65% of Canadians are ready to leave their current employer: survey

Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of Canadian employees are prepared to switch employers, an ADP Canada survey of 1,509 Canadians found.

Of those, 66 per cent say more compensation would be a top reason for making a move, and 56 per cent say better work-life balance, less stress or a better commute would be a big motivator.

While 30 per cent of survey respondents say a promotion is a top reason for changing positions, this changes significantly based on the employee’s age and gender. Men (36 per cent) are more likely than women (23 per cent) to jump ship for a better position, as are younger employees.

Thirty-nine per cent of employees aged 18-34 would move for a promotion, as would 32 per cent of employees aged 35-44. The numbers drop sharply when it comes to staff aged 45-54 (21 per cent) and 55-64 (seven per cent).

Read: Employees love their jobs but still plan to leave

“While millennials may have a reputation for job-hopping for better opportunities, employers should note that mid-career workers are almost as likely to jump for the same reason,” Jo Ann Miele, senior director of talent and organizational development at ADP Canada, said in a release.

“Replacing these middle managers is much more difficult and costly than replacing more junior staff. On the other hand, if you’re in recruiting mode, you may find you have an edge if you’re able to offer more senior roles or more interesting opportunities to top candidates.”

The survey also broke the “flight risks” down into three categories. The largest category is uninspired staff (33 per cent), who aren’t particularly loyal to their current employer and may be easily seduced by competitors.

“Consider giving your stars special projects that expose them to new challenges, opportunities and areas within the organization,” Miele said. “Teambuilding or social activities, community giving programs and recognition at key milestones can inject energy and loyalty, and improve performance and retention.”

Read: Companies are unprepared if star employees leave

Another category is casual daters (16 per cent) who keep their LinkedIn profiles updated and browse job boards, but aren’t actively searching for new positions.

“Managers should meet regularly with their staff to understand what’s important to them, and what they expect,” Miele said. “Compensation is a common reason to move on, so employers should consider benchmarking their total compensation – salaries, benefits and other perks to ensure they are competitive.”

Finally, there are the dissed (16 per cent), disengaged staff who are actively applying for new roles. While any organization will have a few employees looking to move on, a significant amount of unhappy staff members is a red flag.

Read: Workers returning to their old employers

“In particular, you will want to watch for high performers who are quietly suffering,” Miele said. “An employee who has checked out rarely checks back in.”

She recommends identifying staff who are looking to leave through regular conversations about their professional goals and peer feedback.

“Regular one-on-ones with high performers can also surface urgent but reversible issues before these people become disengaged,” she said.