'Employee well-being continues to be a key preoccupation for Canadian business leaders'
When it comes to staying resilient over the next six months, employee morale (36 per cent) is cited as a top barrier by Canadian employers.
This is followed by: maintaining sufficient cash flow (28 per cent) and access to advanced technology and bringing employees up to speed on new ways of working (both 25 per cent), finds a survey by HSBC.
Eighty-five per cent of respondents say that they are at least somewhat prepared for the challenges of the past six months – below the global average of 92 per cent, found the survey of over 2,600 companies in 14 countries and territories, including 200 in Canada.
The key attributes that have led to their resilience include:
- agility (56 per cent)
- treating employees well (53 per cent)
- valuing customers (53 per cent)
- a strong balance sheet (42 per cent)
"Employee well-being continues to be a key preoccupation for Canadian business leaders. Since they're telling us it's part of the resilience mix, it needs to continue to be top of mind," says Dan Leslie, deputy head of commercial banking at HSBC Bank Canada.
In June, a study released by Morneau Shepell found that employer support makes a difference when it comes to workers’ mental health.
New ways of working
Seven in 10 (70 per cent) employers say some form of flexible working arrangement will become standard for their operations in the next two years, and more than half (56 per cent) say they expect to continue using virtual meetings after the pandemic.
Sixty per cent of remote workers say they prefer to work from home for the near future and 27 per cent also say they are open to a part-time work model, according to a separate survey.
A majority (84 per cent) of Canadian business leaders also say that the need to review their operations due to COVID-19 will enable them to rebuild their business on firmer environmental foundation, finds HSBC.
"The first half of 2020 has been challenging for all Canadian businesses, but it's heartening to see that lessons learned and priorities revaluated during this period could act as an accelerator for corporate environmental sustainability efforts,” says HSBC. “These findings confirm what we've been hearing from our customers who are increasingly raising environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations and demand for products.”