LHH Study Reveals State of Great Resignation and Warning Signs for Canadian Leaders

(Oct. 4, 2021) As companies struggle to map the future of Canadian workplaces, findings from a new LHH (formerly LHH Knightsbridge) and The Adecco Group study reveal global workers’ attitudes about remote versus in-person work, their companies’ pandemic recovery plans and their career plans moving forward, the state of mental health in the workplace and the truth about the Great Resignation.

Findings from the Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work study show that a large number of workers globally (53 per cent) want a hybrid working model where more than half of their work time is remote. Productivity has not suffered with remote work, with 82 per cent saying they feel as productive or more productive than before. Wellbeing has taken a hit, however, with more than half of young leaders (54 per cent) reporting they have suffered burnout and three in 10 stating their mental and physical health has declined in the last 12 months.

Workers want to reduce their hours and be measured based on results. In Canada, over three quarters of respondents (86 per cent) reported logging more than 40 hours a week over the past year. Additionally, while working during the pandemic, Canadian employees received the worst score of all individual countries surveyed, with only 33 per cent respondents reporting improvements in productivity, and 23 per cent said productivity got worse. Meanwhile, 73 per cent of workers globally are calling to be measured by outcomes rather than hours.

“The pandemic has highlighted the crucial need for employee wellbeing, as productivity and satisfaction took on new meaning for organizations and employees over the past year,” said Jim Mitchell, President of LHH Canada. “While planning their return-to-work or hybrid strategies, organizations must prioritize overall employee wellbeing, build a supportive culture and recognize employee accomplishments.”

Two themes emerged from the study:

  • The Great Resignation is currently a Great Re-Evaluation for salaried employees
  • There’s a growing disconnect between leadership and their employees

The Great Resignation

The study found that nearly two in five employees are already changing or considering new careers and 41 per cent are considering moving to jobs with more flexible working options. A quarter of the workforce is considering moving to another country or region.

The market is ripe: two-thirds of workers are confident that companies will start significant hiring again and less than half are satisfied with career prospects at their current company.

“As the lines between professional and personal space blur, Canadian employers need to recognize that employees will choose more flexible options if their demands for work-life balance and career advancement are not addressed,” said Jim Mitchell.

The Leadership Disconnect

Global study findings point to a large disconnect between employees and their managers and senior leadership. While 80 per cent of leaders say they are satisfied with senior leadership, only 43 per cent of non-managers are satisfied. Satisfaction with leadership is particularly low in the areas of company culture and career advancement opportunities. Among the findings:

  • Less than half are satisfied with career prospects at their company and only 37 per cent of non-managers say their company is effectively investing in developing their skills
  • Only 48 per cent of workers say their managers meet or exceed expectations for encouraging a good working culture
  • Just 50 per cent of workers say their managers meet or exceed expectations for helping support their work-life balance
  • 67 per cent of non-managers say leaders don’t meet their expectations for checking on their mental wellbeing

From the Canadian respondents only 56 per cent reported being satisfied at work, with only 48 per cent employees reporting to be satisfied with the performance of senior leadership and 56 per cent reporting a strong relationship with their managers. Additionally, only 56 per cent Canadian employees reported that they have a strong relationship with their manager.

“Relationships between employees and leaders have dramatically declined over the past year, with many claiming dissatisfactions from senior leaders,” said Mitchell. “Employers, especially leaders, have an important responsibility to reconnect with their workforce and ensure that culture, wellbeing and employee support are the core of their talent strategies. Most importantly, they need to plan on how they can nurture trust, flexibility, morale, and emotional intelligence.”

For more information, download the Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work whitepaper here.

About the research

The Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work study was conducted among 14,800 workers in 25 countries. The study explored how attitudes have changed and the implications for companies to successfully adapt in this period of transition following the pandemic. Results are designed to uncover new perspectives and insight on what the future world of work can and should look like.

About LHH     
In today’s marketplace, organizations are discovering the need to turn their attention inward to find their future talent. At LHH, we help companies see the possibilities in their people. Through recruitment, assessments, coaching, upskilling, and transitioning, companies can realize the untapped potential within their own workforce, resulting in increased productivity, morale, and brand affinity.A division of The Adecco Group—the world’s leading HR solutions partner—LHH’s 4,000 coaches and colleagues work with more than 12,000 organizations in over 60 countries around the world. We make a difference to everyone we work with, and we do it on a global scale. We have the local expertise, global infrastructure, and industry-leading technology to manage the complexity of critical workforce initiatives and the challenges of transformation. It’s why 60 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies choose to work with us.

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