Employers care more about customers than employees, workers believe

Argyle Public Relationships Index Study 2022

The Argyle Public Relationships Index™, conducted in partnership with Leger Research Intelligence, measures six research-tested metrics of the quality of relationships between brands and their publics: trust, satisfaction, commitment, caring for customers, concern for people, and the public’s ability to influence the brand. The index averages public ratings of how the brand they know best in each sector performs on the six dimensions.

In this year’s study completed between August 16-25, working Canadians and employed Americans were surveyed to better understand employee/employer relationships.

2022 Results: Canadian and American employee perspective

Canadian and American perceived public satisfaction

When respondents think about their employer’s relationship with its customers or its investors or the general public, agreement levels are similar. Most believe the public is satisfied with their employer and trusts their employer. Most also believe that their employer shows concern for its clientele as well as ordinary people, and is committed to meeting public expectations. Perceived public satisfaction however, is higher in the USA than in Canada. There are also more American workers who believe that their employer shows concern for ordinary people.

2022 Results: Employee perspective

Canadian worker perceptions of their organization’s relationships with customers and employees

% who agree their organization does the following:

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US workers perception of their organizations’ relationships with customers and employees

% who agree their organization does the following:

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In a slowing economy and a tight labour market, leaders aspire to build excellent relationships with both customers and employees – but workers believe their employers are doing much better with their clientele than their own people.

Detailed Results

The State of Social: Employees identify social priorities for their organizations

Canadian and American workers are on the same page.

It is important for both groups that their organizations create training and development programs, and programs that focus on an employee’s physical and mental health, but it’s also important that their organization protect human rights and demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as to supporting Indigenous rights.

Canada

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81 percent of working Canadians surveyed agree their organization “shows concern for its clientele.” By contrast, a much lower 71 percent agree their employer “takes care of the people who work here,” and only 63 percent agree their employer “is concerned about people like me.”

USA

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84 percent of working Americans surveyed agree their organization “shows concern for its clientele.” By contrast, only 68 percent agree their employer “is concerned about people like me.” When evaluating employer actions, workers are more positive, with 79 percent agree their employer “takes care of the people who work here.”

Canadians and Americans rate their employers’ ESG performance

Canada

ESG ratings from employees: Slow progress – but a greater sense of purpose, with the greatest room for improvement on the environmental front.

Most employees give their employers positive marks for their performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, but the numbers are essentially unchanged from a year ago, suggesting progress has been slow:

71%

71 percent of respondents agree that their organization “has strong, effective and ethical management and governance practices,” up one percent from the Argyle/Leger 2021 survey.

71%

71 percent agree their organization “performs strongly on social issues, such as health and safety or equity for women and people of colour,” down two percent.

58%

58 percent agree their organization “performs strongly on environmental issues, such as reducing its negative impact on the climate,” up two percent.

USA

76%

76 percent of respondents agree that their organization “has strong, effective and ethical management and governance practices,” up one percent from the Argyle/Leger 2021 survey.

73%

73 percent agree their organization “performs strongly on social issues, such as health and safety or equity for women and people of colour,” down two percent.

62%

62 percent agree their organization “performs strongly on environmental issues, such as reducing its negative impact on the climate,” up two percent.

Employer-Employee Relationships in 2022

More working Americans believe they can influence the decisions and/or direction of their employer.

At least three quarters are satisfied with their employer (74% of working Canadians; 80% of working Americans), and at least seven-in-ten trust their employer (72% of working Canadians; 79% of working Americans) – but both satisfaction and trust are higher among working Americans than Canadians. At least two thirds believe that their employer takes care of the people who work there, is committed to meeting his or her expectations, and shows concern for people like them, but again, a higher percentage of working Americans believe these things (vs. working Canadians).

Only about half the working Canadians surveyed believe they can influence the decisions and/or direction of their employer, a percentage that is significantly lower than what was recorded among working Americans (60%).

Canadians rank their employers’ ESG performance

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Americans rank their employers’ ESG performance

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Demographics

Virtually, everyone is working within their own country.

Canada

Base: All working Canadians (n=1002)

USA

Base: All working Canadians (n=1000)

Respondents are usually working for a company that’s headquartered – and primarily doing business – in their own country.

Canada

Base: All working Canadians (n=1002).

Operations primarily in Canada: 65%
Operations across North America: 7%
Global operations: 6%
0%
have a CAN HQ.
USA

Base: All working Americans (n=1000).

Operations primarily in Canada: 1%
Operations across North America: 1%
Global operations: <1%
0%
have a CAN HQ.
Operations primarily in the USA: <1%
Operations across North America: 2%
Global operations: 4%
0%
have a USA HQ.
Operations primarily in the USA: 56%
Operations across North America: 12%
Global operations: 16%
0%
have a USA HQ.
Headquartered outside North America. Operations in North America 2%
None of the above 10%
I don’t know 3%
Headquartered outside North America. Operations in North America 2%
None of the above 9%
I don’t know 3%

Unsurprisingly, most Canadians are working for an organization (a) headquartered in Canada and (b) operations that are primarily in Canada. In the USA, most Americans are working for an organization (a) headquartered in the USA and (b) operations that are primarily in the USA, but overall, there are more American respondents who note that their organization has a North American or global reach than Canadians.

Respondents working in small- or mid-sized organizations (less than 500 employees) were significantly more likely to agree their organization earns public satisfaction than their counterparts at large organizations – a gap of 15 percentage points (80 percent versus 65 percent).

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0%
are small or medium-sized

Respondent profile

All working Canadians (n=1002)

Gender

48%
52%
Age
18-34: 34%
35-44: 26%
45-54: 21%
55-64: 15%
65+: 4%
Region

BC

15%

AB

11%

SK

7%

QC

21%

ON

39%

ATL

6%

Survey language
English 83%
French 17%

Education

University: 56%
College: 29%
High School or less: 15%

Employment

Full-time: 76%
Part-time: 12%
Self-employed / freelance: 11%

Household Income

<$60k: 26%
$60k – <$100k: 28%
$100k+: 39%
Refusal: 8%
Ethnicity
Caucasian 72%
Chinese 8%
South Asian 5%
Black 4%
Aboriginal / First Nations 3%
Latin American 2%
Filipino 2%

Any other ethnicities were mentioned by <2%.

Refusal 3%

Respondent profile

All working Americans (n=1000)

Gender

45%
55%

Age

18 – 34: 38%
35-44: 19%
45-54: 19%
55-64: 17%
65+: 7%

Region

West

24%

Midwest

22%

N/E

17%

South

37%

Education

University: 59%
College: 17%
High School or less: 23%

Employment

Full-time: 71%
Part-time: 16%
Self-employed / freelance: 13%

Household Income

<$60k: 38%
$60k – <$100k: 29%
$100k+: 28%
Refusal 5%

Ethnicity

Caucasian 72%
Black 11%
Latin American 7%
Chinese 3%
South Asian 2%

Any other ethnicities were mentioned by <2%.

Refusal 1%

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