Ottawa, Jan. 23, 2017 – The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) will today launch a new publication to help the more than 4 in 5 small-and medium-sized enterprises who worry about engaging and developing the talent to grow their businesses. Entitled Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business, this action-oriented Playbook enables small business owners and entrepreneurs to use career management as a strategic lever for stronger company performance.

The need for this Playbook was identified in a CERIC-commissioned Environics National Survey (2014) that examined the state of Career Development in the Canadian Workplace. “We discovered that 71% of employers said they have responsibilities for employee career management, however, only 29% felt they were doing anything about it,” said Riz Ibrahim, executive director of CERIC. “With SMEs employing fully 90% of Canada’s private sector workforce, career management is a critical, and often misunderstood, issue.”

Career management not only brings employee satisfaction and loyalty, it also drives better customer service, improvement in business operations and an increase in opportunity for growth. “During our research we found that owners and managers believe they have the knowledge and skills to be better career advisors. What they needed was the gift of time and proven tools that fit into their everyday schedule,” said Lisa Taylor, the Playbook author, who is a workforce expert and a small business owner herself as president of Challenge Factory.

In research conducted for the book, Taylor found the following issues keep SME owners awake at night:

  • 83% worried about engaging and retaining employees
  • 66.7% indicated finding the right talent and recruitment was a challenge
  • 61.1% were concerned about developing new leadership candidates and managers

“Another key concern voiced by small business owners was how to provide career development for employees in flat organizations with limited resources and few chances for promotion,” added Taylor.

Written in an innovative “travel guide” format, Retain and Gain addresses these issues and also provides:

  • 40+ tips, activities and actions that SME owners and managers can take immediately
  • Research, facts and statistics that shed new light on Canada’s small business economy and workforce
  • Special sections on new graduates, aging workers and family businesses

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce supported the development of the Playbook along with “Knowledge Champions” TD Bank; The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University; Laval University; and The CFO Centre.

Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business has received positive advance reviews from a range of small business groups, including Futurpreneur, Family Enterprise Xchange and Startup Canada. “The Retain and Gain Playbook is a foundational guide for every entrepreneur and small business owner to attract and retain a successful team through focusing on employee career development and smart planning,” said Victoria Lennox, co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada.

The Playbook will be introduced during the Cannexus National Career Development Conference in Ottawa. Highlights include:

Monday, Jan. 23

1:30 p.m. (Shaw Centre) – A multi-expert panel will discuss career management for small business. Panelists include author Lisa Taylor; Kevin Barwin, founding partner at Clariti Group and president of HRPA Ottawa; Ian Faris, president and CEO of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce; Fred Boulanger, CEO, Macadamian Technologies and chair, ITAC; and award-winning SMEs such as Kinaxis and Equator Coffee Roasters.

Tuesday, Jan. 24

8:00 a.m. (Westin Ottawa) – In association with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and HRPA Ottawa, Taylor will make a breakfast presentation to local entrepreneurs and business owners on how to establish good career practices with low-cost actions they can take in as little as 10 minutes a day.

The Playbook is available in both English and French and can be downloaded for free at now. It will also be available for sale via and in print or ebook formats.

About Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor is founder and president of Challenge Factory and the Centre for Career Innovation. Her career and workforce perspectives have been featured in media outlets across North America including the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, CBC and The Globe and Mail. Taylor regularly speaks on the future of work, the intergenerational workforce and the changing nature of careers in today’s economy.


The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) is a charitable organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development, in order to increase the economic and social well-being of Canadians. It funds projects to develop innovative resources that build the knowledge and skills of diverse career professionals. CERIC also annually hosts Cannexus, Canada’s largest bilingual career development conference.

For further information: Sharon Ferriss
Director, Marketing, Web & New Media, CERIC | 647.466.0564