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2022 Managing Partners letters: Quebec

January 26, 2022
Quebec City

While the past few months have been marked by federal and municipal elections, as well as major economic and social disruptions during the pandemic, certain themes will define the coming year.

Here are the three main challenges Quebec-based organizations will encounter, and the approaches that may turn challenges into favourable opportunities.

Organizations will continue to face talent shortages

Research from the Conseil du patronat du Québec, revealed that 94 per cent of Quebec companies are experiencing hiring issues. As a direct result, 430 businesses say they have refused contracts and 39 per cent have delayed investments.

According to Retraite Québec’s January 2019 projections, the province of Quebec will count one more retired person every eight minutes by 2025.

Finally, a survey conducted by Lighthouse Labs of 1,000 Canadian professionals in March 2021, found 6 out of 10 workers (57 per cent) indicated a desire to change jobs or even careers “if given the opportunity.”

The retention challenge may seem daunting. However, there is a tremendous opportunity to stand out as an employer of choice. Organizations committed to providing an authentic, values-based experience for their employees and the talent they wish to attract, will have a competitive advantage. There are many ways to do this: career path planning, peer recognition programs, repositioning important events, establishing new benefits, and promoting innovative ideas. Employer branding, driven by external communications and supported by HR efforts, will become an important lever in attracting talent.

Organizations will need to learn how to identify and tell their stories

Too many organizations remain dependent on airtime and media space—over which they have little control—to relay their messages. Traditional media remains in flux: Newsrooms continue to shrink, journalists must now produce content for multiple platforms, and the news cycle is getting shorter.

More than ever, organizations need multi-channel strategies to reach audiences with their stories, products and news, incorporating public relations, advertising, digital, influencer marketing and internal communications.

Organizations now understand the effectiveness of digital platforms to extend their stories' lifespan. Now, they must also become their own content creation centres, and consider alternatives and complementary approaches.

Podcasts and webcasts provide interesting new ways of doing this. Why? Because they allow us to meet with our managers, employees, clients and partners, to offer a behind-the-scene perspective, to demystify a complex issue, to build social acceptability, and to show our values and commitment to our community.

Organizations will need to make cyber security an ongoing priority

According to a recent study conducted by the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) and Aviséo, 41 per cent of Quebec businesses believe they have been the target of one or more cyber attacks. It is estimated that, worldwide, the volume of corporate data is 18 times larger than ten years ago. Accelerated digital transformation, network decentralization, e-commerce expansion, work from home, videoconferencing, and poor security practices create new opportunities for cyber threats. Unfortunately, these threats have the potential to paralyze an organization in minutes.

When targeted by a cyber attack, communication with all stakeholders is essential. Clear messages delivered at regular intervals in a spirit of transparency are critical. Proper crisis communication protects, and may even enhance, the company's reputation.

NATIONAL's cyber security white paper details best practices organizations can implement to prepare for a cybersecurity incident.

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Written by Gillian Smith | Gordon Taylor Lee

2022 Managing Partners letters: Ontario
January 26, 2022