Canadian executives predict one in five roles will cease to exist in near future

More than half of Canadian business executives expect a substantial portion of the jobs at their companies won’t exist in five years, according to a new survey by Mercer.

Among the findings of Mercer’s survey of the top workforce trends is a prediction by 54 per cent of Canadian executives that at least one in five roles at their organization will be non-existent in the next five years. With rapid change in the works, Canadian companies are focusing on innovation. Almost all Canadian companies have innovation as part of their plans for 2018, the survey, which polled more than 7,600 senior business executives, human resources leaders and employees from 21 countries, found.

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“This year, we saw palpable excitement from executives about shifting to the new world of work. They are pursuing an agenda of continuous evolution — rather than episodic transformation — to remain competitive,” said Ilya Bonic, president of Mercer’s career business, in a press release.

“They recognize that it’s the combination of human skills, plus advanced digital technology, that will drive their business forward.”

Of those companies facing the most disruption in the future, 32 per cent are forming more centralized work teams.

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The survey also identified a significant concern about finances. It found that, on average, employees spend six hours at work per week worrying about monetary matters. Only 26 per cent of Canadian companies, however, have policies focused on financial health.

“Organizations that help employees worry less about basic security needs and invest more energy on their career aspirations will be rewarded with a workforce that has more pride, passion and purpose,” said Bonic.

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The survey also found 89 per cent of Canadian executives expect an increase in the competition for talent. And amid the predictions of roles disappearing at companies, 77 per cent of employees would consider freelance work.

“Gaining greater access to talent through a broader ecosystem is part of the solution. Companies also need to deploy talent faster and with precision to unlock the potential of their workforce,” said Kate Bravery, global practices leader for Mercer’s career business.

“Adopting a platform mentality to talent requires a radical mindset shift, embracing the notion that talent can be accessed for the benefit of all rather than ‘owned’ by one manager, department, function, or even organization.”