. When job resources outweigh job demands, individuals are more likely to experience happiness at work. Furthermore Happiness-Productivity Theory proposes that happy and satisfied employees are more productive, creative and innovative. When individuals find happiness in their careers and jobs, they are likely to perform better and contribute positively to their organisations. It is important to note that career and job happiness can vary greatly among individuals, and different theories may apply to different people and situations. Additionally, the interplay of factors such as personal values, work-life balance and organisational culture can also influence an individual’s experience of happiness in their career and job. On the whole, existing literature and different theories highlight the importance of cultivating a happy work environment and implementing effective diversity management practices to promote positive workplace behaviours among employees. This study aims to find factors that shape or determine employees’ happiness in the banking sector in Oman. The research investigates the matter in eight aspects, that is factors including working days and times, the work environment, financial incentives, work relations mainly with colleagues, relationships with supervisors, additional benefits, training and development and job security and stability. The study also analyses the demographic data, namely gender, age and qualifications. Also, it aims to find out if factors that shape career happiness differ in terms of gender, that is men and women in the banking sector. Finally, the study will also figure out if factors that determine career happiness in the banking sector differ between managers and other regular staff, that is between managers and non-managers.

Thus, the hypotheses of this study are the following:

H1: There are various factors that determine career happiness of employees working in the banking sector in Oman.

H2: Factors that determine career happiness for men differ from those for women.

H3: Factors that determine career happiness for managers differ from those for non-managers.

Analysing these factors, the study provides valuable insights to determine ways and tools that banks top management can use to deal with their employees to make them happy in their jobs, and to achieve better performance.

Literature review

The purpose of this literature review is to synthesise the existing literature on factors that might determine the career happiness of employees working in banks.

Career happiness

Career happiness is a subjective state of mind that refers to the level of positive emotion, contentment and satisfaction experienced by individuals in their work lives (Parvin & Kabir, 2011). It is influenced by several factors, such as job autonomy, social support, career advancement opportunities, recognition and rewards (Hakim, 2015). Career happiness has been associated with several positive outcomes, such as job satisfaction, organisational commitment and decreased turnover intentions (Shahnawaz & Hassan, 2009).

There generally is confusion between job well-being, job satisfaction and job happiness, and they are often treated as synonyms; however, differences exist despite the intersection between these concepts. Davis (2017) believed that happiness is an emotional attitude that is based on participation, motivation and involvement in work, while happiness is a shared responsibility between the employee and the institution. Focus was also placed on the work environment as one of the most important factors in achieving employee happiness. For instance, Alameeri et al. (2020) conducted a critical synchronisation of the relationship between leadership and the work environment in terms of how institutions can compete in the local and international markets, and the study concluded that happiness in the workplace directly affects the ability of employees to ascend to senior management positions. Walsh et al. (2017) found a significant relationship between happiness and career success, as happy people perform better and receive more benefits and ratings than their less happy colleagues.

On the other hand, Aziri (2011) explains that job satisfaction is the worker’s feeling of achievement and success in the job. It is generally seen as being directly related to productivity as well as personal well-being. Job satisfaction is the primary factor that leads to recognition, income, promotion and the achievement of other goals, which leads to a feeling of fullness. Awada and Ismail (2019) believe that a happy employee is a successful employee, and happiness must be considered when analysing job satisfaction. When considering several negative effects of job dissatisfaction, such as lack of loyalty, increased absenteeism, increased accidents, among others, job satisfaction emerges as particularly important.

Reason(s) for investigating career happiness

Although it is important for employees as humans to be happy in their job places, organisations of different types think about their employees’ happiness as they pursue their job and career for the sake of their organisation’s growth and profit. Therefore, career happiness has been rooted in such a context.

Previous studies have found that career happiness positively impacts employee performance (Hakim, 2015; Kumar & Pansari, 2016; Shahnawaz & Hassan, 2009). Happier employees tend to be more productive, innovative and involved in their work. Previous studies have confirmed these results in different industries: hospitality, banking, schools, oil companies and others.

