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Over half (54%) of employees would leave their current job for the right opportunity, despite the fact that many give their employer decent ratings (average rating of 7.2 on a 10-point scale).

Calgary, AB – A recent online poll of 522 working adults in Alberta (those who are employed full or part time, not self-employed) using our Employee Satisfaction Insights tool found that while many Alberta workers are fairly satisfied with their current job overall and on a number of individual aspects, employer loyalty is relatively low as the majority of workers (54%) would leave their current job if the right opportunity arose.

Nearly half (44%) of Alberta employees, while not actively looking, would consider a new opportunity if it came up and 9% are actively looking for a new job. Only 44% of employees indicate that they have no plans to leave their current job (the remaining 3% were unsure). Job loyalty is particularly low among younger Albertans, with 51% of 18-34 year olds and 60% of 35-54 year olds open to leaving, compared to just 42% of those 55 years and older.

So why would so many employees considering leaving? Current satisfaction ratings with their employer seem to suggest that most are fairly happy – Alberta employers are awarded an average rating of 7.2 on a 10-point scale; half (50%) give them a high rating (8,9 or 10 out of 10), 44% a moderate rating (between 4 and 7) and only 6% a very low rating (1, 2 or 3). Not surprisingly, ratings among those who plan to stay with their current employer are higher (average of 8.1) versus those who would consider leaving or who plan to leave (6.5).

Still, even among those who give their employers a very high rating (9 or 10 out of 10), 28% would consider leaving.

“Our survey results show that employee satisfaction does not necessarily equate to loyalty,” comments Jane Ha-Trapp, Vice President, Insights West. “Employers need to do more than just make their employees happy to ensure they stay with the company.”

A variety of specific job areas were also evaluated, and the study found that employees are highly satisfied when it comes to many aspects of their current job – working relationships and job security are at the top of the list. Eight-in-ten are also satisfied with vacation time and physical work environment, while three-quarters are satisfied with work-life balance and benefits. Where employees are less satisfied, however, are with opportunities for advancement, company policies and procedures, communications from senior management, stress levels and staff morale.

“These results suggest that employers need to look at some of the other qualities being sought by workers and not just the basics of pay, benefits and vacation time,” Ha-Trapp comments.

Providing further insights into what employees may feel is lacking in their jobs comes from agreement levels on a series of statements – while most reveal a high degree of contentment with their employment, the statement at the bottom of the list stands out. Only 68% agree that they are rewarded for doing a good job, suggesting that many employees do not feel they are being recognized well enough for their contributions. Only 54% of those who may leave their job agree with this statement compared to 86% of those who have no plans to leave.

This same survey was undertaken in BC and while there are no differences in workers’ plans to leave their current employer, Albertans tend to be more satisfied with a number of specific aspects of their jobs:

  • Working relationship with their supervisor (84% satisfied versus 78% in BC);
  • Vacation time (80% satisfied versus 76% in BC);
  • Job security (83% satisfied versus 74% in BC);
  • Benefits (75% versus 71% in BC);
  • Company processes and procedures (64% versus 57% in BC);
  • Wages/salary (69% versus 62% in BC); and,
  • Stress level (65% versus 56% in BC).

“More positive ratings in Alberta versus BC may reflect the fact that the stronger Alberta economy in recent years has resulted in employees having more job options, which means employers have had to work harder to keep them happy,” Ha-Trapp comments.

About Employee Satisfaction Insights:

Insights West has developed a tool that allows companies (even smaller employers) the ability to accurately measure how their employees feel about their jobs, with the benefits that only a professional research firm and objective third-party can bring to employee research. Results are compared against normative benchmarks and provide an understanding of the specific areas where changes might have the greatest impact on satisfaction and employee. Learn more details about Employee Satisfaction Insights.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has ten full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from June 22 – July 10, 2013, among 522 employed Albertans and 788 British Columbians who are aged 18+. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points for Alberta and +/-3.5 percentage points for BC, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information about this release, please contact:

Jane Ha-Trapp
Vice President, Insights West

or, for information about Employee Satisfaction Insights, contact:

Catherine Dawson
Senior Vice President & Chief Methodologist, Insights West

Photograph: Stella Blu