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January 2, 2013 / mike54martin

Are We Satisfied Yet?


It’s always interesting to see what those big HR companies who survey people are asking and to me at least what Canadians in particular respond. One that caught my eye recently was from worldwide staffing giant Randstad whose Workplace Monitor interviewed workers in 32 countries earlier this year about employee commitment and personal relationships in the workplace.

First of all on the job security question Canadians are not as worried about it as the Greeks or Spaniards but they are concerned enough that about 40 percent would give back some of their salary if their enterprise faced closure. And in these trying economic times it is not a big surprise that most Canadians would trade a good salary for job security. Canadians in almost every sector of the economy have felt the brunt of the economic turndown and the “job less” recovery. Things may get back to normal but when they do there will be a lot fewer people carrying out the tasks.

But what is a surprise, at least to me, is that 82 percent of Canadians would give up some of their money to have job security and time to enjoy their lives. They agreed with the statement that ‘they worked to live rather than lived to work’ and if they were not happy at work they would quit. In fact 3 out of 10 Canadians surveyed said that they would quit if there was no room for their personal development.

Other interesting tidbits from this survey were that over half of the people from this country said that they would rather have pleasant work colleagues than more money and most meet up with some work contacts after work. Two thirds also claim that they have made friends at work. There is even an acceptance that romantic arrangements happen at work and only 20 percent of Canadians feel that is a cause for major concerns.

But like most surveys of this type there is not a whole lot new. Salary and benefits are important but they have never been the main reason why people join a company or organization and they are certainly not the biggest reason why people leave. People still want to be valued and appreciated at work and to grow to their full potential. They also like doing this with people who are pleasant and easy to get along with.

And if two people at work happen to become more than friends, then why not? Maybe that’s just another aspect of job satisfaction that needs a little more personal research.

This post first appeared on

Mike Martin is a writer and consultant and author of The Walker on the Cape, A Sgt. Windflower mystery.

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