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Nearly three-quarters (70 per cent) of global employees say they feel increasingly stressed as their employer has set more aggressive performance goals, with the percentage rising among Canadians (75 per cent), according to a new survey by Dayforce Inc.

The survey, which polled more than 8,000 workers across Australia, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S., found more than two-fifths of Canadian and global respondents (43 per cent each) said they experienced decreased motivation when they didn’t reach these new goals set by their employer.

The vast majority (91 per cent) of all respondents said employers can take actions to help increase employee productivity, including creating better work-life balance (37 per cent), hiring more people on their team (32 per cent), skills development (29 per cent) and more flexible work schedules (29 per cent).

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Eight in 10 Canadian (82 per cent) and global (81 per cent) employees said they’ve experienced burnout in the previous 12 months. More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of all respondents indicated they may seek a new role due to burnout at their current job, a percentage that decreased slightly among Canadian workers (64 per cent). Just one in 10 Canadian (11 per cent) and global (10 per cent) employees said their work schedule fits ‘extremely well’ into their life.

As well, roughly half (48 per cent) of all respondents agreed their organization empathizes with employees. Among those who disagreed, nearly all (90 per cent) said having leaders show more empathy would improve several aspects of their work life, including job satisfaction (52 per cent), mental health (48 per cent), loyalty (41 per cent), performance (39 per cent) and productivity (37 per cent).

“Our research shows employers are caught in a balancing act between a need for increased efficiencies to stay competitive in the market while safeguarding employee well-being and trust, which has been in flux since the [coronavirus] pandemic,” said Katie Meyers, vice-president of global talent management and development at Dayforce, in a press release.

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