A study done by Wright (2010) found a positive relationship between employee job satisfaction and retention. It found that satisfied employees were less likely to leave their current jobs, which translated into lower turnover rates for organisations. The study also revealed that employee retention was positively related to customer satisfaction, profitability and productivity.

Al-Ali et al. (2018) investigated the effect of optimistic mood, social relationships and negative mood as parts of the job happiness factor on job performance. They highlighted a positive relationship between job happiness and job performance (Sakarj et al., 2022). Affi et al. (2022) investigated the impact of leadership style, job satisfaction and work environment on employee motivation and performance in the Islamic banking sector of Indonesia. They revealed the favourable impact of leadership style, job satisfaction and workplace conditions on employee motivation, as well as the subsequent effect of employee motivation on the performance of Islamic banks operating in Indonesia. A distinctive aspect of this research lies in its exploration of how leadership style, job satisfaction and workplace environment aligning with Islamic principles can enhance employee motivation within the workplace. This enhancement, in turn, leads to improved performance among Islamic banks, ultimately contributing to an expansion of their market share.

Strategies for achieving career happiness

Employees’ career happiness is the responsibility of two parties: the organisations, as reflected by their managers and each individual staff member. Previous studies (Bhaduri, 2015; Tuzcu, 2014) have indicated that there are several strategies individuals can use to achieve career happiness; two of them are to identify personal values and preferences and seek out opportunities for growth and development. Identifying personal values and preferences is essential to understanding personal values and preferences, and identifying jobs that align with them (Chinn, 2017). Individuals should consider their interests, skills, personality and work style to determine the type of work that would bring them fulfilment. For seeking out opportunities for growth and development, this strategy suggests that individuals should seek out opportunities for growth and development within their jobs, such as taking on new challenges (Parsons, 2022). This is important to consider from the individual employee’s perspective.

Employee performance

Employee performance is a critical factor that determines the success of an organisation (Aisha Yusuf Mesiya, 2019). It refers to the level of efficiency, effectiveness and productivity exhibited by employees in achieving their assigned tasks and goals (Ju et al., 2018). Employee performance can be measured using various indicators, such as quality, quantity, timeliness and attendance (Sonnentag & Frese, 2013). Positive employee performance is associated with several benefits, such as increased profitability, customer satisfaction and competitive advantage (Bhatnagar, 2012). Recently, a study conducted by Ariani (2023) revealed that organisational culture is one of the most important factors in improving employee performance.

The study of Purnamasari et al. (2023) utilised a quantitative approach and found that training effectiveness has a positive impact on organisational commitment and a significant positive impact on employee performance. However, the study also revealed that training effectiveness does not directly affect employee performance. Instead, organisational commitment was found to have an indirect but optimal effect on driving employee performance improvement.

On the other hand, few studies, Lahap (2022), Noguchi, Suzuki, Nishiyama, Otani, Nakagawa-Senda, Watanabe, Hosono et al. (2022), have investigated and discussed factors that affect career happiness. Lahap (2022) conducted a study on hotels and investigated work engagement and working environment as factors related to job happiness among hotel staff. His major purpose was to widen and deepen awareness of job happiness among hotel employees, particularly in Malaysia’s hospitality industry. Working engagement is described as when an employee feels deeply connected to the business for a variety of reasons. Working environment refers to the workplace, its surroundings and the company’s system, rules, structure and procedures. Job happiness is an important part of every firm as it influences employee’s job performance, contentment and productivity. The study of Lahap (2022) concluded that there is a substantial association between workplace engagement, working environment and job happiness.

The same results were reached by other researchers. For example, in Japan, employees retired late, but people aged 65 and above are still active in work. Nogchi et al. (2022) investigated the association between work-related characteristics (such as job status, daily working hours and work stress) and career happiness. They found a positive relationship and concluded that poor job appropriateness is negatively associated with happiness, such as working more than 8 h per day. To summarise their study, their findings revealed that poor job appropriateness for males, as well as lengthy daily working hours and low job control for women, were inversely related to happiness (Nogchi et al., 2022). The study explored gender differences in terms of factors that determine career happiness.

