September 29, 2015

Canada, Toronto


Inside Employees’ Minds™ study shows 35% of all employees, regardless of satisfaction level, looking to leave


  • Millennials most likely to seek new opportunities
  • ‘New normal’ requires employers to refashion their employee value propositions, rethink workforce strategies

Two fifths of employees who said they are satisfied with their organizations and 51 per cent of those satisfied with their career opportunities are looking to leave, according to Mercer’s latest Inside Employees’ MindsTM research, that surveyed 1,007 people representing a complete cross-section of the Canadian workforce.

The new survey from Mercer also found that 35 per cent of all workers – regardless of job satisfaction level – are seriously considering leaving their organizations. This number jumps to 40 per cent when looking only at workers in the private sector.


“The survey confirms what employers have been seeing first-hand — a workforce in transition and, increasingly, one on the move,” said Graham Dodd, North American Regional Practice Leader, Talent Strategies at Mercer. “The new twist is that the inclination to leave is increasingly detached from employees’ satisfaction with jobs, pay, and even growth opportunities. Employers need to shift their talent strategies to understand the modern terms of engagement from the most productive employees.”


Mercer’s Inside Employees’ Minds Survey results find that those employees who are considering leaving include:


  • 33 per cent of those who rate their benefits packages as very good.
  • 42 per cent of those who strongly agree that they have sufficient opportunity for growth and development in their organization.
  • 41 per cent of those who strongly agree they are paid fairly given their performance and contributions to their organization.

The findings are more pronounced for various demographic groups within the workforce. For example, 67 per cent of senior managers surveyed are seriously considering leaving their current roles, compared to 45 per cent of management-level employees and 30 per cent of non-management workers.


Drivers of the paradox


As the younger generations of workers — X, Y (the Millennials) and the incoming Z — comprise a larger percentage of the overall workforce, their preferences and behaviors are influencing larger trends more strongly than in years past. Examples are Millennials’ well-documented preferences for increased job mobility and accelerated career paths. Mercer’s new survey reflects these trends, noting that 44 per cent of workers age 18–34 are seriously considering leaving their organization, compared to 35 per cent for the overall Canadian workforce, despite the fact that they are generally more positive about many aspects of work.


In addition, while Canadian workers of all ages rank base pay as the most important element of the employment “deal” (out of 13 elements considered), the value they place on other elements of the deal varies by age.


“If employers want to remain competitive in today’s market, they need to create a strategic workforce plan — one that aligns to an evolved value proposition — based on the dynamics of this rapidly changing talent landscape,” said Dodd. “The plan must consider both engaged and disengaged workers, who account for about a fifth of the overall workforce, according to our research. Perhaps more than those who leave, this group has the potential to harm morale and productivity. If your employees stay, you want them engaged and productive.


“The future of successful work relationships between employer and employee will depend on the trifecta of health, wealth and career — and how you make them all portable to reflect the way people want to work today and what they are looking for in the employment relationship,” he added.


For a more detailed look at the survey findings, download the survey report at www.mercer.ca/inside-employees-minds.


Notes for Editors – Survey methodology
The Inside Employees’ Minds™ Survey was an online survey of 1,007 Canadian workers, 18+ years old, never retired, working full time or part time at for-profit and public sector organizations. The survey was conducted from February 13, 2015 through February 26, 2015. It was weighted to targets for age, gender, province, and language using statistics from the Canadian Census (2011) and the Canadian Department of Labour (2014). Stratified random sample emphasized employees of larger companies, weighted back to universe proportions to preserve projectability. Results reported here are for organizations with 200 or more employees.


About Mercer
Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset — their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in over 140 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 57,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $13 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a leader in management consulting. For more information, visit www.mercer.ca. Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerCanada.