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How happy are Canadian workers? New ADP monthly index takes the temperature

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March 29, 2023
By Talent Canada

Happiness@Work Index logo (CNW Group/ADP Canada Co.)

Just under half (46%) of Canadian workers say they are happy with their current role and responsibilities.

That’s according to ADP Canada’s new Happiness@Work Index, a monthly measure that examines the contentedness of employees. Conducted in collaboration with Maru Public Opinion, the index explores workplace satisfaction across Canada, expressed as a score out of 10, and tracks positive or negative changes over time.

The national score for March is 6.7, which ADP said was consistent with the average benchmark data collected between November 2022 and February 2023.

“We spend a significant portion of our lives at work or thinking about work, so happiness in the workplace is paramount to our overall wellbeing,” said Holger Kormann, president, ADP Canada. “Not only are happy workers typically more productive, engaged and successful, but a workplace environment that is conducive to happiness can positively impact other important aspects of our lives.”


The index includes a primary indicator, Canadian workers’ self-reported sentiment of happiness in their current role and responsibilities. For March, the score was 7.0 out of 10, it said.

There are also four secondary indicators identified to be common components of workplace happiness:

  1. Work-life balance and flexibility — March 2023 score: 6.8
  2. Compensation and benefits — March 2023 score: 6.2
  3. Recognition and Support (from management and colleagues) — March 2023 score: 6.6
  4. Options for career advancement — March 2023 score: 6.1

Primary and secondary indicators are averaged and weighted to calculate the National Work Happiness Score, along with Regional Work Happiness Scores, the company said.

“The Happiness@Work Index is part of ADP Canada’s commitment to uncover key trends impacting the world of work and to help companies understand the changing needs of their employees,” said Kormann. “Over time, the Index data is intended to be a reference source, documenting the evolution of worker sentiments in workplaces across the country.”

Generational differences

Boomers had the highest National Work Happiness score, at 7.3. Gen-Xers were the least happy, relatively speaking, at 6.6.

Rounding out the scores were Gen-Z (6.8) and Millennials (6.7).

Geographic differences

Workers in Quebec were the happiest in the country, with a score of 7.0 out of 10. Those in Ontario were the grumpiest, scoring 6.5 out of 10. Here’s how the rest of the country scored:

  • British Columbia: 6.9
  • Alberta: 6.8
  • Atlantic Canada: 6.7
  • Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 6.7.

About the index

The Happiness@Work Index is measured monthly through a survey fielded by Maru Public Opinion on behalf of ADP Canada and is undertaken by the sample and data collection experts at Maru/Blue. The survey is run in the first week of each reported month for consistency purposes and asks over 1,200 randomly selected employed Canadian adults (including both employees and self-employed individuals) who are Maru Voice Canada online panelists to rate workplace factors on a scale from 1 to 10. Discrepancies in or between totals when compared to the data tables are due to rounding.

The results are weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Québec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/-2.8%, 19 times out of 20.

The index will be published on the last Wednesday of the month.

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