Canadian employees want meaning over money

HR leaders needn't concern themselves with pay, it's all about purpose

Canadian employees want meaning over money

Priorities of Canadian employees have shifted to look for jobs that are more meaningful, according to a new report. A new report from digital workflow leader ServiceNow revealed how meaning has impacted the way employees view work - with more employees (88%) saying they want majority of their work to be more meaningful.

It also changed how they perceive potential new employers, with 71% saying that they would never take a job that is "frustrating or unrewarding," even if it offered high pay. The report also revealed that office workers spend nearly a third of their time (30%) each week on menial tasks. This is equivalent already to 12 hours of work, noted the research, or one-and-a-half workdays every week.

"Canadian office workers want to know they are experiencing continuous personal and professional growth at work,” commented Marc LeCuyer, vice president and general manager, ServiceNow Canada. “But they can't do that if they're spending a third of their time on tasks that they're uninspired to do.”

On top of menial tasks, employees are also burdened with the following pandemic concerns;

  • Increased burnout (32%)
  • Increased work hours (28%)
  • Difficulty unplugging (27%)
  • Challenges communicating with colleagues (24%)

Read more: Will AI ever replace humans in recruitment?

What can employers do?

Organizations risk losing top talent if they fail to satisfy their employees' or candidates' desires for meaningful work. This means the next possible thing to do is to eliminate the menial tasks that take over a huge portion of their employees' time.

How can HR do this? About 67% of respondents said that it's about time the employers invest more in advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to accomplish menial tasks at work. According to the employees, automation is the best application of AI at work. For them, these are the benefits of using AI in the workplace:

  • Potentially reduce stress (46%)
  • Free up time (33%)
  • Reduce burnout (23%)

"Employers have to find ways to reduce the low value work. Using digital tools can fill the gap to make every day work simpler, easier and faster to free up time for employees to focus on the more essential and fulfilling aspects of their jobs – the work only humans can do," said LeCuyer.

According to the executive, employee experience is the "new currency" in searching for talent, and it is important that companies remain competitive.

"Experiences are shaped by the type of work employees do every day. Having work that feels impactful or important, and where you feel you’re contributing to a larger goal or purpose, are key to building great experiences at work."

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