Rising Costs Top Concern for Canadian Employers in 2024

  • HR trends
Canadian employers’ top concern for 2024
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

2023 was a year filled with rapid changes and challenges for employers across the globe. Employers found themselves navigating uncharted waters as unforeseen global events unfolded. From the shift to remote and hybrid work to high inflation, the resilience of employers was put to the test, prompting leaders to rethink strategies and embrace change. 

The ability to pivot swiftly became a valuable asset as businesses had to find innovative ways and solutions to keep staff happy and their business running smoothly. 

As we enter 2024, we wanted to know what concerns Canadian employees have going into the new year. And what employers have done to handle staff shortages and aid retention. 

A survey conducted by Peninsula Group, a global employment law, HR, Health & Safety advisory, and consultancy firm, asked employers in five countries – Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK, provides some insight.   

Let’s take an in depth look at what the survey revealed and what the aims and concerns of Canadian employers are in 2024. 

What are your top concerns as a business for 2024? 

Over 80% of employers surveyed stated that rising costs is their biggest concern for 2024 (81.5%). This comes as no surprise as the inflation rate in 2023 was at an all-time high. 

The country with the highest percentage of concern was the UK at around 87%, whilst Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Canada’s results were approximately 85%, 85%, 83% and 82% respectively. 

The other top two concerns for Canadian employers were labor shortage (47.8%) and employee retention (45.6%). This could indicate that employers are worried about how the economy will affect their day-to-day business functions. 

Labor shortages are the second common concern, with over 45% of global business owners stating this as their major worry. 

What are your top business goals for 2024? 

Despite rising costs and labor shortages being a top concern in 2023, businesses are still optimistic for the future of the company. Peninsula’s survey found that 44% of global companies’ main business goal for 2024 is growth. 

The UK had the biggest motivation for growth with 46%, followed by Ireland (45.9%), Canada (44.7), Australia (43.7), and New Zealand (41.6%).  

With the cost-of-living crisis and slowing economy in Canada in 2023, this year shows some promise and almost 45% of businesses agree. With the steady inflation rate, and the increase in employment rate, 2024 should present some relief. 

What is your biggest challenge right now when it comes to staffing? 

When it comes to staffing challenges, recruitment of top talent was the biggest challenge globally. Australia ranks in the highest with 30.7% while Canada at 19.2% had the least concerns about recruitment. 

The biggest challenge for UK and New Zealand was also recruitment, polling at 29.5% and 25.4% respectively. 

Stats from Ireland show that 27.8% of businesses stated that pay increase requests was their biggest challenge. 

What support have you offered to employees to aid retention? 

Retaining top talent is key for a successful business. Employers in Canada and the UK are offering financial remuneration to retain staff, with 64.9% and 49.3% of employers in agreement. While almost 60% of Australia and New Zealand employers are offering flexible working hours. 

In Canada, businesses who cannot offer financial remuneration are offering flexible working hours (60%) and reward and recognition (58.7%). 

How have you handled the ongoing labor/skills shortage? 

Employers from all countries surveyed have revealed that pay increases are their answer to handling the ongoing labor/skills shortage. 

Canada ranks the highest with 80%, while Australia, New Zealand, and the UK polled at 55.5%, 52.9%, and 52.8%. 

The other two ways Canadian employers have handled the ongoing labor/skills shortage is by offering flexible working hours (54.8) and upskilling and training (50.8%). 

Which statement best describes the working pattern at your business? 

During and after the pandemic hybrid and remote work became quite common, however, that has changed in 2023. Businesses began to bring employees back into the office. Over half of employers surveyed in each country state that all employees are in the workplace full time. 

Canada ranked the highest with 53.5% of employees back in the office, while 26.7% of employees have flexible working hours as standard. It will be interesting to see how and if this changes throughout the year. 

Do you need help preparing your workplace for 2024? 

In 2023, our HR and health and safety experts guided over 6,500 Canadian small businesses through the workplace challenges. Let us help you make your business a success in 2024. 

Our experts can help you with company policies and any other HR, health and safety or employee management issues that may arise. To learn more about how our services can help your business, call an expert today on 1 (833) 247-3652. 

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