Canadian Employers See No Let Up in Stress Levels
TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - A vast majority of companies worldwide,
including a growing number of Canadian companies, continue to struggle
with attracting and retaining the high-potential and critically-skilled
employees necessary to increase their global competitiveness, according
to a new survey conducted by global professional services company
Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW). The survey also found that employees
are experiencing high levels of stress, a trend that many employers and
employees expect to continue for the next three years.
The Towers Watson Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey, a study
of 1,605 companies globally, found that nearly two-thirds of Canadian
respondents (61%) cite problems attracting critical-skill employees
while just over 40% are having difficulty attracting high-potential
talent and roughly a third (35%) are finding it hard to attract
top-performing workers. More than 30% of respondents also reported
difficulty retaining critical-skill, high-potential and top performing
"The demand for the best talent is as strong as ever, especially given a
challenging economy and ongoing growth in global competition. However,
many employers are not taking advantages of opportunities to attract,
retain and engage high-value employees by offering a work environment
and total rewards programs that are most important to them," said
Ofelia Isabel, Towers Watson's Canadian Leader for Talent and Rewards.
In fact, there appears to be a mismatch between what employers are
offering and what employees are looking for. According to the survey,
Canadian employees, including top talent, are more focused on
competitive base pay and job security. Employers, on the other hand,
are emphasizing other items such as challenging work and the
organization's reputation as a good employer.
The study also found that Canadian employees continue to experience high
levels of stress at work. Close to half (47%) of Canadian respondents
indicate that employees often experience excessive pressure in their
job and almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) report their employees
have been working more hours than normal during the past three years.
The majority (53%) expect to maintain this trend for the next three
Canadian Employers Cite Greater Confidence Than U.S Companies in Two Key
Aspects of Performance Management
Canadian companies see themselves as more effective than U.S. companies
in two key areas of their performance management process. 64% of
Canadian employers believe their performance management process
effectively links salary increases to individual performance results.
While the Canadian results were consistent with the global responses
(with 62% citing an effective link between salary increases and
individual performance results), only 51% of U.S. companies cited that
same level of confidence. However, Canadian employers see themselves as
slightly less effective at linking bonus payouts to individual
performance results. While 65% of companies globally believe they are
doing an effective job with this aspect of performance management, only
55% of Canadian companies responded similarly. U.S. companies felt
even less confident with just 44% believing they are doing a good job
of linking bonus to actual performance.
When asked to rate the effectiveness of managers in the performance
management process, Canadian employers are more confident than their
U.S. peers, but lag their global counterparts. Canadian employers saw
their managers as less effective at setting individual performance
goals (52% globally vs. 41% in Canada), giving employees regular
coaching and feedback (39% vs. 28%) and conducting career development
discussions (33% vs. 26%).
"As Canadian employers seek to grow profitably during a period of
economic volatility, their focus needs to be on crafting an employee
value proposition that helps to attract and retain talented and
critical skill employees — and that engages the entire workforce," said
Tracey Malcolm, a Director in Talent Management at Towers Watson.
"Effective leadership development, performance management and
succession planning programs will be keys to getting it right. While
Canadian employers give themselves higher marks compared to their U.S.
counterparts, the fact that they scored themselves lower than the
global norms suggests that there is still room to improve our talent
management processes and outcomes."
About the Survey
The Towers Watson Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey was
conducted in late April through early June of 2012, and includes
responses from 1,605 companies worldwide., The participants represent a
wide range of industries and come from a broad cross section
About Towers Watson
Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) is a leading global professional
services company that helps organizations improve performance through
effective people, risk and financial management. The company offers
solutions in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and
risk and capital management. Towers Watson has 14,000 associates around
the world and is located on the web at towerswatson.com.
SOURCE: Towers Watson
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