News & Press: The HR Profession

HR Trends Reports cover extensive ground, highlight pertinent HR issues

November 2, 2018  

The sixth edition of the Manitoba HR Trends Report and Western Canada HR Trends Report were released in November 2018 with a plethora of information around pertinent issues that HR professionals have been facing and dealing with in Manitoba and throughout Western Canada, including the #MeToo Movement, preparing for the legislation of Marijuana and employee engagement in the workplace.

These reports are divided into six key areas - Labour Market Forecast, Labour Market Statistics, Compensation & Benefits, Employee Engagement, Politics, Harassment & Substance Abuse and Trends in HR – that benchmark industry issues and trends that human resources professionals can reference when making future talent management decisions.

This article summarizes and compares each area of the Manitoba and Western Canada HR Trends reports.

Labour Market Forecast

In Western Canada, hiring confidence is down in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan; meanwhile, Manitoba’s hiring confidence is up – bucking the ongoing trend in hiring. The sectors with the highest measured hiring rates are construction, retail, public administration and government, and education; the manufacturing sector suffers with the lowest hiring levels.

In Manitoba, large organizations were the driving force behind the high increase in hires; small organizations also saw an increase in the number of hires but medium-sized organizations remained stagnant. 35% of organizations expect their number of employees to raise in the next six months – in favour of small and medium-sized businesses.

The most common reasons for employers to lose staff are Resignation for a better opportunity and Resignation for personal reasons. This is a sign of strong economies and health labour markets in Manitoba and Western Canada because professionals are presented with better opportunities and employers can afford to hire them.

Labour Market Statistics

45% of organizations are reporting a net increase in employment across Western Canada. This significant percentage is driven by high numbers in British Columbia (57%), medium-sized organizations (51%), and in the construction (56%), retail (48%), and professional services (48%) sectors; meanwhile, 43% of organizations in Manitoba saw an increase in growth in all areas, especially from medium-sized organizations (51%).

In Manitoba and Western Canada, the increase of employment numbers is due to an increase in contractors – to lower financial and benefits-associated costs. In Manitoba, the biggest increase of contractors versus employees is in medium-sized organizations at net +7.6%.

Since Resignation for a better opportunity is the most common reason for all job categories – managers, professionals, tradespersons or journeypersons, administrative or support staff – except executives, whose most common reason for leaving a job is Retirement.

For the HR profession, large organizations in Manitoba have the highest ratio of 272 regular employees to one HR staff person in comparison to all other provinces; Saskatchewan had the lowest at 148:1.

Compensation and Benefits

In Western Canada, 71% of organizations have a compensation philosophy; however, in Manitoba, only 65% of organizations do – a number that has decreased by four points since last year. About one in five all respondents expect to see a change their compensation philosophy next year and over two-thirds don’t expect to see a change. Despite the large proportion of organizations that have a compensation philosophy, only a few HR professionals believe their employees understand the basis of which their compensation is determined.

Employee Engagement

Three-quarter of all respondents agree that employee engagement is important to the senior leadership of the organization. Manitoba ranked the highest amount of organizations (76%) in agreement for employment engagement.

Manitoba also ranked the highest percentage of employees (59%) who are engaged in their work and have a profound connection to their company.

Politics, Harassment and Substance Abuse

Workplaces in Manitoba/Western Canada generally don’t rank themselves as being “political” but the most common messages used in the workplace are focused on change (50%/49%), neutral of tone (44%/47%), respectful (38%/34%), focused on policy debates (35%/36%) and civil (32%).

The #MeToo Movement triggered many organizations to take action with respect to their workplace policies related to bullying and harassment. Manitoba ranked the highest at 62% for the amount of organizations that took affirmative action.

Meanwhile, the legalization of marijuana presented new challenges for organizations in Western Canada. In Manitoba, two in five respondents (39%) say their organizations have a drug and alcohol policy that is sufficient to address marijuana and another 41% are actively working on having a policy in place within a year.

HR in Manitoba

HR professionals in Manitoba say that they spend almost half (45%) of their time working on a strategic or performing at a leadership function.

The trends that HR professionals commonly face in Manitoba and Western Canada include employment standards by government, NAFTA uncertainty, minimum wage and legalization of marijuana. The biggest challenges that HR professionals in Manitoba face are unsupportive/micro-managing management; lack of time, strategic direction or communication; turnover and finding the right candidate.

The online survey for the HR Trends was conducted between June 19 and July 10, 2018, by CPHR British Columbia & Yukon, CPHR Alberta, CPHR Saskatchewan and CPHR Manitoba. Members under each provincial association were invited to take part via email – resulting in 2,912 responses. Respondents ranged in what sector, size of workplace and professional title they represented.

For more information on both the Manitoba HR Trends Report and Western Canada HR Trends Report (Fall 2018 and past editions), visit

Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Manitoba (CPHR Manitoba)
1810-275 Portage Avenue / Winnipeg, Manitoba / R3B 2B3
tel. 204.943.2836 / fax. 204.943.1109 / email.

For additional information please visit: CPHR.CA

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