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Canadian workers’ satisfaction, commitment to work dropped: Survey

May 26, 2022
The Canadian Press


Canadian workers' satisfaction is down 3% and their commitment to work has dropped 6% since 2021, indicative of the retention rate in companies since the pandemic. (phot of/Adobe Stock)

The pandemic has highlighted an increasing frustration among workers within the Canadian labour market. Canadian workers’ satisfaction is down 3% and their commitment to work has dropped 6% since 2021, according to the Great Workplace Study conducted by Leger for Hamster.

The survey also illustrated specific pain points for workers, as satisfaction with working conditions decreased to 74% (down 6% from 2021) and satisfaction with salary dropped to 60% (down 10% from 2021).

Coming to terms with the ‘new normal’

Since the start of the pandemic, 24% of workers say they are less satisfied with their jobs. Unsurprisingly, this figure rises to 42% among institutional workers and 38% among workers in the education and social services sector.

“As a trusted Canadian partner for workplace supplies across the country, Hamster is constantly on the lookout for new workplace trends. The trends revealed in today’s study highlight the new realities of a changing world of work and the challenges facing employers.”, said Denis Mathieu, President and General Manager of Novexco Inc., which owns Hamster.

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Bringing the human back into human resources

The trends revealed by Hamster’s Great Workplace Study are changing the face of work across the country, and it is more important than ever for Canadian employers to adapt to these new realities. Here is how companies can put the key findings of this study into action:

  • After being forced by the pandemic to implement remote work, employers should consider a long-term hybrid model. According to the study, workers who can enjoy greater flexibility and adaptability are significantly more productive and satisfied at work.
  •  With remote work comes the challenge of engagement and motivation for some employees, particularly among the younger generation. Employees need to think about initiatives to build better connections, foster mentorship and create growth opportunities for young talent.
  •  Workplace recognition, continuous learning and career advancement opportunities also emerge as elements that Canadian workers consider important. The study found that these are areas of improvement for employers, as there is a large gap between their perceived importance and the employer’s rated performance.
  •  With the cost of living skyrocketing, workers are placing even more importance on their salary when it comes to evaluating their job satisfaction. Employers cannot ignore this key element in order to contribute to a better employee retention.
  •  After the Great Resignation, the labour market is only a few years away from the Great Retirement. Employees approaching retirement would consider staying longer with their organizations if they could enjoy more flexible schedules, lighter workloads, and if their jobs were a means to meet new people. Employers can benefit from rethinking the workplace to encourage a delayed departure of their most experienced talent.

The positive effects of hybrid work

With the shift back to the workplace, Canadians who have experienced the joys of remote work want to enjoy a hybrid model with an average of 3.8 days at home. 60% of people who have been more productive since the start of the pandemic are partially or fully working from home.

Workers experiencing the reality of remote work are also significantly more satisfied with their employer’s performance in areas on topics such as salary, schedule flexibility and working conditions.

However, not everyone has shared experiences when it comes to remote work, as 31% of workers find it more difficult to feel motivated about their work from home. This figure jumps to 45% among 18-34 year olds, the youngest category of workers. Furthermore, after more than two years of the pandemic and working from home, only 54% of workers are currently satisfied with their working environment.

More challenges for Canadian employers

Labour shortages have changed the relationship between employers and employees in most Canadian industries. Workers know that they now have more bargaining power.

“Labour shortages are hitting Canada and the various industries across the country are facing major challenges in acquiring and retaining talent,” adds Denis Mathieu. “It is crucial for employers to adopt a human approach and to truly understand the aspirations and needs of their employees in order to better respond to them.”

The study reveals that one in five working Canadians are considering taking on a new position in the near future. They are increasingly disconnected from their work, with 72% seeing it as a means to make money and only 36% viewing it as a fulfilling activity. Workers pointed to salary increases as the most important retention incentive, as noted by 41% of respondents.


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