Workplaces can no longer afford to ignore employee well-being

posted on September 3, 2021

By Jennifer Moss | CBC News | July 20, 2021

The early days of the pandemic caused a major disruption in how we work and those ripple effects are still being felt today.

Multiple surveys continue to warn of a mass departure across the Canadian workforce. According to one survey by the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation, 42 per cent of Canadian employees say they’re considering changing their job or entire career in the next year.

Recruiting firm Hays, in their annual salary guide found that half of Canadian employees are “seriously considering leaving” their jobs.

Health care has been particularly threatened with massive attrition. In an issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), job vacancies in Canada’s health-care sector were up more than 56 per cent from the previous year, while vacancies in the nursing sector increased by 40 per cent to a shortage of 98,700 nurses.

These national polls mirror global data. A Microsoft survey of 30,000 global employees found that 41 per cent are planning to quit or change jobs in the next six months.

In an already competitive market for talent and a skills shortage, this could have a huge effect on the economy. Plus, when it comes to the shortages in healthcare, the community impacts would be catastrophic.

But data shows that more pay isn’t the answer; only four per cent said that compensation was the reason they were planning to quit.

Workforce has burned out

After 18 exhausting months of working under extreme stress, the workforce has burned out.

As employers ask people to keep up the pace, plus return to the office in part or full-time, employees are pushing back. With nearly half of the Canadian workforce planning to quit or change their jobs in the next six months, it appears they’re choosing well-being over work.

The themes coming from all of these surveys continue to point to a mishandling of employee well-being during the pandemic

The Hays survey showed that 43 per cent of the respondents believe their companies have failed to provide measures that support their well-being throughout the pandemic, even as they faced challenges like:

  1. The lack of social interaction (45 per cent).
  2. Isolation/loneliness (27 per cent).
  3. Increase in workload (25 per cent).

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