Survey aims to tell ‘story’ on local job satisfaction
Stats Can phone survey being conducted Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 will dig deeper into employment
Number crunchers at the local workforce development corporation are amped up about a new Statistics Canada survey probing what local workers think about their employment.
“We’re data geeks, so this is really exciting for us,” said Shauna Carr, executive director of the not-for-profit Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board.
“This is the story, and we always want to tell the story.”
At the behest of the board, which identifies itself as a “neutral broker of research” and functions to understand and improve the local employment picture, Statistics Canada is telephoning 2,000 randomly selected households in Sarnia-Lambton between Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.
The idea is to get data about how satisfied people are with their employment situation, Carr said, noting it’s information that’s not otherwise available right now.
“It’s more the story as opposed to the hard numbers,” she said.
The information sought includes whether people are happy with their jobs, with provisions from employers, and if they’re not, why.
“When we’re looking at separations from work, what are those from? Are those because people are unhappy with their job? Is it simply because their schedules just aren’t working for them?”
Some trying to crack into the workforce — in fields such as nursing, for instance, Carr said — don’t realize not everything is “9 to 5.”
“That’s just not the reality of work in Ontario,” she said.
Hopes are publishing the survey results — aggregate, not specific peoples’ information, she said — will let people have a better idea of what’s available, and make more informed decisions.
Another question, she said – how does shift work impact people locally?
“Honestly, I have no idea,” she said, adding shift work “is huge here.”
Plans are to include the data in the board’s annual Local Labour Market Plan, a three-year look at job seekers, employment trends and other data, Carr said. That’s expected in February.
If not there, it will be published on its own, she said.
If the data shows employees are happy with their work, it’s a feather in the cap for the area in terms of attracting prospective employers, she said.
“If they’re unhappy, then we need to be looking seriously at what we’re doing and modifying our behaviour.”
Many local employers are good at offering flexibility and benefits, said, but that information is from the employers.
“I want to hear it from the employees’ side.”
No individual responses or identifying information will be shared with the board, and participation is voluntary, she said, noting interviewers will identify themselves as being employees of Statistics Canada.
“Please answer it if you have the time to do it,” she said. “It is legitimate and we are very excited to gain this information from our community.”
I want to hear it from the employees’ side.”