One Fifth of Canadian Employees Eyeing Job Exits, Links Found to Poor Mental Health Score

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A recently conducted study reveals an alarming statistic that over a fifth of Canadian employees are considering departing from their current jobs. This fact is drawn from the July Mental Health Index report graced by Telus Health, earlier known as LifeWorks, which establishes that twenty-one percent of Canadians harbor thoughts of resigning from their present roles.

In an interesting correlation, the study finds that those contemplating job exits hold a mental health score of 56.3, thirteen points below that of colleagues who are staying put in their current positions, and nine points beneath the national mean score of 65.2.

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There is a glimmer of hope amidst these daunting numbers, as the report identifies an upward shift in workers’ mental health by more than half a point, recorded in July, following a stagnant period of three months.

Digging deeper, the survey throws light on the mental health disparities among various demographics within the workforce. Specifically, the younger Canadian workforce, aged below 40, is found to be 60 percent more likely to consider resigning compared to those aged 50 and above. Further, this younger demographic is also twice as prone to job changes as their older colleagues, within the span of the preceding year.

Leading the list of reasons compelling employees to contemplate a career transition was the quest for enhanced career possibilities, voiced by 20 percent participants. Just trailing behind, was the call for improved benefits, and the contemplation of retirement, as expressed by 12 percent and 11 percent respondents respectively. Alongside, there were 11 percent driven by an unspecified desire or need for change, while avoiding a distasteful current job had motivated 10 percent to think of a switch.

Feeling undervalued at work resonated with 9 percent, with 7 percent citing other reasons. Additionally, the trigger for a job change for 6 percent was escalated mental stress or strain they encountered at their present workspace.

The survey brings to light the variances in average mental health scores depending on the reasons employees offer for contemplating a job change. The lowest score of 43.7 comes from those citing health concerns, whereas those considering retirement have the highest average score at 73.3.

For managers, a disturbing 35 percent have grappled with increased turnover in the past year. The consequences reflect in their reduced average mental health score of 61.7, demonstrating a drop of nearly 10 points compared to managers who haven’t witnessed increased turnover.

Taking a regional perspective for July 2023, Newfoundland, Labrador, Saskatchewan, the Maritimes, and British Columbia have displayed downward mental health trends compared to June 2023. However, other provinces have yielded improved mental health scores, with Alberta registering the largest improvement, up nearly two points from the prior month.

In contrast, a striking decline of 4.3 points thrust Newfoundland and Labrador to the last position with the lowest mental health score of 62.2 for July 2023.

The study rests on data gathered through an online survey of 3,000 Canadians, either currently employed or having seen employment in the past six months. They were chosen to typify the age, gender, industry, and geographic distribution of the Canadian populace.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.