Canada News

Canadian Companies Need to Work Harder: Labour Day Poll

2 September 2011 at 01:31 | 695 views

A large group of working Canadians at both the beginning and end of their careers feel companies are missing the mark in terms of what they need and want, according to the third annual Labour Day poll by

The survey conducted by Harris/Decima of over 1,000 Canadian baby boomers (aged 47-62) and members of generation Y (aged 18-30) shows they share a common complaint that companies are falling short:

- More than 1 in 3 twenty-somethings feel companies do not provide sufficient mentoring, while almost 1 in 2 boomers agree;

- More than 1 in 3 in both generations agree that companies do not use younger workers to their full potential;

- More than 1 in 3 in both generations also believe companies lack vision, and fall short in productivity.

“We know that there are a lot of companies who do a great job at keeping employees happy and engaged,” said Peter Gilfillan, Senior Vice President of International Sales and General Manager of Monster Canada. “In order to retain the best and the brightest among both the gen Y and boomer generation, leading companies need to find the sweet spot that matches workers’ values with their business objectives.”

The survey helps illustrate where boomers and their gen Y offspring believe companies can do more. Nearly 1 in 3 boomers do not feel companies treat workers nearing retirement with respect. Both generations cite better management, and improved organizational structure as changes they’d like to see. However, despite their workplace concerns, 75% of young people, and 82% of boomers say they are satisfied with their current job.

Careers Expectations Falling Short for Gen Y
Many twenty-somethings weren’t able to get a job in their preferred field (40 per cent), and well over 1 in 3 expects to change jobs 5 or more times before they retire.

Similar Values
The good news is that boomers and the younger generation are really clear in what they look for in their career. Both generations equally value work life balance more than anything, with 97 per cent in both age groups saying it’s important. Making good money is just as important for twenty-somethings (97 percent) followed by ·job security (96 per cent), opportunities for advancement (95 per cent) and flexibility in where and when they work (91 per cent). While the majority of boomers have the same priority list, a cool, fun company culture is more important to young people at 88 per cent, than it is to boomers, with 77 per cent saying it is important.

Money The Great Motivator
While boomers and twenty-somethings have similar values, they go to work for different reasons. Twenty-somethings are twice as likely as boomers to say money motivates them at work. By contrast, boomers are twice as likely to say helping others and enjoyment of their work motivates them. Both groups identify team spirit as a motivating factor. However, boomers also concede that they are not working for the sheer joy of it. As many as 6 in 10 say they are working for financial reasons rather than enjoyment.

“These findings are a real wake up call to companies,” said Dr. Linda Duxbury, an expert in workforce generational differences at Carlton University’s Sprott School of Business. “There’s a huge gap between what both generations want and what companies are delivering. If companies don’t step up, they risk losing valuable workers, both among the young and older.”

Harris/Decima Harris/Decima surveyed 501 baby boomers (aged 47 to 62) and 501 members of Generation Y (aged 18-30) using their online panel. To qualify for the survey, respondents had to be employed full or part time. The survey was conducted from July 27th through August 12th, 2011. is the world’s leading online careers and recruitment resource. From recruitment to retirement, provides powerful tools to help public and private sector organizations connect with the best and brightest candidates in the world.’s global reach is unprecedented, collecting more than 100 million resumes in its data base since 1994. To find out more about go to: