Workers’ happiness levels drop across all indicators: report

'Compensation remains a top concern for workers nationwide'

Workers’ happiness levels drop across all indicators: report

Workers’ overall happiness level dropped in March compared to the previous month, but the drop happened across all indicators, according to a report from ADP Canada.

Overall, the National Work Happiness Score for March 2024 is 6.6/10, down 0.1 points from February and 0.1 points from March 2023 score.

While the drop may be slight, it happened across all happiness indicators, according to the survey of over 1,200 Canadian workers.

Among secondary indicators for March 2024 are:

  • Work-Life Balance & Flexibility: 6.7/10 (down 0.2 month-over-month)
  • Recognition & Support: 6.5/10 (down 0.2 month-over-month)
  • Compensation & Benefits: 6.1/10 (down 0.2 month-over-month)
  • Options for Career Advancement: 6.0/10 (down 0.1 month-over-month) 

Canada’s happiness level score for February 2024 was 6.7/10, just as it was in January.

“Over the past year, happiness levels across regions and generations saw their highs and lows. Lower scores in February, April and June gave way to higher scores in August and November before dipping during the back-to-school and winter seasons,” says Heather Haslam, vice president of marketing at ADP Canada.

“This highlights that the needs and expectations of workers in Canada are fluid and can be sensitive to external factors. While a few indicators, notably work-life balance and flexibility, continued to come out on top month-over-month, others, such as options for career advancement, remained low. Employers must stay connected to these trends to create a positive and engaging work environment for all employees.”

Overall, 44% of Canadian professionals currently feel “stuck” in their careers, according to a previous Robert Half report.

What is the happiness scale in Canada?

Among age groups, baby boomers seem to be the happiest in Canada, according to ADP Canada:

  • Boomers (59+): 7.2/10 (down 0.5 month-over-month)
  • Gen-Z (18-26): 6.6/10 (down 0.1 month-over-month)
  • Gen-X (43-58): 6.6/10 (no change month-over-month)
  • Millennials (27-42): 6.5/10 (down 0.1 month-over-month)

Across regions, workers in Quebec seem to be the happiest in March 2024:

  • Québec: 6.8/10 (down 0.1 month-over-month)
  • British Columbia: 6.6/10 (down 0.4 month-over-month)
  • Alberta: 6.6/10 (down 0.3 month-over-month)
  • Ontario: 6.6/10 (up 0.1 month-over-month)
  • Atlantic Canada: 6.5/10 (down 0.6 month-over-month)
  • Sask/Manitoba: 6.4/10 (down 0.3 month-over-month)

How do you make workers happy?

What can make workers happy? Money, according to the ADP Canada report.

Nearly six in 10 (57%) workers say they would feel happier in the workplace if they got a raise, and over a third (35%) indicate a bonus would make them happier. Also, 31% report that more vacation days or time off would help improve their overall happiness at work.

“Compensation remains a top concern for workers nationwide,” says Haslam. “Inflation is ever-present, and one of the external factors we suspect has impacted happiness levels over the past year. As employers and workers navigate economic changes, tools that support pay transparency, clear lines of communication and regular check-ins with employees can help workers feel secure and confident in their current role.”

Salary is the largest motivating factor for professionals searching for a new employer, with 47% of workers saying a higher salary would lead them to look for a new position, according to a previous Robert Half report.

How can I improve my workplace happiness?

Here are some simple ways for employers to create and improve happiness levels in the workplace, according to Workhuman:

  • Focus on life-work balance.
  • Offer consistent praise and recognition.
  • Be honest.
  • Offer wellbeing perks.
  • Ensure your employees understand the value of their work and how it affects the company's goals instead of merely asking them to do their job without explaining the reason.
  • Invest in your teams.
  • Prioritize employee engagement, make time for fun activities inside and outside the office and improve the bond between team members.
  • Encourage communication.
  • Learn more about employees.
  • Create a strong sense of trust by showing support in tough times.

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