It’s no secret that employees have more choice than ever – and so it’s more essential than ever to understand what they want, so you can deliver. We surveyed 1,000 Canadian workers to understand what keeps them up at night. Here’s what employers need to know to navigate workforce changes in 2022, from the great reckoning to the great reboot and great retirement.

What’s top of mind for employees?


Employers can better understand their workforce by knowing workers’ top concerns – both inside and outside of work. Personal concerns – like physical health and work-life balance – now trump the professional.


Unmet needs analysis


Unmet needs analysis

The great reckoning


Many workers are simply asking themselves, “is this job worth it?” Most Canadians are not seriously considering leaving their current companies – But the percentage who are, has increased compared to pre-pandemic, which indicates more workers are on the hunt for new positions.


At the present time, I am not seriously considering leaving my company

63% agree
19% Neutral
18% disagree

What’s driving employees to potentially leave their current workplaces?

Finances are top-of-mind, followed by burn out.

Factors for considering leaving


Of the factors listed below, please choose up to 3 that would most cause you to consider leaving your current employer:

63% agree

The employment deal has also changed. Flexibility and support for wellness are no longer considered perks – they’re non-negotiable for many workers. For employers, that means the deal they have with their employees needs to evolve to more of a “lifestyle contract” that fosters their personal well-being.

Loyalty contract (20th century)
Engagement contract (pre-pandemic)
Lifestyle contract (The new chapter)

The great retirement


The ability to retire is a concern for Canadians, especially lower-wage earners.


Along with those employees who are rightfully concerned, new talent and generations just entering the workforce may also see retirement as an unattainable goal. This reinforces need to provide financial wellness and flexible planning options to the workforce.

Being able to retire is a concern

63% agree

The great reboot


As seen above, employees are prioritizing wellness more, and expect their employers to do the same. It’s not a surprise, given employees are grappling with ongoing physical and mental health issues that stemmed from the pandemic.

63% agree

1 in 2
of the Canadians surveyed said they tend to eat more when they feel worried about the pandemic.1

63% agree

1 in 5
Canadian workers reported experiencing depression, anxiety, or another mental health issue.2

63% agree

1 in 4
Canadian women report experiencing a mental health issue.2

1. Dalhouise University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab, April 2021
2. Mercer Canada Health on Demand, 2021

Remember that your workforce is diverse. What they want will differ and evolve. So, keep listening and keep learning – because your employees are counting on it.

*The survey was conducted via conjoint analysis, meaning that employees had to make trade-offs between their top concerns and least concerns.

Speak to a Mercer consultant


*Required Fields
63% agree