How happy are Canadians in the workplace? Satisfaction is on the rise

On more than one occasion over the past couple of years we’ve written about Canadian employee wellbeing, which generally struggled throughout the pandemic. It’s something we’ve seen reflected in a number of surveys and polls, which have consistently shown a Canadian workforce feeling checked out, overworked and unhappy at work.

But there was a slight glimmer of hope in the latest ADP Canada Happiness@Work Index, released last week, which showed “an increase in happiness levels across generations and regions.”

Emphasis on “glimmer” here: the score only went up by around 0.1 points, from a 6.6/10 to a 6.7/10. It’s not much, but it’s something, said ADP’s team.

“The increase in the overall happiness of workers in Canada, paired with greater satisfaction with work-life balance and flexibility in July affords the statement that workers are happier in the summer as it is also usually a time where many take a well-deserved break,” said ADP Canada’s Heather Haslam.

YMCA WorkWell, a study from YMCA of Three Rivers (it serves the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge region), has been gathering its own data and found a similar uptick in the national mood. The survey found that employee burnout has relaxed to its lowest level since fall 2021, with only one in three reporting feelings of burnout. It also found that the number of happy employees has gone up, and unhappy employees have gone down. Only 36 per cent of workers reported unhealthy workplace happiness scores ― down from 45 in the same time period last year.

“The biggest glimmer of hope is that for the first time since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen the percentage of healthy employees in our community increase and the percentage of unhealthy employees decrease,” said Dave Whiteside in the Waterloo Region Record. “Collecting this data through the pandemic has been disheartening, so it is a welcome change to see some small steps in the right direction for the first time.”

“For the first time in a long time, it feels like the employee wellbeing space has momentum,” concludes the YMCA report. “It feels as though many leaders are starting to understand the importance of happy and healthy employees and teams.”

Content written by Kieran Delamont for Worklife, a partnership between Ahria Consulting and London Inc. To view this content in newsletter form, click here.