The most stressed workers in Canada revealed

Survey findings present an opportunity for employers, says Morneau Shepell

The most stressed workers in Canada revealed

There’s a proposed correlation between workplace stress and employee retention, according to a report by Morneau Shepell.

The firm found that organizational stress is the highest source of stress for Canadian employees and is presenting strong correlations to employee retention.

According to the sturdy, 40% of managers and 34% of employees suffered extreme stress over the past six months, mostly due to workload, hours, co-workers and responsibilities.

Both groups said workplace stress was greater than their personal stress.

Across the country, employees in Ontario (41%), Manitoba and Saskatchewan (38%) and Alberta (36%) were the most likely to report high levels of stress, when compared to individuals in Atlantic Canada (31%), Quebec (29%) and British Columbia and the Territories (29%).

“Productivity and stress often have a tenuous relationship, yet many organizations are still having difficulty managing engagement and productivity due to mental health concerns,” said Paula Allen, vice president, research and analytic solutions, Morneau Shepell.

23% of managers and 24% of employees admitted to using vacation days or sick days to deal with stress in the past two years.

“This is particularly alarming as increasing workplace stress is contributing to heightened risk of employee retention in addition to the absence and disability risks we are aware of,” said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer, Morneau Shepell.

High performers were also found to be most at risk.

The survey was conducted among 1,510 people managers and employees between August 28 and September 7, 2017.

Last year, we spoke to Liptrap, who highlighted the importance of ridding workplaces of the taboo of surrounding mental health.

“It’s essential that organizations do all they can to remove the stigma,” he told us. “I always use the example that if someone walks into an office with a broken leg, we all know what to do, what to say and how to act. But when someone walks into a room who has a mental health issue – many of us panic and leave them alone, which is not necessarily the right response.”


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