Project Partner: Lisa Taylor, Challenge Factory
Languages: English and French


CERIC has identified a need and commissioned the development of a new bilingual resource to introduce and support career management in Canada’s many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Entitled Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business, the concise Playbook is intended for owners and managers of SMEs to use as a practical career management tool with their employees.

The Playbook is being written by career management expert and small business owner Lisa Taylor, President of Challenge Factory, and includes collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. It is also being made possible with the contributions of Knowledge Champions. The launch is planned for the Cannexus17 National Career Development Conference in Ottawa, Jan. 23-25, 2017.

Key aspects of the Playbook:

  • 50-60 pages, available in English and French
  • An exploration of top career management issues based on best practices research and interviews with SMEs across Canada from different sectors, and the guidance of an Advisory Committee
  • Innovative “travel guide” format with easy-to-implement activities that can be accomplished in as little as 10 minutes a day (worksheets and additional references included)
  • Focus on developing skills, knowledge and abilities of employees to retain talent and contribute more to the business
  • Connects career management to the biggest barriers for small business (e.g., cash flow, time management, desire for growth) and addresses prime concerns (e.g., perceived lack of scope for career progression in flat organizations)

Playbooks will be for sale in both print ($15.95) and ebook ($6.50) via and Bulk copies of 10 or more can be purchased through CERIC at a 30% discount. A pdf will also be available for free download from the CERIC site.

The need for the Playbook was identified in CERIC’s Environics survey released in 2014 showing that 71% of organizations say they have responsibilities for career development, but only 29% of them say they are doing anything about it. Further research confirmed that SMEs are missing an opportunity to leverage good career management practices to grow their businesses. People-related issues are especially costly to small business and owners cite finding, keeping and developing their employees as critical to success. Also with SMEs employing just over 90% of Canada’s private sector labour force, it represents a significant opportunity to enhance the career development of Canadians.

Knowledge Champions

Knowledge Champions consist of a select number of organizations supporting the development and dissemination of the Playbook.

Our special thanks to the following Knowledge Champions for their leadership:

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

TD Community Giving

The CFO Centre

The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University

Université Laval