While overall engagement in Canada remains above the global average, workplace disruption – driven by new technologies and new ways of doing business – is a driver of uncertainty and stress for Canadian employees, adversely impacting engagement, according to a survey by professional services firm Aon.
“The good news is that overall engagement in Canada is still high relative to the rest of the world, but these findings are a wake-up call for Canadian employers,” said Todd Mathers, partner in talent, rewards and performance at Aon Canada.
“Organizations are investing in new technologies and processes to drive the efficiencies they need to remain competitive, and that is changing the nature of work for many employees,” he said.
“Employees are struggling to understand and make the changes needed to work effectively in an evolving environment. The uncertainty is contributing to job stress, longer hours, and a corresponding drag on employee perceptions of work-life balance.”
The message is clear, said Mathers.
“As employers invest in IT and operations, they can only realize full value from those changes if they ensure that employees are effectively trained and supported through the transition, and that employees understand what they need to do differently to be effective and why.”
Highlights from the survey:
• While engagement improved globally, to 65 per cent from 63 per cent in 2016, Canada saw a marginal decrease, to 69 per cent from 70 per cent. Despite the decline, Canadian engagement remains four percentage points higher than the global average, and five percentage points higher than the U.S. average.
• Of the study’s 16 engagement dimensions (drivers), 11 declined for Canadian organizations, led by “enabling infrastructure” – a measure of how well practices, processes and resources help employees get work done. Perception scores among Canadian employees on enabling infrastructure fell by six per cent, a reversal of last year’s gain of four per cent and a countertrend to the global score, which improved by two per cent.
• Other notable declines in employee perceptions occurred in the areas of work-life balance (down five per cent), performance management, collaboration, and diversity and inclusion (all down four per cent).
• Perceptions among Canadian employees improved in just three engagement dimensions: mission/values, autonomy/empowerment, and customer focus.
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