Canadian Manufacturing

Nearly half of Canadians considering leaving their current job

Annual Hays Salary Guide shows employer optimism countered by employee isolation, loneliness and decline in well-being

October 27, 2020  by Hays Canada

Canadian employers are confident about the economy. Photo: Thinkstock

TORONTO — Most Canadian employers are confident about the economy and have a positive employment outlook despite the global pandemic, but that perspective is not necessarily shared by employees, according to the 11th annual Hays Salary Guide.

Hays Canada, an HR specialist based in Toronto, said its report shows reduced social interaction, increased workloads and a lack of well-being and mental health support are among concerns cited by  employees.

The 2021 report, completed in August during the COVID-19 pandemic, also found almost half (49%) of employees are “seriously considering” leaving their current role, which represents a nine-point increase over last year.

Heading into the final quarter of 2020, 55% of companies said they were back to business as usual or in growth mode (19%) after several months of coronavirus slowdown. Early in the year, 81% of employees rated their well-being as “positive” but dropped almost 20 points to 64% as the lockdown unfolded, while  54% of employers who admit to providing no employee wellness or mental health assistance.

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“Canadian employers are navigating difficult headwinds but the growing number of employees who want to leave their role, even in the face of a tentative job market, is a big problem,” said Travis O’Rourke, president of Hays Canada, in a prepared statement. “Employees expect a company to have their best interests at heart and we’re now seeing evidence that unsupported teams look for better opportunities.”

One-third of respondents said they cut staff and 71% froze salaries in response to the pandemic. They expect to recoup headcount lost over the past six months but only 19% plan to boost pay greater than an annual cost-of-living adjustment. A further 29% confirmed no salary increases are planned for the next year.

“Employers have been battling through the greatest global downturn since the Great Depression and as we’ve seen from the country’s jobs numbers, they’re primarily focused on rehiring and regaining lost ground,” added O’Rourke. “It’s good to see that we’re on the right path but it’s clear that things like raises, employee training and wellness spending could be on the back burner for some time.”

The Hays report shows employees adjusted to working from home and one-third believe their productivity increased as a result as employers’ trust in remote workers has shot up nearly 20% in recent months, but they’re not seeing the productivity gains noted by staff. Hays believe this is the result of staff wanting to be as productive as possible; however, working conditions have actually slowed the process.

Here are some highlights:

  • Employment optimism is highest in Ontario and Quebec (77%) and BC (74%)
  • 46% of Alberta employers plan no salary increases, followed by Quebec (33%), Ontario and BC (23%)
  • Employees in Quebec (54%), Ontario (52%) and Alberta (48%) are most ready to leave. They seek benefits (53%), career development (44%), work-life balance (40%)
  • Well-being is affected by a lack of social interaction (45%), isolation (27%), increased workload (25%)
  • Over the past 12 months 35% of employers cut permanent staff; 36% plan to add headcount.RELAT

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Click here for the 2020 EMC-PLANT Manufacturing Salary Survey report, and here for the Salary Calculator.