In partnership with Ipsos, Randstad surveyed over 1,000 blue and white-collar workers across the country. The results revealed that less than half of Canadian workers are currently satisfied with most aspects of their jobs. The fact that the majority of workers across the country are not content in their current position is certainly a driving force behind the rise of the ‘great resignation’ that has impacted employers around the globe.

This sentiment of dissatisfaction appears to be more prevalent among blue-collar workers, as one out of three blue-collar workers admits to changing jobs within the last year. While there’s no denying that the pandemic is responsible for some of this job shifting, there are other factors motivating workers to change jobs.

Fortunately, there are signs that the ‘great resignation’ is slowing down. In fact, our survey showed that only half as many workers are considering changing jobs in the next 12 months. However, this factor doesn’t mean that worker satisfaction levels are growing.

For employers to remain competitive in the years to come and retain top talent, it’s vital to understand exactly what factors are driving these high dissatisfaction levels and what to do about it. Our research has revealed three prime areas where employees are most dissatisfied. We will discuss these factors below and provide tips on what to do to improve satisfaction rates across the board.

lack of health and wellness support

While the idea of building a healthy workforce was gaining traction even before the pandemic, the impact of COVID-19 made it a higher priority for workers. Our study shows that only 40% of the workers are satisfied with the level of health and wellness support currently provided by their employers.

These satisfaction rates are significantly higher among men than women, with only 34% of women in blue-collar jobs happy with their company’s health and wellness offerings compared to 43% of their male counterparts.

It’s important for employers to understand that while the pandemic may have pushed the increased demand for health and wellness supports, workers’ desire for these types of benefits is not going to subside any time soon. In fact, many workers have come to expect wellness support from their employers.

The good news is that as the demand for health and wellness support has increased, so has the number of options for employers. For example, when promoting physical wellbeing, employers are not limited to offering free gym memberships. Today, there are also a wide range of online fitness programs employers can give their workers access to. There are also more telehealth services, especially in regards to mental health, that employers can invest in to make it easier for workers to get the support they need.

Other health and wellness options employers can offer include healthy snacks in the break room, access to financial advice and wellness workshops. Fun or competitive activities, such as fitness challenges, are another great way to promote healthy living (and company culture) among your workers.

lack of flexibility

If there is one thing the pandemic shifted in the mindset of workers, it's the need for flexibility in the workplace. During the pandemic, many workers were forced to balance the demands of work with the need to care for children who were learning from home as well as elderly parents who weren’t comfortable running various errands. Even with the effects of COVID-19 starting to subside, workers are still concerned about the future and their ability to take off work if needed.

While many employers did add a level of flexibility in the workplace during the peak of the pandemic, our survey shows that less than half of Canadian workers are satisfied with the level of flexibility at their workplace. This level of satisfaction remains fairly consistent among workers despite gender and job title, with the exception of women in blue-collar positions, where only 43% are satisfied with the level of flexibility in their workplace.

When it comes to blue-collar workers, paid time off for sick leave is the top benefit they want. This is especially true for women in blue-collar positions, where 64% prioritize paid time off. Another top benefit blue-collar workers are looking for is the ability to choose a preferred permanent schedule. However, Anglophone workers are twice as likely to want to rotate their shift from week to week on an as-needed basis.

White-collar workers, on the other hand, aren’t looking for more time off, but rather the ability to set their own hours and to work remotely on a full-time or part-time basis. Both groups, however, place a high priority on short-term leave for childcare and eldercare purposes.

If your business has not done so yet, now is the time to reassess your paid time off policies to give your employers the ability to take time off to care for themselves and their families. If remote work options are a possibility in your workplace, you should also develop new policies that focus on a post-pandemic work model.

It’s not only important to create new policies, but it’s also vital to be as transparent with your workers as possible, so they know exactly what options are available to them. This one step can help to boost workers’ satisfaction levels and, in turn, lower your turnover rates.

lack of job security

With millions of workers losing their job during the pandemic, it should come as no surprise that job security is one of the most important motivating factors for employees changing jobs. According to our survey, 50% of Canadian workers are satisfied with the level of job security in their current position. This level of satisfaction is significantly higher among white-collar workers aged 24 to 35, with 61% claiming to be satisfied with the stability of their job. Additionally, blue-collar workers are not only concerned about the stability of their jobs, but they also want to know that their work schedule and hours won’t change, so that they can effectively maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Offering promises of job security in the midst of a post-pandemic market can be extremely difficult for employers, especially those who are also concerned about the future of the company. There are, however, several things you can do to give your employees the sense of security they crave while remaining open and honest.

First, transparency among the workers is a must. Certainly, there is information that the company cannot disclose to everyone, but it’s imperative to give workers access to at least basic information. For example, take the time to share the company goals and objectives for the upcoming year to show that the company has plans for moving forward. Secondly, be sure to recognize your long-term employees by giving bonuses based on years of service. Recognizing employees for the contribution they make to the company can help to boost workplace morale and job satisfaction.

lack of career development

Only 39% of blue-collar workers and 35% of white-collar workers are satisfied with the current career development opportunities at their workplace. These dismal satisfaction rates could be disastrous for employers considering 30% of the workers we surveyed ranked better career opportunities as one of the main reasons for changing jobs.

According to our research, employees want to have access to growth opportunities within the first six months of employment as well as promotion options within the first year. To make this a reality, employers must get rid of the notion that career development is a one-size-fits-all program. Instead, focusing on customized training and development plans that align with the company's needs and the worker’s career goals are most effective at driving results.

When an employee believes that the company is taking a vested interest in their professional career, they are more likely to remain loyal to the company, improve their productivity levels and have increased job satisfaction.

Understanding why employees are dissatisfied in their current roles can help your company build an employee benefits package that delivers the perks and programs that boost these satisfaction rates rather than weaken them.

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