This month’s update to CEO/CMO confidence and concerns reports on 30 countries – double the number reported on in May. It is a further demonstration of Worldcom’s desire to provide global, regional and local insight that assists decision-making by business leaders.
The Worldcom Confidence Index (WCI) 10 – is drawn from over 54,000 CEOs and CMOs around the world. It highlights the issues that are uppermost in their minds as they respond to the rapidly changing landscape of the Covid-19 pandemic and navigate other significant business challenges. The June WCI 10 shows the main changes since May 2020.
#1 Confidence levels remain 28% lower than November 2019 despite a tiny (0.3%) improvement
- Only three countries saw a decline in confidence
- Portugal saw the biggest increase since May – up 4.9%
- France (7 topics) and the U.K. (9 topics) came top of the Index for over two thirds of topics
- Japan was the most confident country for three topics and China one.
#2 As predicted in May, the impact of the George Floyd murder saw brand reputation fall out of the top five CEO topics of confidence. Corporate image and brand reputation saw the third largest decline in confidence – down 5%
- Potential concerns over their handling of the crisis saw leaders’ confidence in corporate image and brand reputation decline by 5%
- India, the U.K. and the U.S. took the top three places for confidence in brand reputation. Bulgaria and Iceland had the lowest confidence.
#3 Employer brand, keeping employees and giving them the new skills they need to be more productive in the ‘new normal’, all saw increases in leader engagement
Employee related topics took five of the top eight topics
- Upskilling and reskilling – the #1 topic (up 6%)
- Retaining talent – the #4 topic (up 1%)
- Economic migration – the #5 topic (no change)
- Employee engagement – the #6 topic (up 1%)
- Employer brand – the #7 topic (up 2%)
#4 As the financial implications of the pandemic begin to bite. Leaders’ confidence in financial and economic influences on success saw the fourth largest decline (down 4%) to #18 on the WCI
- Slovakia had the lowest confidence and the K. and U.S. the highest
- The Netherlands had the third lowest confidence in this topic
#5 Decline in over 65s confidence may be a bellwether for the severity of the economic crisis to come
- While over 65s and over 55s remained the two most confident groups, the confidence of over 65s fell the most (down 4%). As the age group to have experienced most crises and recessions, this decline in confidence may be a bellwether for the severity of the current crisis
- Gen X – and Gen Z are the only age groups with below average confidence.
#6 Confidence in using technology to collaborate and innovate saw the fourth largest fall. Perhaps this points to employees beginning to struggle with lack of face-to-face contact
- This topic is also the fifth topic of concern for CEOs. So, despite the surge in the use of applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, organisations may need help to use them in a way that aids effective collaboration
- UK and France are most confident and Russia and Bulgaria least confident.
#7 Influencers extended their lead as #1 audience for leader attention – up 3% since May. But confidence in the ability to satisfy influencers fell by 8%. Customers and employees also saw increases in attention
- Organisations are clearly trying to garner support for the decisions they take to position themselves for the recovery
- Confidence in the ability to satisfy influencers fell by 8% – demonstrating the levels of uncertainty leaders have about how influencers will react to the decisions they take to manage the crisis.
#8 Reducing plastics and other sustainability issues saw the biggest increase in attention from leaders (up 7%) but the biggest fall in confidence – down 7%
- The topic engagement increased by 7% since May.
- Confidence declined by 7%. The topic moved down from #3 to #4 on the Worldcom Confidence Index. This may be a function of consumers becoming more active on sustainability issues
- U.S. and Russia were the most confident countries for sustainability issues and Iceland and Slovakia the least confident.
#9 Central and Eastern European countries had five of the seven lowest scores
- Slovakia had the lowest confidence score
- Countries in Central and Eastern Europe came bottom for 12 of the 23 topics. Bulgaria came last for six of those
#10 Australasia’s confidence drops 5% – leaving the score just above the Regional average. Regions show variations in areas of most concern
- All other regions saw an improvement in confidence
- Australasia is least confident about attracting talent
- North America is least confident about sexual harassment and other bad behaviour
- Asia is least confident about the impact of the way political leaders communicate on social media
- Europe is least confident about the reducing plastics and other sustainability issues
- Africa is least confident about global instability and the threat of war
- LATAM is least confident about cybercrime
Full index: June 2020 Worldcom Confidence Index