Workplace stress affects employee retention: Survey

Female employees more likely to report stress

Workplace stress affects employee retention: Survey
Workload, long hours, co-workers and job responsibilities each contribute to workplace stress, according to research by Morneau Shepell. Shutterstock


Organizational stress is the highest source of stress for Canadian employees and is presenting strong correlations to employee retention, according to new research released by Morneau Shepell.

Managers (40 per cent) and employees (34 per cent) reported suffering from extreme levels of stress over the last six months, with both groups ranking workplace stress higher than personal stress, according to a survey of 1,510 Canadian workers. 

A number of factors are contributing to this growing trend in workplace stress, including workload and long hours, co-workers and job responsibilities, according to the research.

When broken down by demographic, female employees are more likely to report being under higher levels of workplace stress than their male counterparts.

On a personal level, both employees and managers cited financial issues, aging parents and feelings of isolation as the main sources of stress.

"More employees and managers are experiencing extreme levels of stress than ever before," said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer of Morneau Shepell.

"In the last two years, both personal and workplace stress have increased by three per cent. This is particularly alarming as increasing workplace stress is contributing to heightened risk of employee retention in addition to the absence and disability risks we are aware of."

Managers (20 per cent) and employees (18 per cent) with high workplace stress would be likely to leave their organization due to the situation, according to the research.

Across the country, employees in Ontario (41 per cent), Manitoba and Saskatchewan (38 per cent) and Alberta (36 per cent) were the most likely to report high levels of stress, when compared to individuals in Atlantic Canada (31 per cent), Quebec (29 per cent) and British Columbia and the territories (29 per cent). 

"It is clear that the traditional workplace is changing and Canadian organizations need to begin prioritizing the mental well-being and engagement of employees," said Liptrap. 

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