For HR leaders looking longingly for a place at the executive decision-making table, now may be the time to grab a seat and sit down. It seems Canadian executives are ready to listen.
According to a recent survey of 150 chief executive officers, presidents, chief financial officers and senior vice-presidents, undertaken by
Report on Business
magazine and Report on Business Television, human resources issues have leapt to the top of list of biggest challenges for Canadian organizations.
Twenty-five per cent of participants felt that human resources was the biggest challenge for their company, followed by exchange rates at 16 per cent, sales and growth at 12 per cent, government regulations, economic issues and capital/finance at seven per cent each and competition and escalating costs at five per cent each.
Labour shortages were identified as the greatest challenge to productivity at 38 per cent, far ahead of the regulatory and tax burden at 14 per cent and rising costs at 13 per cent.
Predictably, this figure was skewed by executives in the west who are suffering from the labour shortage more acutely than in the rest of Canada. Forty per cent of executives in the employee-lean west saw human resources as their top challenge in comparison to only 15 per cent in Ontario and 8 per cent in Quebec.
Almost two-thirds of respondents recognized the link between childcare policy and economic productivity. Surprisingly, only 13 per cent felt that the childcare needs of their employees are met ‘very well’. Fifty-one per cent felt that their employees’ childcare needs are well met, 20 percent slightly well met and five per cent admitted that their employees’ childcare needs are poorly met. Eleven per cent of Canadian executives didn’t know how well their employees’ childcare needs were being met.