Canadian business leaders recognizing need to invest in staff

HSBC survey also says 79% of Canadian businesses expect to grow in the next two years

Businesses expected to grow
HSBC survey also says 79% of Canadian businesses expect to grow in the next two years

A new Canadian survey says the majority of businesses expect to grow in the next two years while increasingly adopting new technologies, and at the same time they’ll be investing in their people.

The Navigator: Made for the Future is a survey by HSBC of over 2,500 companies in 14 countries and territories, including Canada.

It found that 54 per cent of Canadian companies plan to invest in research and innovation to drive that growth. Many business leaders prioritize boosting spending on skills training (47 per cent) and employee satisfaction and well-being (42 per cent) to supercharge that growth; ahead of investments in logistics (37 per cent), premises or equipment (37 per cent), business restructuring (37 per cent), and ‘bricks and mortar’ stores (29 per cent).

The survey also found that 79 per cent of Canadian businesses expect to grow in the next two years.

“The future of work is about much more than technology: it’s about the future of workers,” said Dan Leslie, deputy head of Commercial Banking at HSBC Bank Canada, in a news release.

“This survey demonstrates that technology is only half the story; business leaders recognize that we need to invest in people to be successful. Businesses made for the future will need their people to be highly trained and highly engaged – or they may take their skills elsewhere. Canada is well positioned to take full advantage of this, given our business leaders’ commitment to investing in people and continued opening of new trade markets.”

The survey also found that 54 per cent of companies in Canada plan to increase their investment in customer experience and 38 per cent will raise spending to become more environmentally sustainable over the next two years.

“A number of new technologies have already been embraced by businesses and include wearables (39 per cent), augmented and virtual reality (38 per cent), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (37 per cent), 3D printing (35 per cent), and the Internet of things (34 per cent). The biggest benefits of employing these five technologies are improvements in productivity, customer experience and product or service quality,” said HSBC.

“While 77 per cent of Canadian companies think technologies will make their staff more productive, 74 per cent think they will enhance satisfaction and well-being, 74 per cent think they will need to up-skill their workforce, while 61 per cent also said they think they’ll need fewer workers in the future. More than half (53 per cent) intend to introduce or increase flexible working practices to enhance well-being and adapt to a rebalancing between human and automated output.”

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