Canada’s workers are more engaged than many of their global counterparts – and the reasons why might surprise you.
AON’s just-released 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report puts Canada in top-ranked countries for worker engagement, with a score of 70 percent in 2016 – up one point from a year earlier – across a range of workplace drivers, from management to work-life balance.
Over the same period, the US’ engagement fell back one point to 64 percent – part of a worldwide slip from 2015’s peak, thanks largely to “anxiety” about the impact of populist politics in the US, UK and Europe, AON said.
But while US President Donald Trump’s policies on trade and immigration may have left his country’s workers concerned, the stability of Canada’s politics after the 2015 election – and the worker-friendly policies that followed – have comforted employees here.
“There was greater certainty of where this country was going, from a political standpoint, as a basis for organizations to make decisions around managing their business,” AON talent, rewards and performance consulting partner Todd Mathers says.
But politics doesn’t get all the credit: Mathers says Canadian companies’ efforts to enhance their workplace’s leadership and culture are also paying off.
“We know that many organizations in Canada have put a great deal of investment around leader effectiveness ... and so over the past several years, this is where we’ve seen a lot of improvement in employee engagement survey results, in the effectiveness of the manager, in the effectiveness of the programs the manager influences – things like recognition, performance management, how people view their careers and so forth.
“It’s in some of these areas where we see some of the larger differences in perceptions between Canada and the US.”
Out of 15 drivers, Canadian employees rated diversity and inclusion highest (84 percent - a one percent drop from a year earlier), followed by employer reputation (80 percent), work fulfilment (78 percent), collaboration (73 percent).
They also rated work-life balance and manager effectiveness highly (both 72 percent), as well as senior leadership (70 percent).
Rewards and recognition was the lowest-scoring driver with 59 percent, though that was a “whopping” six percentage point increase from a year earlier, while employee value proposition (68 percent), enabling infrastructure – which includes processes, tools and technology (64 percent) and career opportunities (62 percent) all rose four points.
By way of comparison, all of the US’ 15 drivers slipped, which “could be an early indication that engagement may recede further in the near future”, AON said.
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