Canadian employers prioritizing investments in employee skills, well-being: report

As Canadian employers focus on business growth over the next two years, they’re prioritizing spending on employees, including skills training (47 per cent) and satisfaction and well-being (42 per cent), according to a new global survey on the future of work by HSBC Bank.

The report, which surveyed more than 2,500 companies in 14 countries and territories, also found 54 per cent of Canadian organizations are embracing a number of new technologies, including wearables (39 per cent), augmented and virtual reality (38 per cent), artificial intelligence and machine learning (37 per cent), 3D printing (35 per cent) and the internet of things (34 per cent).

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While 77 per cent of Canadian companies said they think technologies will make their staff more productive, 74 per cent think they’ll enhance satisfaction and well-being, 74 per cent think they’ll need to upskill their workforce and 61 per cent also said they think they’ll need fewer workers in the future.

More than half (53 per cent) of respondents said they intend to introduce or increase flexible working practices to enhance well-being and adapt to a rebalancing between human and automated output.

“The future of work is about much more than technology; it’s about the future of workers,” said Dan Leslie, deputy head of commercial banking at HSBC Bank Canada, in a press release. “This survey demonstrates that technology is only half the story — business leaders recognize that we need to invest in people to be successful. Businesses made for the future will need their people to be highly trained and highly engaged — or they may take their skills elsewhere.”

Read: Canadian HR functions unprepared for growth of AI, automation: survey