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Mental health support a key factor for employee retention

By The IJ Staff | January 28 2020 11:03AM

Photo: pxhere

More than three quarters (77 per cent) of Canadian employees say they would consider leaving their current company for the same pay if their new workplace offered better support for their personal well-being, according to a new study by Morneau Shepell.

The annual research was expanded for the first time this year to also survey employees in the United States and United Kingdom. The results show that across all geographies, employees ranked mental health as the top factor in their overall well-being, rising above physical and personal health.

Mental health critical to workplace

Employees also cited their employers’ support for mental health as critical to how they view the workplace: in each country, close to three quarters of employees (76 per cent in Canada, 71 per cent in the U.S. and 69 per cent in the UK) said the way an organization supports mental health was a key factor when deciding whether to stay with their current company.

Despite mental health being cited as the main priority, employees in Canada and the United States ranked their employers’ support of physical health issues above both mental and financial well-being.

Not taboo any more

"What worked in the past is no longer the primary path to success,” said Stephen Liptrap, president and CEO of Morneau Shepell. “Mental health is not the same taboo topic it once was, and employees are not only prioritizing their own mental health but also expecting employers to do the same."

Morneau Shepell said the need for mental health support is largely driven by stress that Canadians experience in their personal lives and in the office environment. When focusing on the primary sources of extreme mental stress, work (22 per cent) and financial well-being (21 per cent) were cited as the top issues that employees dealt with in the past six months.

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