Dutch Businesses Overwhelmed by Triple Treat to Growth, According to FTI-BOLD Netherlands Resilience Barometer
Nearly Four in Five Companies Surveyed Believe They Need to Fundamentally Change Their Business Model to Remain Competitive
Amsterdam, 14 November 2022 — The disruptive impact of the war for talent, rising energy costs and inflation have combined to create a triple threat to growth and competitiveness for Dutch companies, according to research from FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN).
A major concern for the Dutch C-suite is their ability to retain a workforce who can help them evolve, although low unemployment has resulted in staff shortages and intensified competition for talent. The research reveals workforce shortages as the leading macroeconomic concern of Dutch leaders (29%), followed by the impact of the war in Ukraine on energy (27%) and inflation (25%). More than two-thirds (87%) of the respondents agreed that their businesses had adjusted their approaches to attracting and retaining talent. A quarter of those surveyed (26%) perceived the competition for people and talent as a key reputational issue and expected to face media scrutiny in this area in the next 12 months.
The 2022 FTI-BOLD Netherlands Resilience Barometer® surveyed nearly 600 senior executives from large companies across 11 industries in the Netherlands. Faced with continued disruption in business and macroeconomic conditions, enterprising leaders will have to make difficult choices in the coming months to achieve sustainable, long-term value. Seventy-five percent of respondents said their business model needs to fundamentally change to sustain competitiveness in the market. In addition, 73% expect their business will require operational restructuring within a year, whilst 70% believe financial restructuring will be needed.
In response to acute staff shortages and increasing pressure on businesses to make organisational changes, most companies have introduced new ways of working since the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking to digital solutions to unlock potential, albeit with varying degrees of success. Whilst 84% agreed they have become more agile by using predictive analytics tools, 74% reported that their business was struggling with digitalisation.
Against this backdrop, senior managers in the Netherlands continue to manage major boardroom issues, such as cybersecurity, data protection and ESG investment, which has grown in importance for businesses around the world and is now a key concern on the leadership agenda. Eighty-two percent of the companies surveyed reported that they have invested more in ESG and sustainability over the past 12 months, yet nearly 80% believed their organisation lacked sufficient ESG expertise to cope with the increasing scrutiny that this area attracts. In fact, as many as one in four companies are planning a merger or acquisition within a year to improve their ESG profile and gain more knowledge and expertise in this field.
“Dutch companies face challenges on multiple fronts and will need to change course in order to keep their business models competitive and profitable,” said Klaas Wagenaar, a Senior Managing Director and Head of FTI-BOLD — the Dutch arm of FTI Consulting. “One of the key takeaways of the FTI-BOLD Netherlands Resilience Barometer® research is that whilst many businesses recognise the challenges ahead of them, few have the necessary resources or expertise to tackle them. It is likely to be a bumpy road ahead, as leaders will need to implement strategies on several fronts to achieve operational and financial resilience in the long term.”
About the Resilience Barometer
The 2022 FTI-BOLD Netherlands Resilience Barometer® includes the views of 597 leading voices in large companies across 11 industries in the Netherlands. Large companies are defined as those with over 250 employees, or over USD$50 million in annual global turnover, or with a balance sheet of over USD$43 million.
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Source: FTI Consulting, Inc.