By Claudine Kapel
Canadian chief executive officers report they are greatly concerned about skill shortages and the retention of top talent.
So there’s probably never been a better time to develop or refresh your total rewards strategy.
According to PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey, 83 per cent of Canadian CEOs expect that over the next three years finding job candidates with the right skills will be a key challenge.
Other top talent concerns CEOs identified included:
- Challenges in recruiting and integrating younger employees (75 per cent);
- Competitors luring away some of their best people (65 per cent); and
- The retirement of older workers (55 per cent).
But while 88 per cent said they plan to focus more on building a skilled workforce, the number one action plan, cited by 63 per cent of respondents, was to work with governments and education systems to improve skills in the talent pool.
Other strategies that top the list include:
- Increasingly recruiting and attempting to retain older workers (60 per cent); and
- Using more non-financial rewards to motivate staff (60 per cent).
According to the survey report, “CEOs in Canada are more focused on the recruitment and retention of older workers, as compared to many of their global counterparts.” The report suggests Canadian CEOs recognize that younger employees pose unique challenges, but “many are not sure how to overcome the challenge effectively.”
Enter the total rewards strategy. The very essence of such a strategy is to support an organization to recruit and retain talent and drive desired performance and results. An effective total rewards strategy is also flexible and savvy when it comes to addressing diverse employee needs and preferences.
The reality is that managing talent is becoming an increasingly complex exercise, especially given considerations such as an aging workforce and the diverse styles and preferences of employees spanning multiple generations. While employees generally have some common expectations about what’s important to them, they also have their own distinct needs and priorities that can vary by demographic group.
Employees approaching retirement age will have different points of emphasis relative to younger workers who are just starting their careers. Similarly, top talent and employees with hot skills will also have their own unique vantage points in terms of what they’re looking for in employment deals.
An effective total rewards strategy considers all of these nuances. And savvy organizations use a variety of inputs to ensure their total rewards approach supports talent management efforts in a thoughtful and well-informed manner.
Such organizations don’t assume they already know what employees value. They leverage employee research, analysis of competitive market practice, and inputs from the recruiting process and exit interviews to surface potential issues.
Savvy organizations also understand there’s no silver bullet for solving talent challenges. They recognize the best approach is multi-faceted and considers the many and varied elements that shape the employee experience.
The best total rewards strategies also look to the future and anticipate what will be required to ensure the organization can continue to address its talent requirements in the years ahead.
And that could mean fewer sleepless nights for everyone.
Claudine Kapel is principal of Kapel and Associates Inc., a Toronto-based human resources and communications consulting firm specializing in the design and implementation of compensation and total rewards programs. For more information, visit www.kapelandassociates.com.