A quarter of Canadian workforce concerned about holding onto their jobs

Does the current economic crisis have Canadian employees worried about their jobs? The short answer is yes! According to Ipsos Reid’s Better Workplace Syndicated Study on employee relationship management, 24 per cent of Canadians said they were very much concerned or somewhat concerned when asked “how concerned are you that you may lose your job or be laid off during 2009 because of the recent market melt-down?”

“We’re seeing concerns throughout all levels the organizational structure,” says JB Aloy, Ipsos’ resident expert on employee research. “From managers, to technical specialists, to workers on the floor, there is a great concern across all career streams about what this crisis means for their job.”

A breakdown of the various sectors reflects different levels of concern in different economic segments. Only 14 per cent of public sector employees are concerned that this economy will put their jobs in jeopardy. In the private sector, that concern is shared by 27 per cent of employees. Not surprising, the manufacturing sector is the most anxious: 40 per cent of employees in the sector are concerned about job cutbacks and losses.
In organizations where layoffs have already been announced, anxiety is at the highest. Nearly half (48 per cent) are concerned that they may be next on the chopping block.

Nationwide, Eastern Canada is more concerned than Western Canada. In Ontario, 30 per cent of employees are concerned, whereas slightly fewer (21 per cent) of their counterparts in Western Canada share that concern.

“With up to a quarter of the nation’s work force concerned about their future with their employers, management, and human resource professionals have to make sure they reassure these anxieties and instil employee confidence in the organization,” adds Aloy. “In recessionary times, it is even more important to harness the creativity and resourcefulness of your people to get through the tough spots, but keeping productivity and efficiencies high is challenging when employees fear the worst.”

Alleviating anxiety is critical, but are organizations doing a good job of that? When asked whether their organization had communicated with them about the situation, 52 per cent said their organization had not. Of those who stated that their organization had communicated to them about the situation, only half felt that their organization had done an effective job in communicating what was happening in their organization.

The results were obtained from the Better Workplace Syndicated Study, an online poll of over 1,100 employees in Canada, completed on January 20, 2009. In addition to asking employees about their job security, the poll delved into issues related to career goals and wellness at work.

Results from the most recent syndicated study and information on Ipsos’ customized panel offerings can be found at www.ipsos.ca or by contacting JB Aloy by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (416) 324-4494.