Whether you’re heading to the rink for the first hockey game of the season, or grabbing an ice-cold Coca-Cola on the local patio with friends, the moments that make Canadians happy vary from coast to coast. Coca-Cola, one of the original purveyors of happiness, is celebrating its 125th anniversary by finding out what makes Canadians smile.
To mark the occasion, Coca-Cola Canada is sponsoring a comprehensive study that will examine the idea of happiness across the country. The study will explore what generates the feeling and where best to find it, whether it’s spending time with family, working out, volunteering or enjoying a moment of peace and quiet.
“We have been bringing people together and sharing happiness for 125 years,” said Bobby Brittain, Vice President, Marketing with Coca-Cola Canada. “As we look forward we want to capture through this research those hopeful and optimistic moments, be they random or planned, and share them with Canadians.”
In addition to the study, Coca-Cola Canada is expanding the dialogue on happiness by encouraging Canadians to visit iCoke.ca to voice their support for a Gross National Happiness (GNH) indicator. GNH, the concept of monitoring social well-being and happiness as a supplement to pure economic indicators, has been gaining ground in countries like the United Kingdom and France.
The premise behind GNH suggests that leading a happy life has a direct impact on all kinds of critically important individual and collective standard of living issues — from health and wellness to productivity. GNH has become a frequent topic in the Canadian media following the release of Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey, which gathers data on social trends related to the living conditions and well-being of Canadians.
“We are inviting Canadians to share their opinion on happiness and whether as a country we should monitor just how happy we are,” said Brittain. “In the year ahead and beyond, we are committed to shaping a better future for the customers and communities we serve and the consumers we refresh.”
Later this year, Coca-Cola Canada will release the results of its national study on happiness. The report will delve into specifics about what makes Canadians happy; where and when they are the happiest; the role of demographics, lifestyle and geography on happiness; and, the simple day-to-day things that put smiles on their faces — everything from sports and popular culture to family milestones to food and beverages. The main purpose of the study, which will be released in phases over the course of 2011, is to help Canadians individually and collectively celebrate and share the things that make us happy and positive – ultimately helping to advance Canada’s social and economic well-being.
It seems Coke won’t have too much of a task ahead of it, because in spite of having just come through a tough economic year, the majority of Canadians are generally happy with their jobs and like the people they work with. Despite job satisfaction, nearly half of Canadians doubt they are being sufficiently rewarded for their work efforts according to a new survey released today by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC). The on-line survey of just over 1200 Canadians, recently conducted by Environics Research, provides insight into Canadians’ perceptions of their workplaces and approaches to their career development.
“As Canadians, we value our connection to our work and to each other. The majority of working Canadians is satisfied with their jobs, like their colleagues and believe their workplace is inclusive. Our findings suggest that, while important, money isn’t always the determining factor in job satisfaction,” said Nancy Schaefer, CERIC Board President and President of Youth Employment Services (YES), a centre of excellence for youth employment and empowerment.
CERIC’s Key Survey Findings
* In spite of having just come through a tough economic year, the majority of Canadians are generally happy and satisfied with their jobs (81%) and like the people they work with (88%).
* Satisfied workplaces are inclusive workplaces. Overall, the Canadian workplace is seen as inclusive and free from discrimination, although visible minority Canadians are less convinced than their non-visible minority colleagues –only 28% describe their workplace as very inclusive compared to 41% of non-visible minority workers.
* Despite high job satisfaction numbers, nearly half of Canadians doubt they are being sufficiently rewarded for a job well done.
* In today’s active “hidden” or unadvertised job market, Canadians are most likely to turn to their colleagues and co-workers (68%) as well as friends and neighbours (65%) for career advice. When looking for a job, Canadians are most likely to turn to on-line services and company websites for job opportunities (48%), though few use social media or social networking sites to advance their career goals (12% use social networking sites like Facebook; 9% use professional networking sites such as LinkedIn). In general, regardless of the tools chosen to look for a new job, Canadians are fairly optimistic about their ability to meet their future career goals.
* On the career front, younger Canadians appreciate the help and support of their boomer parents. Canadians with and without children agree that parents can help their children’s career development most by encouraging experiences where kids succeed and fail.
What Canadians Said:
In spite of having just come through a tough economic year, Canadians overall are generally happy with their jobs and like the people they work with. From executives to front-line service workers, and across occupations;
* 86% like the work they do
* 88% like the people they work with
* 62% are generally content with their job, with no plans to move on.
* For the 33% who hope to land a new position, it is for one of two reasons—either they are not happy with their compensation or are under 30 and looking for a new job with more responsibility or closer to their field of interest
Even with high job satisfaction numbers, nearly half of Canadians doubt they are being sufficiently rewarded for their work efforts.
* Four in ten (39%) do not feel they are paid a fair amount for the work they do, and
* Visible minority workers are not convinced about the financial recognition they receive when they do a good job — 47% agree they receive the recognition they should vs. 59% of non-visible minority Canadians.
Overall, the Canadian work place is seen as inclusive and free from discrimination. And if a workplace is viewed as inclusive, workers tend to be more satisfied with their jobs overall.
* A majority of Canadians (82%) describe their workplace as either very (39%) or somewhat (43%) inclusive.
* But, visible minority workers are less convinced. Only 28% of visible minority Canadians describe their workplace as very inclusive compared to 41% of non-visible minority Canadians.
The unadvertised or hidden job market is very active. Canadians turn first to their co-workers and friends. Newer internet tools are surprisingly lower on the list of how we find new opportunities.
We first turn to colleagues (68%), friends and neighbours (65%) for guidance and information, followed by:
* Newspapers 62%
* Parents 61%
* Internet 58%
* Mentors 58%
* Government and community employment centres 53%
* Community-based employment agencies 43%
* Teachers or professors 40%
* Career specialists or counsellors 37%
Regardless of the tools chosen to look for a new job, three-quarters of Canadians are optimistic about their career goals in spite of recent tough economic times.
On the career front, younger Canadians appreciate the help and support of their boomer parents. Canadians with and without children agree that parents can help their children’s career development by offering a wide range of opportunities and experience.
* More than half of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24 typically characterized their boomer parents as wonderfully supportive (54%); relatively few (5%) characterize their parents as overbearing.
Many Canadians say parents can help their children’s career development by providing them with a range of opportunities and experiences including
* Encouraging them to learn from their experiences (by succeeding or failing) 56%
* Exposure to a range of character-building experiences such as sports and hobbies 51%
* Helping them develop career-related skills 39%
* Encouraging children to volunteer in a variety of places 32%
* Talking to children about career choices 31%
* Exposing them to a wide variety of careers 28%
The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) is a charitable organization dedicated to promoting career counselling related research and professional development opportunities across Canada.