In addition, Park and Kim (2011) examined the factors that affect the happiness of Korean youth, focussing on psychological resources (measured by self-efficacy), relational resources (measured by social support) and financial resources (measured by monthly family income). In addition, the researchers examined the impact of academic performance on happiness. To investigate the effect of socioeconomic status and monthly family income on young people living in three different areas (from working class to middle class to upper class), the results of the route analysis are: Firstly, the most important predictor of happiness among Korean youth is relative resources. In other words, happiness was most predicted by emotional support from significant others – more than 60 times the monthly family income, three times the impact of academic performance and twice the impact of efficiency and sustainability.

Secondly, the most important factor predicting happiness among Korean youth was psychological resource (i.e. efficacy-resilience), which had a 30-fold effect on monthly family income. In addition, power flexibility acted as a mediator between emotional support on the one hand and happiness on the other. Thirdly, respondents with higher academic achievement reported higher happiness, which was 20 times higher than their family’s monthly income. Fourthly, monthly family income did not predict happiness for Korean youth. Fifthly, socioeconomic status and school level did not have a direct effect on happiness but did mediate emotional support. In other words, respondents with higher socioeconomic status and primary school students were more likely to receive social support from loved ones, which in turn increased their happiness. These results indicated that emotional support is the most important predictor of happiness among Korean youth, followed by self-efficacy and academic achievement, indicating that youth from wealthy families may not be happier.

Nejad et al. (2023) believed that the mental health of nursing staff has a significant impact on the quality of service delivery. Thus, happiness is considered one of the most important components of mental health. Considering the importance of mental health for medical professionals, especially during the time of COVID-19, this study was designed and conducted to find out the level of happiness of hospital staff and related work factors. This was a cross-sectional and analytical study that included 280 teaching, research and nursing staff at Kowsar Hospital during the 2019 census. A checklist containing demographic and professional variables and Oxford Happiness was used to collect data. The study concluded that most hospital-based medical staff did not have optimal happiness; therefore, it is recommended that authorities design and implement programmes to improve happiness by focussing on related factors (Nejad et al., 2023).

Kanmani and Fonceca (2023) investigated employee happiness and examined the factors that influence overall employee well-being and job satisfaction. The research aimed to identify how several workplace factors, including company culture, work-life balance, employee benefits and job security, influence employee happiness and its impact on employee performance. The level of investment in the work of employees and the organisation is called employee engagement.

Recently, some studies have focussed on the banking sector. For instance, Mishra et al. (2020) aimed to identify the factors that contribute to employee satisfaction and performance, and establish a relationship between them using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM). The results showed a significant relationship between employee satisfaction and performance. This study provided insights into the factors that influence employee satisfaction and performance, particularly in the banking sector. By prioritising employee satisfaction, managers can help employees stay focussed, engaged and committed to their work, thereby improving the overall productivity of the organisation. Yousuf and Saqib (2021) investigated the relationship between job satisfaction and employee turnover intention in Bank Al Habib in Pakistan using a double linear regression analysis. Considering five dimensions of job satisfaction, including salary satisfaction, promotion satisfaction, work environment satisfaction, task satisfaction and supervision satisfaction, the study highlighted that all five variables have a significant effect on turnover intention.

Research design and methods

Sample and data collection

The study used a quantitative approach to figure out factors that shape employees career happiness in the banking sector in Oman. The data collection method involved administering a questionnaire survey to a sample of employees working in the banking sector. The research sample is a facilitated type, which means it is not specified in numbers but rather targeted employees based on research availability to reach banking employees. The survey, developed using Google Surveys, allows employees to optionally access the survey one time without giving their names or personal information. Respondents responded to the electronic questionnaire provided by the aforementioned institutions.

A total number of 144 respondents participated in the study, and the stratified random sampling method was used that consists of dividing the population into subgroups, called strata, based on predefined characteristics. The strata included employees from different departments, experience levels and age groups. The respondents were selected through a rolling snowball, which the researcher circulated to bank staff via a link on Google Drive.

