As hiring picks up, employees may 'start weighing career options'

Canadians want to pursue more meaningful work after the pandemic

As hiring picks up, employees may 'start weighing career options'

In the new normal, Canadian workers will look after their health more than they did before COVID-19 – some will even prioritise their well-being over their career, new research claims.

About half of professionals (47%), polled by staffing firm Robert Half, say the pandemic has caused them to rethink the importance of their career in light of the challenges posed by the global health crisis. Their attitudes and feelings towards work are changing as a result.

READ MORE: In times of crisis, workplace relations can grow stronger

“After months of change, businesses and individuals alike are evaluating their priorities and goals for the future,” said David King, senior district president of Robert Half in Canada.

Two in five professionals, for example, hope to spend more time and energy focusing on their personal life than on their job (43%). Others, meanwhile, want to derive greater happiness from work and “pursue a more meaningful or fulfilling position” (29%).

The struggles that Canadians endured at the height of the pandemic have cast the world of work in a new light, the study suggests. Overall, 60% of professionals feel inspired to work for an employer who looks after their people during “unpredictable times”.

“As professionals reflect on what it is that drives them, it’s clear that many are more motivated to work at an organization whose vision and values align with their own,” King said.

Another study, reported by HRD in May, echoes this. Nearly half of workers in Canada say their work relations improved amid the COVID-19 crisis because of how their employers cared for them.

READ MORE: These workers feel 'less connected' with their teams

This will prove critical as businesses chart a way forward after the crisis. Those in recovery mode will need their most committed workers to help spark productivity once again, and this could put employee retention programs to the test.

“As hiring begins to pick up again,” King said, “employees may start weighing their career options.”

King believes companies should highlight their employees’ mission and commitment to the greater community while continuing to provide workers with exceptional benefits.

“Office perks like all-you-can-eat snacks, cool collaboration spaces and on-site gyms mean much less now. What many members of your team will want most during this time is work that is meaningful and reassurance that their contributions are valued,” Robert Half analysts wrote in another report.

“Make it clear that they are critical to the firm’s rebound and are supported by the company’s leadership – whether they are remote or in the office,” they said.

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