CEO confidence plunges over past 12 months

Global events, such as the protests in Hong Kong, Brexit, trade wars and climate strikes have led to a confidence crisis among C-suite executives.

Worldcom’s second annual Confidence Index, released yesterday, reveals a 21 per cent drop in confidence from last year, based on an analysis of online content published by nearly 60,000 CEOs and CMOs globally.

According to the report, global trade agreements and tariffs are undermining confidence, while issues such as global warming trigger different reactions from leaders in different countries and regions.

Leaders also are wary of the impact of the way political leaders communicate on social media, with all leaders except those in charge of medium-size companies expressing concern about this.

Last year, leaders saw changes by government and legislators as the biggest threat to their business plans, and while they remain concerned, their confidence has improved this year.

According to the report, five of the top six key concerns for leaders this year are related to employees, including the challenges of upskilling and reskilling workers and how to retain top talent.

“Just like last year, what is keeping CEOs up at night is retaining top talent. This year they also want to ensure employees have the right skills in an evolving and dynamic workplace,” Roger Hurni, Worldcom chairman, said in a statement.

“What’s also clear from the report is that employment benefits need to be a part of a retention and attraction strategy.”

Another area of concern for global leaders is cybercrime. This topic moved from last on the Confidence Index in 2018 to 7th place this year.

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