The data collected from the questionnaires were analysed using Excel. Descriptive statistics, such as frequency tables, mean and standard deviation (SD), were calculated to summarise the data. Inferential statistics, such as correlation analysis and regression analysis, were also used to examine the relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance. Besides, the study adhered to ethical principles such as confidentiality, informed consent and the voluntary participation of respondents. Participants were informed about the purpose of the study and their right to withdraw their participation at any time. They were also informed that the data collected would be kept confidential, and participants’ privacy would be respected.

Characteristics of the study sample

Table 1 to Table 3 present the characteristics of the study sample in terms of gender, ages, educational level, number of working experiences and employment levels or positions. Here are quick comments over sample characteristics. More than half of the participants are males, ages ranging from 20 years to above, with education level less than undergraduate that is high school and diploma less than bachelor degree, and they have working experiences of more than 10 years.

TABLE 1: Gender and age.
TABLE 2: Educational level and working years of experience.
TABLE 3: Employment level or position.

A survey consisting of 40 questions divided over eight major factors that have been developed based on previous literature and further demographic questions. These questions that were delivered for eight aspects, that is,: working days and times, the work environment, financial incentives, works relations mainly with colleagues, relationship with supervisor, additional benefits, training and development and job security and stability.

Most of the 40 questions were asked in the format of Likert scales from 1 to 5 (strongly agrees to strongly disagrees). Only one factor question was asked in the form of yes or no (1–2). All of these questions have been translated into numerical answers and were analysed. All elements were measured, and their average has determined the sub-total measure of each factor.

Table 1 to Table 3 present the characteristics of the study sample in terms of gender, age, educational level, number of working experiences and employment levels or positions. Here are some quick comments on sample characteristics. More than half of the participants are males, ages ranging between 31 to 40 years, with education levels less than undergraduate, that is, high school and diplomas less than bachelor’s degrees and working experiences greater than 10 years.

Findings from the quantitative study

This section aims to present the findings of the study. The first sub-section presents the findings of the survey questions addressed to employees in the banking sector. The second sub-section presents the weight of each factor based on the judgement from faculty members and employees from different banks in Oman. This technique aims to weigh the factors, check respondents’ answers and ensure they have replied seriously to survey questions.

Findings from employees’ survey

The descriptive analysis of the survey presented in Table 4 shows the mean for each factor that shapes employees career happiness. The mean or average of respondents’ relationships with both line managers and colleagues rank the highest among the eight factors with an average of 3.8 and 3.7 out of 5, followed by working days-time and environment or/and conditions. The last two factors that ranked low are job security and financial incentive; both influence the average of respondents’ happiness and push it down.

TABLE 4: Descriptive statistics.

Table 5 presents the average for each factor with compression to the overall mean sample of respondent’s happiness. Financial benefits and learning and development were ranked as the two lower factors that influence negativity in the average of respondents’ happiness and push it down.

TABLE 5: Average result of all respondents.

We found evidence that relationship with colleagues and line managers influences the average respondents’ perception of employee career happiness, as both factors ranked higher than the average of overall happiness. This finding is in line with Affi et al. (2022) who found that leadership style, job satisfaction and workplace environment enhance employee motivation and career happiness in consequence.

Findings form the weighted factors

To ensure that respondents dealt seriously with the survey, the authors asked a set of professionals, faculty members and bankers to weigh the factors. Table 6 shows that relationships with colleagues and line managers ranked the highest in weighting the eight factors. This was confirmed by respondents’ results.

TABLE 6: Weight from 5 for each factor.
Finding: Male versus female

Table 7 shows that the mean of both male and female sample respondents is approximately similar for all career happiness factors. However, when running an independent sample test and an analysis of variance (ANOVA), statistically speaking, there is no significant difference between male and female responses with 95% confidence for all the study’s factors, suggesting that the determination factor for employee career happiness is the same for both females and males.

TABLE 7: Finding as per gender.
Respondents’ ages

When running multiple comparisons, there is no significant difference between the three age groups that were developed in the study, which are: age groups 1, below 30 years; group 2, 31–40 years and group 3, above 40 years, for all factors.

