The Future of Work in Canada: Trends and Insights from Workday

Companies need agile and adaptable technology to support their growth. Learn how Canadian businesses are using Workday to address talent management challenges and build diverse, engaged, and skilled teams ready to compete in global economies.

Canada is renowned for its diversity and dynamism, making it fertile ground for innovation and entrepreneurship. To navigate ever-changing demographics and a fluctuating labour market, Canadian organisations are leveraging data, workforce analytics, and planning technology to make faster,  more informed business decisions.

In this article, I will share some practical strategies and digital solutions our customers have effectively utilised to address the workforce challenges we face to emerge more resilient.

Surviving Labour Shortages

Canadian businesses grapple with persistent labour shortages and an ever-evolving workforce landscape. Talent and human resources should be top of mind for every CEO, regardless of industry, to keep their business agile in this new era. Here are a few pragmatic solutions for every organisation to consider.

Build Diverse Teams

Canada's GDP depends on population growth, and we have one of the highest rates of immigration per population of any country in the world. In 2022, roughly 20% of the Canadian population was new to the country. Generally speaking, Canadian companies excel at embracing the country’s growing population as they benefit significantly from the diverse points of view and competitive advantage new people bring.

However, incorporating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment can be challenging as businesses aim to cultivate a culture where people can be their best selves. But imagine if you could see benchmarks and results of your diversity efforts. Imagine transparency in relative performance measurements and outcomes across talent acquisition, talent development, leadership development, employee experience, and workplace culture.

With VIBE Index™ (Value Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity™), organisations can leverage analytics to measure and compare belonging, equity, diversity, and inclusion sentiment and workplace practices (i.e. hiring and retention) for parity and equity. This provides detailed insights to build a great workplace for all.

Listen to Your Workforce

At a time when the employee experience is so important, listening to the voice of your workforce is mission-critical to retaining talent and driving overall business success.  Workday Peakon Employee Voice gives employees a confidential platform to share honest feedback via survey responses with a 10-point scale. They can also add comments about their experiences, expectations, health, and well-being. This gives organisations real-time visibility into the sentiments of their workforce and the insight needed to take immediate, prescriptive actions.

Unlike traditional surveys, Workday Peakon Employee Voice is easy and fast. We use it to understand daily life at every level and to show employees how we’re responding to their feedback. We use insights to gain a holistic view of employee engagement and make meaningful, tangible actions to enhance the employee experience. I read the responses every Saturday. It's one of my favorite things to do because I hear the true pulse of the business, and inevitably, innovation bubbles up.

Workday Peakon Employee Voice can also identify burnout and compassion fatigue factors, advise us on changes to keep teams engaged, and help us be proactive against flight risks. It puts employees at the center of everything. And we believe that if our employees are happy, our customers are satisfied. We know talent and acquisition are expensive. Listening and responding to employees helps us retain good talent and deliver engaging  experiences.

We are at a unique place in history as we watch the evolution of work in real-time.

Upskilling or Reskilling Your Existing Workforce

Canadian businesses are identifying their workforce's current skills and comparing that with what is required to upskill employees to meet or exceed organisational goals. For example, a global organisation with nearly 328,000 employees is using Workday Skills Cloud to embed skills into business processes to make them fundamental to the way they work.

This organisation created a content toolkit built around new, relevant skills and processes. Then, using automation and machine learning (ML) in Skills Cloud, they can connect workers with internal opportunities, such as recommended learning content, gigs, training opportunities, new roles, and more based on a worker’s skill profile – enabling them to grow and develop their skills and career path. This also allowed them to better assess the proficiency of their organisation and see what was required to meet their corporate needs.

Making Sound Decisions in Times of Uncertainty

We are at a unique place in history as we watch the evolution of work in real-time. The pace of change is unrelenting as the economic landscape sputters with inflation, labour shortages, and debt servicing issues. The solution for Canadian academia, government, and small and large businesses is to prepare for what comes next and have the technologies and processes to adapt.

Plan, Execute, and Continuously Analyse

The pressure to find talent in Canada has been intense since the pandemic when newly instituted remote and hybrid work environments accelerated staff shake-ups and prompted an onslaught of retirements and resignations.

To help address these challenges, Canadian businesses are leveraging Workday Adaptive Planning to bring finance, HR and operations together to create workforce plans that align with business goals and drive agility. Organisations can model, forecast, and budget workforce costs – all from the same unified data core – to deliver actionable insights that can help drive better decision-making, meet business goals, and build smarter plans more efficiently.

With Workday acting as a single source of truth for all financial and workforce data, organisations can identify skills gaps, forecast future demand against current supply, and consistently monitor progress against the plan, enabling them to quickly adapt and rework their plans.

Explore AI and ML Capabilities

 At Workday, AI and ML are built into the core of the Workday platform . Our Canadian customers already use Workday AI to help drive better employee experiences, improve operational efficiencies, and provide insights for faster decision-making.

Canadian organisations that embrace AI will be at the forefront of creating a more skilled workforce and increasing productivity in Canada. When applied responsibly, AI can amplify human performance and improve decision-making. I see AI as a necessity for people-constrained industries.

Use Data to Reimagine the Workplace

As businesses reimagine the workplace, evolving needs like hybrid work environments and a revitalised and connected workforce emerge. Businesses trying to learn more about employees' wellbeing, expectations, skills, and career goals can use technology to understand employee sentiment and efficiently address their concerns. Then, quickly analyse data to identify trends, risks, and opportunities within their workforce. Visionary leaders use these insights to inform stakeholders, give managers personalised action plans, and help employees and businesses thrive.

It has yet to be determined what business will look like in three, five, or 10 years. We know that companies need systems and technology that are agile and adaptable enough to work and grow with them. Workday solutions are shaping the landscape of Canadian businesses by providing pathways towards building diverse teams that are engaged, upskilled, and ready to compete better in global economies.

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