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January 22, 2012 / mike54martin

Just Show Them the Money

A recent study by human resources consultant firm Mercer found that there has been a shift in thinking by Canadian employees. A few years ago most of the surveys of workers found that while money was important, they valued other things like respect from their supervisor and work-life balance much more.

Today that has changed and Mercer reports that employees are more focused on pay and less on whether their job is rewarding. In fact almost half of the survey participants said they were not satisfied with their base pay and almost as many did not feel they are being paid fairly, given their performance and contribution to the organization.

Some of the people at Mercer think that this is because of the economic downswing in recent years and if employees are worried about cutbacks or layoffs, they’d rather have the money upfront. And there is certainly less loyalty to companies today. But why wouldn’t there be? The days of working for one organization for your entire working life are long gone and so there’s less attachment to individual companies when you are going to work for a string of them over forty years or so.

But the shift in thinking that Mercer is finding may in fact be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to changes that are happening in Canadian workplaces today, some of which are driven by economics but most are really about the new generations of workers inhabiting the cubicles inCanada. Depending on their cohort and their experience to date in the workplace, they bring differing values and expectations to their jobs with them.

Generation X and Generation Y employees are the major identifying clusters that we find in the emerging workplaces of today and both will prove challenging to employers who try and deal with them the same as their parents. Generation X workers as the children of Boomers are in a bit of rebellion against their parent’s work ethic but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to get paid the same.

And Generation Y or the Millennials may be the new kids on the block but soon they will make up about forty percent of the workforce. One of their prime characteristics besides being addicted to Facebook is that they just love money and material things.

If you’re an employer my suggestion is to crank up that printing press in the back room. Your new employees may want a lot of other things but if you want to keep them happy then get ready to show all these newbies the colour of your money.

This article originally appeared on my blog at

One Comment

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  1. Kitty kilian / Jan 23 2012 6:15 pm

    Ha ha, great ending!

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