Groundhog Day? 35% of Canadian employees often ‘bored’ at work

'In this tight labour market, boosting engagement and retention are more critical than ever'

Groundhog Day? 35% of Canadian employees often ‘bored’ at work

Feeling stuck in a rut? Like you’re not making any progress or gaining any momentum?

Well, you’re not alone.

According to data released this week, 35% of Canadian employees are bored at work – claiming that every day feels exactly the same as the last.

Ahead of Groundhog day on Feb. 2, research from LinkedIn and Robert Half found that three in 10 Canadian workers are full of ennui — with just 15% saying that “no two of their days are ever alike”.

This lack of engagement can lead to higher turnover rates and a drop in morale – something Canadian businesses really can’t afford right now.

Speaking to HRD, Sharon Maslen, market director at Robert Half, warns Canadian employers that it’s time to start re-engaging your staff before they start running for the door.

“If employees are feeling uninspired and unmotivated, engagement can suffer for both them and the wider team,” she says. “Feeling engaged and excited by your work is a key factor in job satisfaction, and decreasing interest in a role can lead to a negative sentiment among the team, which can contribute to greater turnover.

“In this tight labour market, boosting engagement and retention are more critical than ever, and boredom can have negative consequences as skilled professionals seek more exciting work.”

Talent shortages and turnover worries 

Labour concerns and an increasingly tight talent market are causing headaches for Canadian employers. And, despite the fact that many tech giants are having to lay off swathes of employees, in some sectors, recruiters can’t fill their quotas.

A recent report from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) cited “greater competition for hiring” as the number one concern for Canadian organizations heading into 2023. And, with inflation continuing to sit high and the cost-of-living crisis nipping at employees’ heels, workers are asking for pay rises — something that many employers simply can’t afford right now. 

The answer to the talent shortage isn’t necessarily in ramped-up recruitment – instead, employers should be looking at investing in the talent they already have, according to recent reports. Research from Gartner found that, heading into the next few months, CEOs are fully committed to investing in upskilling, with 60% citing it as a main priority.

This combination of learning and development interspersed with reward and communication could be enough to turn the tide, Maslen tells HRD, and reignite the excitement your people once had for their roles.

“Prioritize ongoing communication with staff, and actively seek feedback,” she says. “If team members are feeling bored or disengaged, managers can encourage them to participate in new challenges and projects. [Help them] take on new responsibilities, particularly ones that can help them build new skills and are in line with their career goals.”

Maslen recommends helping management teams find ways to incorporate fun and levity into the everyday workday — perhaps celebrating employee achievements and holidays, whether virtually or in-person.

“Communication is key to establishing how the team feels, and there are lots of way employers can add interesting new challenges, and reward energy and engagement.”

How to re-engage your people in 2023

With data from Gartner highlighting that 80% of employees and 92% of managers feel “unprepared” for the future of work, HR leaders seemingly have a hard row to hoe ahead of them this year.

With the pandemic on the back foot, HR departments have new challenges to contend with – namely mental health fallouts, high levels of turnover and a lack of purchasing power thanks to the Canadian inflation rate.

And, as Robert Half’s data shows, with employees feeling disengaged and unconnected to both their roles and their organizations as a whole, employers should be making strategic changes now to pre-emp any productivity issues down the line.

“[Employers could start] offering training programs and mentorship to help workers grow their skillsets and advance their careers can re-invigorate and motivate staff,” adds Maslen.

“Recognizing them and provide rewards where possible also helps remind professionals that they are making an impact, which in turn can lead to them seeking out new ways to engage.”

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