There is a labour shortage across Canada right now, so much so that the federal government recently announced a huge increase in the number of immigrants allowed to enter over the next three years. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser anticipates 465,000 new arrivals in 2023, to rise to 500,000 in 2025, and a heavy emphasis on admitting people based on work skills or experience.
Specifically in Alberta, there are thousands of jobs to be filled in the tech sector. The construction industry is also struggling for workers, and home builders are creating scholarships to allow more students to graduate from the right programs. The Calgary Chamber of Commerce has announced that 31.5% of businesses are concerned about the labour shortage, with an aging population being one of the factors for the lack of employees. In the first quarter of 2022, the province’s unemployment rate was 5.9%, yet there was a record 88,000 vacant jobs. In response, the province has launched an aggressive ad campaign to attract skilled workers from other parts of the country.
As more workers with a variety of different needs arrive, employers will have to continue to adapt.
The necessity for a flexible work environment
A long and complicated pandemic has forced businesses to be flexible in ways that were previously inconceivable, and the office world is continuing to evolve. One of the most profound changes has come in the popularization of the hybrid workplace, as it has been proven that not every company employee needs to be in the same place in the same time to operate.
Sixty percent of workers have said that hybrid work is their preferred model, says InsuranceBusinessMag.com. The myth that productivity decreases when working from home has been dismantled, with “32.2% of hiring managers saying employee productivity has increased and their performance was boosted by 22% when employees were able to work from home.” Employees are also much happier when flexibility is provided, and are able to manage their work-life balance more easily.
InsuranceBusinessMag.com also points out that employees who are afforded the hybrid work option are much likelier to stay with their employer longer and encourage others to join the organization. As there is currently a shortage of needed talent in Alberta, employers need to do what they can to retain the people they have and attract the people they need.
How to maximize hybrid work time
A few tips for maximizing productivity in a hybrid work office include:
- Allowing employees to create their own hybrid work schedules as much as you can. They can then schedule effectively, which increases productivity while decreasing stress.
- Studying your workplace design. Some companies have put together office-sharing programs to expand on space. Some have established quiet areas for those who become distracted by too much noise. Listen to your employees and try to accommodate their requests.
- Ensure your employees have all the digital tools they need to succeed at their work. Ask everyone if the video meeting software is working for them, or if there is a way to do it bette. Establish a way for people to contact each other quickly when needed, such as Google Chat or even a plain old phone call.
- Maintain regular, positive contact to ensure employees feel supported.
- Consider at least one day a week for everyone to be in the office. In-person meetings are still beneficial and it gives people a chance to reconnect.
- Plan small, frequent and fun activities to maintain positive connections.
High turnover can increase business liability
If your business is experiencing high turnover, it may be time to take a closer look at your workplace policies. Ask high-performing employees why they are leaving and then work towards areas of improvement. An investment in good recruitment is also an option to ensure you are hiring the right people in the first place.
Low employee retention rates can lead to an increase in business liability. Staff departures drain resources and place your business at risk. You lose knowledge, experience, skills, and connections, and it can take a long time to gain them back. Essentially, your business will be short-staffed for several months, or even longer, which always has a negative effect on productivity and performance. The more time you can keep an employee with you, the better it is for your business.
Trust Lane’s for all of your business insurance needs
The experienced and knowledgeable insurance brokers of Lane’s can help explain all of the ins and outs of business liability and your business insurance options. We work for you ― not the insurance companies. Just a sampling of the products we provide includes commercial auto insurance, commercial property insurance, commercial surety bonds, contract surety bonds, and contractors insurance. Contact us at our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, and Alberta offices today.