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Posthaste: Workers increasingly disgruntled with their jobs say they’re just in it for the money

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People are less committed to their work, survey says

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Some workers in Canada are growing increasingly disgruntled with their jobs amid a desire for higher salaries and better working conditions, such as flexibility, according to research released this morning.

Overall job satisfaction levels have dropped three per cent since 2021, and fallen 24 per cent since the pandemic began, said The Great Workplace Study, conducted by Léger for Hamster, an office supply distributing company. As inflation climbs and the costs of everyday items rise, a good salary is becoming more important, and workers think their paycheques aren’t measuring up. Canadians are 10 per cent less satisfied with their salaries now than they were this time last year.

Workplace conditions, such as vacation time, flexible schedules, and benefits, also appear to need improvement. Satisfaction in that category dropped six per cent since 2021.

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But perhaps most worrisome for employers is that people say they are less engaged with their jobs.

“Fewer workers are willing to go the extra mile or give their best to their job and to their employer,” the survey said.

Commitment to work has fallen a “significant” six points from last year, the study said, a finding that could spell trouble for organizations already struggling to retain staff amid a tight labour market.

Indeed, people say they are looking at their jobs as a means to an end, and three-quarters admit they’re only there for the paycheque. That compares to 36 per cent who say they find meaning or fulfilment in their work.

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Such low levels of engagement come at the worst possible time for employers desperate to keep staff from leaving amid labour shortages. As it stands, one in five workers said they are thinking of seeking out new opportunities.

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Hamster said workers have become emboldened over the past two years and don’t think twice about quitting if it means they can find what they’re looking for somewhere else.

“(Canadian workers) know that they now have increased bargaining power. If they feel their conditions could be better with another employer, many would no longer hesitate to change jobs,” the survey said.

Topping employee wish lists are “fair and equitable” wage hikes, good benefits, and flexible work hours. Employers should take notice and then do what they can to meet their staff’s needs, Hamster said.

“Labour shortages are biting Canada and the various industries across the country are facing major challenges in acquiring and retaining talent,” Denis Mathieu, president and general manager of Novexco Inc., which owns Hamster, said in a release.

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“It is crucial for employers to adopt a human approach and truly understand the aspirations and needs of their employees in order to better respond to them.”

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BIEBS BREW Tim Hortons is expanding its partnership with Justin Bieber and will launch a French Vanilla cold brew coffee, called Biebs Brew, on June 6. It’s bringing back the popular Timbiebs specialty Timbits back on that day, too. The earlier collaboration with Bieber lifted sales and helped to attract a younger clientele, a segment of the market Tim Hortons is actively pursuing. The Financial Post’s Jake Edmiston reports. Photo by Tim Hortons

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  • The United Conservative Party announces the results of its leadership vote
  • International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan attends the G7 development ministers meeting in Berlin
  • Ghislain Houle, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of CN, will address the RBC Capital Markets Canadian Automotive, Industrials and Transportation Conference in Montreal
  • Nadeem Velani, Canadian Pacific executive vice-president and chief financial officer, will address the BofA Securities 29th Annual Transportation, Airlines and Industrials Conference in Boston
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prince Charles will participate in a discussion in Ottawa on sustainable finance in combating climate change and building a net-zero economy
  • Canadian Club talk with Al Monaco, the president of CEO of Enbridge Inc., and Brian Tobin, the vice-president of BMO Financial Group in Toronto
  • Today’s data: Consumer price index, U.S. housing starts, U.S. building permits
  • Earnings: Cresco Labs Inc., Tencent Holdings Ltd., Cisco Inc., Lowe’s Companies Inc., Target Corp.
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Could higher inflation lead to an increase in strikes and work stoppages? History suggests such labour issues are one of the consequences of high inflation, leading to even worse supply chain problems that stoked inflation in the first place, argues William Robson, chief executive of the C.D. Howe Institute, in FP Comment.

As the chart below shows, inflation and labour stoppages went hand in hand in the 1970s, when the inflation rate soared to a peak.

Robson writes: “From 1995 to 2005, when the two-per cent inflation target was newer and less credible, days lost per thousand workers were typically in the low teens. But in the mid-1980s, the Canadian economy typically lost about 30 days of work per thousand workers. And in the high-inflation 1970s, the typical loss was twice that. In 1975 and 1976, our two worst years for strikes and lockouts, they cost more than 90 days per thousand workers.”

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Read his column here.

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Bucket list vacation destinations can often be expensive, but they don’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to save money when travelling without sacrificing the fun. Keep in mind that travelling on a budget doesn’t mean doing things as cheaply as possible. Via our content partner MoneyWise, Barry Choi lists some “expensive” destinations he’s travelled to and the ways he found to make my dollars stretch.

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Today’s Posthaste was written by Victoria Wells (@vwells80), with additional reporting from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

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