FTI Consulting Survey Finds CEOs Gain Favor Among Investors and Employees by Addressing Major Societal Issues
Data Demonstrates Need for CEOs to Take on Complex Societal Issues, Show Strong Corporate Purpose and Values, and Effectively Communicate and Engage with Stakeholders Frequently
“The challenging events of the past two years have made clear that society is demanding a different kind of leadership from a new generation of CEOs. This research proves that important stakeholders for businesses, including employees and investors, are paying close attention to not only what CEOs say, but also the actions they take within their own businesses to address societal issues,” said
Research revealed that investors and working professionals strongly believe that CEOs must focus on people and the planet, in addition to profit. Increasingly, stakeholders are looking to CEOs to address and navigate issues that go beyond the business – from climate change to social justice to public and employee health. Further, how CEOs address these issues through their words and actions can positively or negatively impact a company’s reputation and their own favorability.
Key findings from the survey include:
- Investors (82%) and professionals (75%) overwhelmingly agree that CEOs must take a stand on issues of importance.
- Investors (92%) and professionals (77%) believe that what a CEO says about societal issues impacts their overall opinion of the company.
- Engagement with societal issues helped to improve CEO favorability with 58% of investors and 45% of professionals saying that their opinion of CEOs is more favorable as a result of their engagement in dialogue around societal issues.
- The ways in which CEOs handled the COVID-19 pandemic increased favorability the most, with six in 10 professionals (59%) and investors (60%) having a more favorable opinion of CEOs based on their response.
- Professionals believe that CEOs must prioritize the physical health and mental well-being of employees more than any other business issue (34% of respondents indicated as top priority), followed by diversity, equity and inclusion (19%).
“We’re at a critical moment where CEOs must redefine what it means to be effective business leaders moving forward,” said
This is the first installment of FTI Consulting’s CEO Leadership Redefined series.
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Source: FTI Consulting, Inc.