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HR leaders agree: Managing their workforce is getting more challenging

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May 17, 2022
By Talent Canada

Amidst ongoing labour shortages, COVID outbreaks and added safety requirements, more than half of Canadian HR leaders agree managing their workforce is more challenging than it was two years ago.

According to a new survey by workforce management company Ento, which polled mainly HR decision-makers who oversee shift-based teams, workforce management continues to be a high priority, but implementation is hard as they face challenges like low employee engagement, staffing shortages and employee turnover.

Manager expectations

Nearly nine in 10 HR leaders said their expectations of managers have not changed (86 per cent) over the past two years. These results come despite the past two years involving evolving COVID regulations, volatile labour supply and rising inflation.

Digital adoption

As a result of the pandemic speeding up digital adoption, a majority of HR leaders are thinking about adopting technologies to improve employee engagement (58 per cent), onboarding/offboarding (55 per cent), and scheduling (55 per cent), all which have become more critical given high employee turnover and labour shortages.


Staff turnover

Two-fifths of respondents say a lack of staff and shortage of qualified workers is the biggest challenge to improving their workforce management strategy, followed by staff resistance to change (25 per cent), and high employee turnover (24 per cent).

Work-life balance

Over the last two years, just over half of respondents (52 per cent) said their companies changed their policies to encourage better work life balance.

Rising inflation

In the context of rising inflation, HR leaders have considered adjusting employee rewards and benefits (57 per cent), salary/wages (55 per cent) and staffing levels (42 per cent) for their workforce.

“It’s increasingly difficult to lead workforces today, especially those responsible for shift-based work,” said Peter Vigilante, Ento Canada country director. “HR leaders recognize taking care of their people is a top priority, and we need to equip them with the right tools to help set their team – and themselves – up for success. This includes tech that can help managers cut through complexity to focus more on strategy and growth, and less on tasks.”

The survey was conducted by Maru Public Opinion from March 30 to April 10 of 429 randomly selected Canadian HR decision makers. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 4.7%, 19 times out of 20. The results are based on Canadian English speakers and excludes Quebec.

Ento, founded in 2009, is a workforce management software company that recently launched in Canada in April 2022.

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