TORONTO, CAN November 25, 2020 Changes to the workplace are accelerating in Canada, forcing leaders to adapt to unexpected disruptions, anticipate future challenges, and plan for strategic changes, according to a survey released today by Oxford Economics, the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and SAP SuccessFactors, a division of SAP SE (NYSE: SAP).

Some 50 per cent of Canadian respondents said they expect flexible work policies to be a talent differentiator, according to the report “The Future of Work Arrives Early: How HR Leaders are Leveraging the Lessons of Disruptions.” However, 57 per cent expect maintaining productivity given new ways of working to be an ongoing challenge. More than 37 per cent of respondents said that establishing a culture that supports remote employees will also be a challenge when the pandemic subsides, and most acknowledge that their workers have had very different experiences depending on if they are salaried, hourly, office or field workers. Nearly 30 per cent of respondents plan to invest in listening tools or employee surveys, which could help organizations keep a pulse on employee sentiment as changes to the workplace continue.

The report found that 74 per cent of respondents in Canada said their company has the technology it needs to navigate the changing work environment, and 37 per cent expect to invest in remote collaboration tools. Still, only 22 per cent of respondents said that their workers can work remotely and have the necessary technology and environment to do so effectively. Some 38 per cent of respondents expect to reduce their office footprint.

When it comes to attracting talent, 17 per cent of respondents in Canada believe competing for talent will be a major challenge. Top factors to attract and retain talent include flexible work policies (62 per cent), finding new ways of delivering/selling/marketing existing products and services (61 per cent), and the financial stability of the organization (59 per cent).

Looking forward, only 27 per cent of respondents in Canada are planning to invest in learning programs for reskilling and upskilling over the next 12 months. This compares to 22 per cent of U.S. respondents and 38 per cent of respondents outside of the U.S., despite employee readiness to learn new skills.

“Modernizing HR is a critical piece to an organization’s overall digital transformation journey, and it’s been vastly accelerated due to the global pandemic,” said Kevin Spencer, Canada Country Manager for SAP SuccessFactors. “HR leaders have demonstrated incredible amounts of innovation and creativity to ensure their workforce is safe and productive despite unprecedented changes to the workplace. Continuing the focus on agile processes, learning and reskilling, and a culture that embraces every individual is mission critical to drive business results.”

The Future of Work Arrives Early: How HR Leaders are Leveraging the Lessons of Disruption” report surveyed HR leaders in 10 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The data in this press release represents more than 300 HR leaders in Canada. Download the Canadian report and the global report.


For more information, visit the HR and People Engagement area of sap.com and the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SuccessFactors and @SAPNews.