Respondents’ educational level

Statistically speaking, there is a significant difference among group respondents according to their educational levels. Table 8 shows that differences exist in the following five factors: working days and time, work environment and condition, financial incentive, further financial benefits and relationship with colleagues.

TABLE 8: Tukey’s Honest Significant Difference (HSD) – Multiple comparisons.

However, for overall happiness, there is no significant difference among educational levels.

Respondents’ working years of experience

When running multiple comparisons, there is only a significant difference in one factor, which is job security, with regards to the respondents’ groups years of experience: 1–5 years, 6–10 years and above 10 years as shown in Table 9.

TABLE 9: Multiple comparisons.

It is worthy to note that, answering the closing question, which is the overall happiness, statistics show there is no significant difference.

Respondents’ position in banks

When running multiple comparisons, Table 10 shows that there is a significant difference between managers and directors who are in high rank compared with staff and employees without managerial responsibilities for five factors, which are: working days and time; work environment and condition; financial incentive; further financial benefits and job security. However, for overall happiness, there is no significant difference.

TABLE 10: Multiple comparisons, Tukey Honest Significant Difference (HSD).
Ethical considerations

An application for full ethical approval was made to the Ethics and Biosafety Committee, A’Sharqiyah University and ethics consent was received on 11 June 2023. The ethics approval number is ASU/UREBC/23/09.

Results and discussion

According to this study, banks employees recorded an overall satisfaction rate of 3.4 out of 5 with respect to working days and times, and the work component that they perform. Flexibility is an important position, perhaps as a result of the possibility of working while the bank branch is closed to the public during the official working hours, in addition to the possibility of apologising for receiving customers in the event that there is accumulated administrative office work, whereby the employee marks his and/or her work as unavailable. This is consistent with some findings stating that lengthy daily working hours is negatively associated with career happiness (Nogchi et al. 2022).

There are also some administrative transactions that can be carried out from multiple places and accessed flexibly at different times. Also, the working conditions were rated 3.49. The atmosphere offices temperature occupied the highest value in the working condition elements, while the lowest value was in terms of satisfaction was privacy.

Although privacy is very good, it can be said that participants contribute to reducing satisfaction with working conditions. This result is in line with Affi et al. (2022) and Lahap (2022) who found that work environment is a determinant of job satisfaction.

The financial incentive factor has received the lowest score, which means that there is a state of dissatisfaction with the financial salaries. The total score is 2.55 out of 5. Perhaps these financial incentives were expressed in a state of dissatisfaction with the performance appraisal because of its association with salaries and financial incentives, as 2.07 scored the lowest score on the five-point Likert scale. For money matters, employees do not gain any additional related incentives such as transportation, meals and places for sports and education, but it seems that these issues are not very important and therefore do not affect much their career happiness.

The overall degree of satisfaction with colleagues was about 3.81, which is higher. Comparatively, employees’ satisfaction with the relationship with the direct manager was about 3.67, less than their satisfaction with their colleagues.

Satisfaction with development and education scored 3.1 out of 5, which is the least of the elements of career happiness. The request for leave and time off for learning played an important element with regard to job security; the employees’ response scored 3.3. Retirement and old age contributed to lowering the score because of fear of the future and old age.

As a result of the job happiness index, it reaches 3.58, which is a good percentage, but it can be raised through working on learning and development as well as considering raising the salary of both groups, lower educational level employees and non-managers. This means that factors constituting job happiness come specifically from two factors, which are salaries and financial benefits, as well as education, development and job security. Our findings are consistent with the results of Hakim (2015) and Walsh et al. (2017), which state that job happiness is positively impacted by several factors, such as job autonomy, social support, career advancement opportunities, recognition, rewards and social relationships.

The article confirms the hypothesis 1 (H1) that there are multiplier factors that determine the career happiness of employees who are working in the banking sector in Oman. Eight factors have been identified as contributing to career happiness: working days and time, work environment and conditions, financial incentive, relationship with colleagues, relationship with the line manager, further financial benefits, learning and development and job security.

