Canada is bucking the global trend towards higher employee engagement.

While employee engagement in Canada is still above the global average, it saw a slight decline to 69 per cent of employees in 2017 from 70 per cent the year before, according to a report from Aon Hewitt. Worldwide, engagement returned to an all-time high of 65 per cent of employees in 2017, up from 63 per cent the year before.

“The good news is that overall engagement in Canada is still high relative to the rest of the world, but these findings are a wake-up call for Canadian employers,” said Todd Mathers, a partner in talent, rewards and performance at Aon Canada, in a press release.

Read: Using benefits design to drive employee engagement

Of the study’s 16 engagement drivers, 11 declined for Canadian organizations. Enabling infrastructure, a measure of how well workplace practices and resources help employees accomplish work, performed particularly poorly with a decline of six percentage points. Work-life balance declined by five percentage points, while performance management, collaboration and diversity and inclusion were all down by four percentage points.

“Organizations are investing in new technologies and processes to drive the efficiencies they need to remain competitive, and that is changing the nature of work for many employees,” said Mathers, noting that the fall in some engagement drivers indicates employees are struggling to adapt quickly enough to work well in an evolving environment.

“The uncertainty is contributing to job stress, longer hours and a corresponding drag on employee perceptions of work-life balance,” he added.

Read: Fostering workplace friendships key to engagement at B.C. company

“The message is clear: as employers invest in IT and operations, they can only realize full value from those changes if they ensure that employees are effectively trained and supported through the transition and that employees understand what they need to do differently to be effective and why.”

Aon’s annual report measures employee engagement for more than 1,000 companies around the world. It included more than 8 million employee responses in 2017.

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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