Project Partner: Challenge Factory
Languages: English and French


This project will produce a unique bilingual Playbook to support talent growth across all levels of the public sector in light of rethinking roles, encouraging innovation and accessing new candidate pools. It builds on the success of our two earlier resources Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business Playbook (2017) and Retain and Gain: Career Management for Non-Profits and Charities Playbook (2018). The new edition is intended for front-line managers to apply in engaging and developing employees within a public service environment.

The Playbook is being authored by Lisa Taylor, President of Challenge Factory, and an expert on today’s changing world of work. It will be research-focused and informed by the guidance of an Advisory Committee of public sector leaders and managers. Initial research done to validate the project showed that managers throughout government find career conversations hard to lead with employees due to a lack of training, structure and time. It also found that employees lack advancement opportunities that fit their skill sets and meet their needs. This resource will address these gaps with concrete tools that identify how career development leads to better individual, group and department performance.

Retain and Gain: Career Management for the Public Sector:

  • Will include 40+ practical, low-cost tips, activities and actions to engage and retain public sector staff
  • Recognition of distinct workforce and workplace conditions in the public service, special sections, templates and links to unique resources
  • Specific focus will be given to equity and inclusion, highlighting how career development approaches can address the impact of systemic barriers and discrimination
  • Approximately 60 pages; graphic-oriented and presented in the novel “travel guide” format used in previous versions of the Playbook
  • Produced in both English and French
  • Available for free download and also for sale in print and ebook formats
  • Publishing in Spring 2021

In addition to helping managers make the connection between career development and employee success, this project will also highlight the links between policy work and the importance of career development. As public sector managers learn by experiencing the impact that better career management can have on the social and economic well-being of their own staff, this will also improve overall understanding of how career development is a public good that has a positive impact on all Canadians.

Knowledge Champions

Knowledge Champions consist of a select number of organizations supporting the development and dissemination of the Playbook. If you’d like to be part of the creation of this resource, please contact Sharon Ferriss, CERIC’s Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, at