Welcome to 3 Key Charts, a weekly department in which we explain the graphs, maps, tables and diagrams that you must understand to guard and grow your business. The diagrams and graphics displayed below could help you discover a new opportunity, alert you to an impending risk, or teach you how to be a better manager.
In this instalment, we look at the motivators for staff turnover, the jurisdictions where Ontarian companies send their goods, and business bankruptcies in Alberta.
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Where it’s from: “The Global Career Aspirations Survey” by Right Management.
What it shows: The top reasons why employees leave their jobs. Better work/life balance and higher compensation each drive 35% of those exiting their place of work, while the better work culture and more challenging work available at another firm each cause 25% of turnover.
Why it matters: Money isn’t everything. While a plurality of employees are still motivated by compensation in deciding whether to stay or leave, the study found the work environment to be equally vital. The ability to juggle personal and professional lives is increasingly important to workers, so ensuring that you have a flexible hours policy or a work-from-home option would go a long way to ensuring your staff stay put. If you’re in a line of work that makes such concessions impossible, focus on making your company a rewarding place to work. The survey’s findings make it clear that what they’re doing matters as much to employees as how and where they’re doing it. Staff who don’t feel their responsibilities are worthy of their talents are more likely to quit when a more challenging opportunity comes their way. Beyond retention, ensuring your employees are making the most of their talents also help you drive your company forward.
MORE CHALLENGING WORK: Get the Right People Out of the Wrong Jobs »
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The oil price slump takes its toll
Where it’s from: “Currents May 2015: Addressing Emissions” by the Canada West Foundation.
What it shows: The change in the number of business bankruptcies in the four western Canadian provinces in January 2015 compared to January 2014. Alberta was the only province to see more bankruptcies this year than last, with 28.6% more companies closing their doors. Manitoba logged the largest reduction in bankruptcies, at 100%.
Why it matters: Alberta may not be a one-product province, but the graph indicates just how important the oilsands are. The price of oil is unlikely to return to its mid-2014 high of over $100 a barrel, which is pushing smaller producers without the resources to sustain a long period of losses. But you don’t need to be in the oil business to feel the repercussions in an energy downturn. As oilpatch players of all sizes look to cut costs in light of reduced revenue, suppliers and ancillary firms are seeing their own income decline. Oil producers themselves likely account for only a small portion of the increase in Alberta business bankruptcies, with the majority made up of the firms that service the energy firms and serve their workers. While every institution in Alberta is arguably overly reliant on the energy industry—witness the provincial government’s budgetary woes—businesses need to avoid hitching their fortunes to just one sector or client. Diversifying your business ensures it will survive even if the current driver of economic growth does not.
MORE BRANCHING OUT: Lessons in Diversification from Cineplex’s Ellis Jacob »
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Where it’s from: “Ontario exports as much to Tennessee as we do to China or Mexico” by the Mowat Centre.
What it shows: The top 10 destinations for Ontario’s exports of goods. Neighbouring jurisdictions Michigan and Quebec are first and second respectively, while the United Kingdom is the only market outside North America on the list in fourth place.
Why it matters: Mowat Chief Economist Mike Moffat points out in his accompanying note that China and Mexico—two large, emerging economies—are tied in 17th place alongside the U.S. state of Tennessee. Our southern neighbour remains by far the most biggest export market for Canadian businesses, and with the U.S. economy finally starting to show signs of real growth following the 2008 recession, it’s importance seems unlikely to diminish. Still, Moffat counsels that the provincial government must do more to promote trade between Ontarian businesses and the 50 jurisdictions across the border. Individual companies should avoid the mistake of looking at the U.S. as a single gigantic market. Instead, focus on the peculiarities of the state you’re targeting, and adapt your offering accordingly.
MORE STATE STRATEGIES: A Surprising Way to Crack the U.S. Market »
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What conclusions do you draw from these charts? Let us know using the comments section below.