Retaining Your Workforce in a Slow Recovery

More Than a Quarter of Working Canadians (27%) Say They're Likely to Seek a New Position in the Next Six Months
Managers, Sales People and IT Professionals are the Most Likely to Go Looking

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Toronto, ON - According to the most recent Ipsos Reid Build A Better Workplace poll conducted in September of 2010, more than a quarter of employees (27%) stated they were likely to seek a new position during the next six months. Among employees who work for organizations where there has been a wage freeze, this figure jumped to 34%.

Managers were even more likely than rank-and-file employees to indicate they plan to be out there looking (31%). Sales people and IT professionals also registered levels of discontent higher than the average.

“Organizations caught in a tight race for survival can ill-afford wide-spread desertions, especially if the people who are lured away are their best performers,” notes Greg Leach, Senior Vice President and study author. “While the sudden departure of any single group would derail any organization, it appears that the greatest threat may be the potential loss of managerial talent. This could lead to a domino effect that could bring the organization to its knees”.

How demoralized are staff? Asked about their main job-related concerns, the largest proportion of employees (29%) cited compensation, followed by work / life balance (26%). Managers were even more likely to cite work / life balance (31%). Amid cutbacks, layoffs and the search for greater efficiencies, employees are feeling that they are being asked to work far too hard for the compensation they are getting.

“Many organizations were quick to recognize that emergency measures were needed immediately if they were to survive the crisis,” continues Leach. “In many cases, this involved drastic cut-backs in staff, and wage freezes. Managers, who had painstakingly put together and nurtured effective teams were faced with having to be the ones to wield the axe.”

The data from the poll also suggests that the wear and tear of dealing with emergency measures with no light at the end of the tunnel is taking its toll on employees. Respondents were asked about whether they would stay with their current employer if they were offered a comparable role with higher pay elsewhere. Only 22% said they would stay put. Just under one third (31%) said they would jump ship and, recognizing that the uncertainties of the economy may mean that a change at this time could be risky, nearly half (46%) said it would depend on the size of the increase.

The poll results revealed more about how morale is suffering – making the manager’s role even harder.

  • One in four employees (23%) complained about their work life balance.
  • Just over one in five (22%) stated that their optimism about their own future within their organization is decreasing (compared to only 7% who stated their optimism is increasing).
  • One in five (20%) said their motivation to help their employer succeed is decreasing – exceeding the percentage who stated that their motivation is increasing (15%).

For more discussion of the implications of this poll, please visit:

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Trevor Clarke
Vice President
Ipsos Reid
(416) 324-2104

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

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Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2009, Ipsos generated global revenues of €943.7 million ($1.33 billion U.S.).

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Retaining Your Workforce in a Slow Recovery

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Greg Leach
Senior Vice President / Vice-président sénior
Ipsos Loyalty