More than two-thirds of respondents agree that new working practices wrought by the pandemic experience — such as flexible and remote working — are increasingly critical to reducing employee churn and attracting new talent. More than half (59%) agree that during a downturn, there is an even greater need to focus on workforce wellbeing, including issues such as supporting childcare and mental health.
And there is a boldness in CEOs’ desire to further improve their talent strategies. More than half (57%) say that other companies reducing their headcount during a downturn is an opportunity for their organization to attract and retain new talent. Even for those not looking to increase headcount, a similar number (56%) say they have begun shifting from hiring new talent to upskilling their current workforce.
Responding to new realities: embedding ESG in corporate strategies
CEOs also see critical advantages to embedding ESG factors into their strategic planning to strengthen the brand and build trust with key stakeholders, including employees, customers and communities.
Other advantages of a continued focus on ESG are diversifying their product or service offering and meeting the changing ESG demands of customers, or acquiring talent and capabilities to accelerate their ESG agenda — such as sustainability technologies from the startup or innovation ecosystem.
Another key consideration is responding to a changing political environment, including increasing scrutiny of corporate practices and the improvement of ESG ratings scores that can positively impact investor decision-making.