The majority (80 per cent) of Canadian employers say they enhanced their total rewards programs in 2022 to better attract and retain employees, up from 63 per cent in 2020 and 2021, according to a new survey by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

The survey, which polled more than 450 employers, found 44 per cent said they plan to update their total rewards program in 2023. More than half of respondents identified attraction (59 per cent) and retention (52 per cent) as the main challenges related to benefits decisions.

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In addition, respondents cited base salary adjustments (58 per cent) as their No. 1 total rewards enhancement, followed by improved well-being initiatives (41 per cent) extended health benefits (28 per cent), variable compensation (27 per cent) and enhanced leave policies (20 per cent).

The survey also found 57 per cent of respondents said they’re offering traditional benefits plans with choices limited to optional life, accidental death and dismemberment or critical illness, down from 64 per cent in 2021 and 66 per cent in 2020. Among these respondents, 31 per cent said they also offer a health-care spending account, while a quarter (24 per cent) of all respondents said they provide voluntary or supplemental benefits.

Nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of employers said they offer remote working arrangements, up from 52 per cent in 2021, while two-thirds (65 per cent) said they offer flexible work hours.

Read: 84% of U.S. employers increasing benefits offerings to help with attraction, retention efforts: survey