2023-2024 Inside Employees’ Minds™ study
Guide to Canadian employees’ pressing needs and how to meet them.
Navigating the new world at work
2023 brought a mixed sense of optimism to Canadian employees. Employees are feeling more positive overall than last year.
Engagement is up across the board, and so is satisfaction. Since last year, employees have at least a 2% greater sense of balance, adequate compensation, benefits, and career opportunities — and they are less likely to consider leaving their employers.
Employers have also made significant investments in their workforce, leading to happier employees. They delivered the largest pay increases since before the 2008 financial crisis, while also making significant investments in Total Rewards — all of which increased employee engagement, commitment, and feelings of being compensated fairly. This is evidenced by the end of the ‘Great Resignation’ and quit rates settling back to pre-pandemic levels.
Considering how important pay is for both attraction and retention, pay transparency is unsurprisingly a hot theme for Canadian employees this year. New pay transparency legislation is already in effect in British Columbia and legislation is pending in Ontario. And employees are already talking about pay whether companies share it or not.
The top five worries keeping Canadians up at night were mostly consistent from 2022 — covering monthly expenses, workload and life balance, the ability to retire, physical health and fitness, and mental and emotional health — but there were changes further down the list. Canadians felt more concerned about ability to retire and career advancement this year, while they worried less about personal relationships.
The five key findings from this year’s Inside Employees’ Minds© study reveal where employers should focus to adapt to changing employee expectations:
Focus on financial security.Concerns over financial security continue to reign supreme, as employees struggle to recover from inflation stressors. Lower income employees continue to struggle to make ends meet.
Re-engineer work for wellness.Mental health concerns persist despite significant employer investments. The employee experience is still overwhelming and exhausting for many — and employees say that rethinking work is the key to improving their well-being.
Build trust through transparency.Pay transparency is the new reality in Canada. And employees are researching and discovering information about pay ranges and career opportunities regardless of whether their employers share that information. But when employers do share, employees are more engaged and committed.
Unlock potential through AI.Concerns over job security have increased, both in response to declining economic confidence and technological advances. But employees overall are optimistic about the ways technology could improve their experience of work, helping them be more efficient and effective.
Embrace values for impact.Employees increasingly say that ESG issues are important to them — and that they want employer support, not just through statements but actions. These shifting expectations are being shaped heavily by younger generations in the workforce.