One-half of Canadian employees looking to leave or checked out on the job

Ability to do quality job, reputation of company key to gaining commitment: Mercer
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/20/2011

 Slightly more than one-third (36 per cent) of Canadian workers are seriously considering leaving their organization, up sharply from 26 per cent in 2006. Another 22 per cent are indifferent about leaving but are increasingly dissatisfied with their employers and yield the lowest scores on key measures of engagement, according to Mercer's new What's Working survey.

"This erosion in employee sentiment has business consequences that reach well beyond the direct costs of employee turnover," said Madeline Avedon, a principal at Mercer's human capital business. "Canadian employees, in particular, are more engaged when they can deliver quality service and have a positive view of their company."

Of the top six survey questions that employees most correlate to their engagement, four focus on commitment to quality and future success of the organization, found the survey conducted among nearly 30,000 workers in 17 countries, including more than 2,000 workers in Canada.

"Diminished respect for and lack of confidence in an organization can undermine the innovation and productivity gains businesses rely on from their workforces," she said.

Scores for career development and performance management remain low though employees credit their employers for improvements in these areas, including higher scores in implementing formal feedback programs — 54 per cent said they had a formal performance appraisal or review in the past 12 months compared to 46 per cent in 2006.

And among those who received a performance review in the last year, 62 per cent believe there is opportunity for growth and development with their company, compared to 42 per cent of those who did not receive a performance review, found Mercer.

"A formal feedback program is important but it's the manager's ability to meet the employee's need for feedback, encourage discussion and drive performance, that form the critical links to employee engagement and desired improvements in productivity," said Avedon.

In addition, employees regard base pay as the most important element of the employment deal by a wide margin, with 53 per cent satisfied with their base pay and 58 per cent feeling they are paid fairly given their performance and contributions.

Sixty-six per cent also rate their overall benefits program as good or very good, found Mercer, while 58 per cent said they are satisfied with their health-care benefits.

Percentage who agree

Among those
not seriously
considering
leaving
(42% of all
employees)

Among those
seriously
considering
leaving
(36% of all
employees)

Among
those who
responded
"neither"
(22% of all
employees)

Personally feel treated fairly by organization

79%

61%

55%

Proud to work for organization

82%

59%

53%

Get feeling of personal accomplishment from work

79%

65%

52%

Willing to go beyond job requirements to help organization succeed

75%

69%

53%

Would recommend organization to others as good place to work

83%

59%

49%

Feel strong sense of commitment to organization

76%

55%

36%

See a long-term future at organization

78%

52%

44%

Believe organization is well-managed

66%

52%

28%

Source: Mercer's What's Working survey

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