Happiness at Work, Much More than a Strong Trend
In 2009, more than 10 years ago, Jobboom commissioned the LHI-W to identify and classify workplace values among Quebecers. This study revealed that having fun ranked third overall among Quebecers and placed second in terms of important values among boomers.
As noted by Pierre Côté, founder of the Leger Happiness Index at Work, it's not that millennials don't value having fun, it's just that they attach even more importance to other values.1
Since this study was conducted, the tendency to favour having fun and happiness at work has only increased among the different generations, as evidenced by the results of a study conducted by Academos among 1,268 young Quebecers between the ages of 14 and 262 (hereafter "survey respondents"). Pierre Côté contributed his expertise to this study.
The study sought to understand young people’s workplace fears and expectations. Eight findings emerged from this research. One of them is clear: Sixteen to twenty-four-year-old [respondents] prioritize having fun and well-being over prestige and money. The values that millennials and Gen Zers share seem to have evolved and are more akin to those of previous generations.
When asked which main characteristics they are looking for in their future manager, first, survey respondents hope that the latter will allow them to have good work-life balance (43%), followed by recognizing the work they accomplish (38%).
To the question, Once in the labour market, to which word do you want your career to correspond the most? survey respondents most commonly responded with the word "happiness" (37%). That’s right, happiness! Why? Because for young people, according to this study, a successful professional life means being happy and not feeling that you are going to work because you have to, but rather because you want to. For them, working should be enjoyable.
Moreover, when asked to rank 12 workplace values in terms of importance, the same survey respondents ranked having fun at the top of the list of work values (score of 8.9 out of 10), before health and well-being (8.2) and work atmosphere (7.7).
At this time, can a company afford to have unhappy employees? The new generation of employees likely have specific expectations for their current or future manager, and adapting to these expectations could prove to be a wise, even profitable choice for any employer.
2 Academos is a Quebec NPO that connects people between the ages of 14 and 30 and prepares them for the realities of the job market. Survey conducted online in French on SurveyMonkey. Respondents who were registered with Academos were invited to complete the survey via email in December 2018. The survey was also promoted on Facebook in January 2019. Note that women are overrepresented in the sample (70.9% of respondents were women and 28.5% were men). For the full survey methodology, please consult: https://academos.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/La-ge%CC%81ne%CC%81ration-Z-du-Que%CC%81bec-et-sa-vision-du-milieu-du-travail.pdf