When looking at the means, the results show that the most important factors that determine career happiness (from high means to low means) are as follows: relationship with colleagues; relationship to line managers (as the line manager should motivate, encourage and play a fair role with them); work environment (conditions, working days and time); next comes job security; then learning and development. Relationships with colleagues and line managers have ranked highly in respondents’ answers, reflecting that both relationships positively influence overall happiness.

Keeping these relationships or developing them will assist in increasing career happiness. Organisations or employers need to pay attention to human factors, which are represented by relationships with colleagues and line managers. When these two relations are formulated as per institutionalisation values (with fairness, motivation, encouragement and support), employees are happy in their careers, tend to work smart, increase their performance and productivity and will not think to believe their current organisation. However, the issue of formal and informal relationships should be presented. We should consider the formal relationship, the institutional relationship, not the personal. Varying or differing personal relationships can often be signals of imbalance, such as corruption. However, this article does not advocate for imbalanced relationships or corruption.

In terms of factors that determine career happiness for men and women, we found that they are the same, with no difference in these factors or even their priorities or weights. Thus, the article rejects hypothesis 2 (H2), and confirms the similarity that factors determining career happiness for males and females are the same.

In terms of factors that determine the career happiness of employees based on their positions, such as managers versus non-managers, i.e. (H3), the finding shows that there are significant differences observed in several happiness factors. This means that authors accept the research assumption. Additionally, variations can also be seen based on educational levels. In fact, employees with managerial positions are mostly happy, as are employees with advanced education. Employees who have been working with the organisation for more than 10 years are also happier than those with fewer years of working experience.

In terms of factors that determine the happiness of employees based on their educational level, it was revealed that differences exist in five factors: working days and time, work environment and condition, financial incentive, further financial benefits and relationship with colleagues, especially between employees with postgraduate and below undergraduate study levels. This means employees with higher education are happier in these five mentioned factors compared with undergraduate and below undergraduate employees, which makes sense, as advanced education may lead to more flexibility, a higher managerial position and higher benefits. However, for overall happiness, there is no significant difference among educational levels. The overall answer significantly shows no difference because of the sum-lump, which makes respondents approximately similar, nearby or very close.

Assessing these aspects and determining factors is important to establish ways and tools that banks or the top management can use to deal with their employees to make them happy in their jobs and hence achieve better performance. It is imperative for banks to address these factors, increase positive responses from employees and thereby foster the development of career happiness.

Conclusion and further research

Like many other industries, the banking sector relies a lot on the performance of its employees. However, employee performance is not just a matter of skills and abilities; it is also influenced by their level of career happiness, as highlighted by previous literature. The purpose of this study was to determine factors that affect career happiness among employees in the banking sector in Oman and to provide a valid framework to the managers and decision-makers in this sector that would help them make their employees happy in their careers as a base for better employee performance.

Based on our findings, this article puts forward the following recommendations: (1) organisations or employers should reconsider non-managers salaries and raise them for more career happiness; (2) they should also work on learning and development by including opportunities for attending educational programmes, training courses, workshops or seminars that contribute to enriching employees’ job skills and knowledge; (3) increasing job security is crucial for career happiness, as it provides stability and alleviates worries, allowing employees to focus on enhancing their roles and contributing positively to the organisation.

Therefore, based on the identified factors influencing career happiness, it is recommended that further research be conducted to investigate the cultural influences on career happiness and employee performance by conducting cross-cultural studies. Thus, we can gain a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics between career happiness and employee performance and contribute to the development of evidence-based practices that promote employee well-being and organisational success.


The researchers would like to thank their colleague Dr. Faozi Al-Maqtari, Assistant Professor in Finance at A’Sharqiayh University who helps in analysing the data.

Competing interests

The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

Authors’ contributions

R.A.A. work on all aspect of the research in entirety, while I.O. contributed in conceptualisation, literature review, and reviewed the article.

Funding information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability

The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article [and/or] its supplementary materials.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and are the product of professional research. It does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated institution, funder, agency, or that of the publisher. The authors are responsible for this article’s results, findings, and content.


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