Young Canadians more inclined to switch jobs over work benefits

Survey highlights growing importance of benefits programs to maintain worker wellness and satisfaction

Young Canadians more inclined to switch jobs over work benefits

Canadians are giving employer-provided benefits programs more weight in the face of a tight labor market.

According to a recent RBC Insurance survey, young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 (73%) and 35 and 44 (69%) are substantially more inclined to leave their present company for one that provides what they would regard to be superior benefits.

The top three elements cited by survey participants as distinguishing one benefits plan from another were support for mental health (88%), a health spending account (80%), and the ability to add additional coverage (79%) to better achieve financial or personal goals.

These findings are in line with how the workforce is feeling; only 58% of workers rate their mental health as good or excellent, down five points since 2021, while 61% rate their overall well-being as good or excellent, down three points since 2021.

"Given our collective experience since March of 2020, it's not surprising to see a range of worries and stressors reported by working Canadians," Julie Gaudry, Head of Group Benefits, RBC Insurance, said. "The knock-on impacts of a tightening labor market have made flexible and tailored employer-provided benefits desired by many – and clearly a draw, particularly for younger generations."

Additionally, market developments point to the need for improved employee benefits.

The demand for competitive employer-provided benefits is being highlighted by certain other trends in the labour market. Compared to pre-pandemic levels in Canada, there are around 70% more job postings and 6% fewer available workers, creating a "buyer's market" for people looking for a job move.

Moreover, the Bank of Canada's Survey of Consumer Expectations found that the possibility of a worker quitting their job willingly is rising as younger Canadians have been reporting lower levels of general well-being, mental health, and physical health year over year since 2019.

Benefits programs are important, the survey also noted.

Comparing Canadians with and without employer-provided benefits, those with benefits are significantly more likely to rate their job satisfaction (64%, up six points), general level of well-being (64%, up 10 points), physical health (62%, up eight points), mental health (60%, up seven points), and financial health (55%, up 17 points).

The top three employer takeaways include:

  • Prioritize the mental health and well-being of employees.
  • Raise awareness of current benefits plan elements.
  • Ensure benefits program satisfies the requirements of employees.