Employers concerned about worker burnout, retention amid tight job market: survey

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A new survey says Canadian employers are concerned about employee burnout and high turnover amid the ongoing labour shortage.

The survey commissioned by the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) found that more than four in five employers are worried about the competitive labour market, while almost two-thirds are worried about employee productivity.

HOOPP’s vice-president of client services Ivana Zanardo says employers are very worried about employee burnout, as most people have either seen it or experienced it firsthand over the past few years.

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The survey found employers are concerned in particular with employees’ financial stress as interest rates rise and inflation remains persistent.

Amid a competitive labour market, Zanardo says employers are also concerned they will have a harder time than usual replacing employees who decide to leave.

Despite rising interest rates and persistent inflation, the Canadian labour market was still strong in September, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.2 per cent and the economy adding 21,000 jobs.

More than three-quarters of employers said they are concerned about high turnover among their employees. Almost four in five employers said they are worried about the labour shortage, and the same percentage are concerned about employee burnout.

Zanardo says almost one in five employers are introducing or improving retirement benefits this year, which she says may help with employee retention and morale.

Meanwhile, around half of the employers concerned about employee mental health say they are taking action to address it.

Employers feel responsible for providing adequate pension plans, the survey found, but the majority are focusing on short-term solutions like raising pay over improving benefits as a means of attracting and retaining workers.

“Current inflationary pressures are understandably leading many employers and workers to prioritize cash in hand, even as they recognize the short- and long-term value of retirement benefits,” said HOOPP senior vice-president Steven McCormick in a release Thursday.

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