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Retention of employees in a context of labour shortage #HOP19

Friday April 19th, 2019, 9:00 AM

This subject was recently discussed in a previous article, but Canada is facing a difficult context. The labour market is far from saturated: there is a lack of labour supply (job seekers). This is why it is very important for every company, large or small, to ensure that it retains and retains its best employees and therefore its know-how, talent and skills.

This is a subject that was particularly well addressed during a discussion between Georges Pothier (moderator), Marie-Chantal Lamothe (Vice President HR of the Jean Coutu Group) and Frédérik Guérin (CEO Club Tissus) during HOP! le Sommet du Commerce de Détail organized last March by the CQCD.


Two companies were present in the discussion: Jean Coutu, a pharmaceutical giant, and Club Tissus, a smaller-scale sewing store. Both agree that it is now more than ever necessary to think about employee and talent retention. However, their techniques differ.

For Jean Coutu's vice-president, Marie Chantal Lamothe, the key is hiring. To be able to retain talent, it must first be selected and then cherished. Jean Coutu therefore strives to make a meticulous selection of its employees: finding the rare gem that will be motivated to evolve within the company itself for several years and in keeping with the brand image.

According to Frédérik Guérin, the important thing is the sense of belonging and personal development. Above all, each employee must be happy to work for Club Tissus and thrive in his or her position. The key would therefore be to value employees. For this purpose, psychometric tests are set up to allow everyone to reveal their talents and understand the importance of their role in the company.

"If people are in the right place - the one they love, not necessarily the top of the ladder - and the company recognizes it, then it works.

Frédérik Guérin

CEO of Club Tissus


But both companies agree on one point: the employee's motivation to hire is not enough. We must maintain this motivation, this joy of coming to work. It is necessary to make the professional environment pleasant in order to perpetuate your relationship with your employees. A happy employee will be more productive and will convey a positive image of your brand. For this, several things are possible.

  1. The recognition
  2. Team building, the basis of a sense of belonging
  3. Comfort and quality of work
  • The recognition

Congratulate your employees and their successes. Stop constantly picking up the negative and learn to develop a more positive vision. Calmly share things that need to be improved and greatly congratulate the successes. The more positive your vision is, the more positive the results will be.

  • Team building, the basis of a sense of belonging

Create a real team with whom everyone identifies, knows their role and is proud to identify. Strengthen the bonds between your employees: role-playing, events, festive evenings... Reduce the hierarchical barrier: create a pleasant atmosphere where no one will be afraid to communicate. Organize sharing and grouping activities. Sports activities are conducive to this: Yoga and Zumba are a great success for our two model companies.

  • Comfort and quality of work

Make your employees comfortable at work: improve common areas, personalize individual spaces and promote good habits.

The little something extra Jean Coutu:

Many services accessible to employees. Gym, swimming pool, community garden, terrace, cafeteria with caterer (it is even possible to order some for evening meals with the family) and daycare for children: nothing is left to chance, everything is done to make the employee's life easier.

The little something extra Club Tissus:

"What you don't learn at school" training offered to employees under 25 years of age, most of whom are new to the company. Make them better leaders and give them a good brand image. They may turn to you again in a few years.


  • Remember that candidates have many opportunities, and great opportunities, so don't let your key elements slip away.
  • Do your best for your employees, they will give it back to you. A happy employee is a beautiful company face.
  • Invest for and in your employees. Good investments are those that will have long-term benefits (employees who leave the company only after retirement, satisfied employees who are more productive...). Many things are available at a lower cost if you are a small business.
  • Know how to congratulate and thank the people who help you build you and make your brand known.


The Pharma Escomptes Jean Coutu Group (PJC Inc.), created in 1973 by Mr. Jean Coutu and Louis Michaud, is now a leading pharmaceutical company in North America, with more than 120 franchises.

The company is recognized in the field of employee retention and has won several awards: Best Employer in Quebec according to Indeed, Second most appreciated company of the millennia according to LesAffaires.com, and the Retail Trade most appreciated by Quebecers. All its surveys were also conducted by Léger Marketing and you will find the complete history of PJC and the various prices received right here.


Club Tissus is the passion of more than 150 employees, present to support you in each of your sewing and decoration projects since 1992 through inspiring shopping centres and the largest selection of sewing and decoration products in Canada.

It is also more than 40,000 members in Quebec who are ready to help each other, share their knowledge and participate in the various activities organized throughout the year.


La Halte 24-7 also works to retain employees and members and create a comfortable and pleasant work environment. New offices have been set up in Longueuil to be more accessible to certain people, networking evenings are organized each month to allow everyone to create relationships and meet professionals, many events are held each month to gather and discover, monthly gourmet mornings brighten up members' mornings, a reception service is available every day... and many more.

In 2018, Halte 24-7 received the Member Choice Award from coworker.com by vote of the members and is thus ranked as the coworking most appreciated by its members in Montreal.

Written by Maé SABY

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