The grass really does seem greener to most North American employees.
Human resources software company Ceridian's annual Pulse of Talent survey showed only a mere 27 per cent of North American workers would not consider leaving their jobs for a position at another company.
Most of the survey's 2,001 respondents (73 per cent) in Canada and the U.S. are either actively pursuing, casually looking, or would be open to new opportunities at another company if approached.
It's also true in Canada alone, where 71 per cent are willing to leave: 29 per cent of full-time employees are looking for a new job, and another 42 per cent would still consider a new position if they were approached.
That being said, more than three-quarters (77 per cent) are satisfied with their jobs.
Growth and learning opportunities important
But organizations aren't being forward-thinking enough about keeping employees actually engaged and committed, Ceridian's chief people and culture officer Lisa Sterling told HuffPost Canada.
An overwhelming majority of the survey's respondents (86 per cent) said it's important or extremely important for employers to provide learning opportunities for growth.
We need to look at ways that really invest in the whole person, not the little perks that we offer.Lisa Sterling, Ceridian
Not feeling like just another cog in the machine is also crucial. Sterling said people are less concerned about job security and benefits than they are about whether their job makes an impact within their organization or the community at large, or provides them with growth opportunities.
"I think it's a perfect storm— people want to be paid well for what they contribute, but people want their contributions to be far more meaningful than sitting at their desk and doing their jobs," she said.
Of those employees who feel they make an impact, 92 per cent feel positive or extremely positive about their jobs, compared to just 52 per cent of those who don't see their roles that way.
Sterling said in the survey that small benefits like fitness subsidies or free snacks in the office don't affect employee retention in the long run.
"We need to look at ways that really invest in the whole person, not the little perks that we offer," she said.
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Pay is still is a big issue for employee satisfaction. But there's a disconnect between when raises are expected and when raises are actually given — the median expectation for employees is a five per cent raise every year, and only 58 per cent feel that they've had adequate pay increases based on their tenure.
The issue extends to promotions as well. Most employees think two years is a reasonable amount of time to expect to wait before a promotion, but employers see that time frame as five years.
"Historically, HR organizations have categorically focused on salary, but when you start to help an employee understand the total investment being made in him or her across all of the different elements, people start to look at the effectiveness, fairness, and competitiveness of their pay in a very different light," Sterling said in the survey.
These were Canada's top places to work in 2018. Story continues below.
Sterling told HuffPost Canada employers need to engage their employees in a more meaningful way and have conversations on a regular basis.
"We need to be far more aggressive in making sure that we are having those conversations, we are giving people experience and exposure, we're getting them engaged in things that are much more relevant than just their jobs and what that job looks like."
The survey for Ceridian was conducted by Nielsen through its online research panel over five weeks in the summer of 2018, and asked 2,001 employees in North America about their career plans and relationship with their current employer.