The recent survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers on the priorities of business leaders around the world reflects a slight increase in optimism for 2013 but does not hide the fears driving business leaders.
While 62% of business leaders worldwide consider higher taxes to be the main threat to growth in 2013, Canadian executives say they are much more concerned about the shortage of talents. 63% of them are indeed afraid that they will not be able to find the necessary skills this year to build up their workforces.
This was the conclusion drawn by the sixteenth survey conducted by the PriceWaterhouseCoopers firm on business leaders’ priorities. The survey was conducted among 1330 business leaders across 68 countries, including 120 in Canada.
According to this survey, the leaders are also especially concerned about the speed of technological change (45%) and their ability to finance growth (43%).
72% of Canadian CEOs feel that the government should concentrate its efforts on creation and support of a skilled workforce. More than three quarters (76%) also indicated that they are planing to increase their investments in developing skilled manpower and more than half (52%) that they planned to increase their workforce in 2013.
Canadian executives optimistic
While 46% of employers surveyed said that they are very confident with the prospects for growth of their business over the next three years, the figure rises to 60% among Canadian employers. A certain optimism can also be seen in the perception of the global economy, since close to half (49%) of Canadian business leaders expect stability of the world economy in 2013 while 26% expect some improvement.
The study also reveals that Canadian CEOs adopt a more integrated decision-making approach. Half of executives surveyed say that they actually encourage their staff to get involved in the company’s strategic decisions, compared to only 31% worldwide.
Canadian executives in fact believe that involving employees in decision-making can enhance their professional commitment and also create a pool of future leaders. In this sense, they remain very vigilant about the issue of their successors and pay great attention to the future generation. 85% of them say the have already identified potential successors for their position.
International mobility is not a priority
Finally, the study reveals that Canadian executives are less interested about matters of international mobility than in other countries such as the United States, BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), the European Union and Australia. They are indeed not necessarily seeking to encourage international experience for their future leaders. While the world average is at 61%, only 39% of Canadian business leaders say that they use international mobility as a real development tool.