You’re optimistic about business, but are your workers happy?

You’re optimistic about business, but are your workers happy?

You’re optimistic about business, but are your workers happy? Canadian employers are generally optimistic about their business prospects for 2018, but their hiring and pay decisions may prove demoralizing to their existing staff, according to the eighth annual Hays Canada Salary Guide.

Hays further warned that employers should brace themselves for a staff churn as their intentions overlook the growing discontent of their present teams. In fact, Hays found that 90% of employees would consider leaving their current role for one that met their expectations.

Optimism is high, as 70% of employers believe their growth prospects in 2018 look positive. Even employers hardest hit by the recent oil and gas slump are optimistic about the strengthening economy, and in fact more than a third plan to add permanent headcount next year.

According to the poll, outlook is highest in Quebec where 50% of employers believe it will strengthen in 2018. British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario come next at 46%, 44% and 44%, respectively.

Despite these, Hays said it found that temporary staffing levels were double the rate anticipated this year and that 26% of employers say they plan to boost their reliance on contingent workers again next year.

These numbers, Hays says, suggest poor forecasting and a reluctance to commit to permanent staff.

More than half of respondent-employers said raises for staff will be less than 3%, even when they are aware that other companies pay more.

"The dark days of the downturn are a fading memory for most of Canada's employers, but our research shows they're staring down the barrel of extreme retention challenges," said Rowan O'Grady, President, Hays Canada.

"When the economy and job markets are strong, employee tolerance for not getting what they expect drops considerably. “

According to the poll, employers are not oblivious to their staff’s sentiment. 71% say they know their staff are stressed, 43% say morale is affected and 42% know inefficiencies are on the rise.

“Frankly, employees have already told us they are ready to be lured away. All the warning signs are there and those who refuse to acknowledge this reality are taking their biggest risk in at least five years," said O’Grady.

Nearly a third of employer respondents admitted their company lacks a network of candidates and 40% admit that they have increased salary offers in an effort to secure specific candidates.

"Employers would be wise to think about the message they're sending to staff," added O'Grady.
This is not to say however that employers are trying to meet their staff’s changing needs. More than half of employers are emphasizing the ability to work from home, 29% say more training, and 65% have started to focus on company culture as a competitive differentiator.

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