Report Finds Employees a Top Priority of Business Leaders

Report Finds Employees a Top Priority of Business Leaders

In the world of public relations, there is an important stakeholder group that sometimes gets overshadowed by customers, public officials and shareholders: employees. But that could be changing, as CEOs and CMOs representing businesses across the globe see retaining quality employees and attracting the best talent as the top issue influencing success over the next year.

Published by Worldcom Public Relations Group, a global network of more than 80 independent PR agencies of which Nuffer, Smith, Tucker is a partner, the Confidence Index report delves into what C-suite executives see as the biggest threats and opportunities to achieving their organizational goals. The report highlights key issues and trends, and uncovers interesting differences in the confidence levels of respondents across 18 demographic categories, including business roles, ages, gender, business size, geographic presence and more.

The report revealed a 43 percent increase in the number of business leaders planning to give employees the most attention in 2018 than did so in 2017. This leap in attention for employees – the only audience to see an increase – is driven by concerns over three main threats: government or legislative changes (top threat), lack of available talent (second threat) and cybercrime (third threat). It may also be a response to very low confidence levels when it comes to their ability to attract and retain the best talent.

Despite a lower than average confidence in organizational ability to attract and retain the best talent, business leaders remain optimistic about their ability to satisfy customers, rating it as their top source of optimism for 2018. However, leaders indicate only moderate confidence in their ability to increase productivity by energizing and engaging employees.

The 2018 Confidence Index report includes an analysis of the issues and key recommendations business leaders can implement to increase their probability of success in 2018. Highlights of the report include:

  • Cybercrime Concerns: Overall, business leaders are least confident in their ability to protect their organization from cybercrime, and at least 50 percent more American companies than those in the other regions see cybercrime as the biggest threat.
  • American Confidence: Organizations headquartered in America sit atop the Confidence Index with an overall score of 34.9/100, nearly nine points above the average.
  • Generation Gap: Confidence in the ability to both attract and keep the best talent declines significantly as leaders age.
  • Brand Power: When compared to larger organizations, 71 percent more leaders of smaller organizations think the ability to attract talent with the quality of their Employer Brand will have the most influence on business success in 2018.
  • Unknown Course: Nearly one in 12 business leaders see global instability as the biggest threat to achieving their plans.
  • Political Positivity: More than double the number of organizations from America (28 percent) than Europe, the Middle East and Africa (13 percent) think the style of political leader communications positively impacts their optimism about growth potential.
  • Mid-Market Squeeze: Midsize organizations are the least confident (along with smaller sized organizations) about their ability to protect their brand in the event of a crisis.

The report also includes 11 recommendations to help organizations address the issues identified in this report. To attract and retain the best talent, while also increasing productivity, Worldcom recommends organizations:

  • Define their culture and values in a compelling way
  • Create a purpose and a strategy to support the purpose that both energizes employees and inspires customers by accentuating the value an organization delivers

Nuffer, Smith, Tucker has developed strategic plans, which includes developing an organization’s mission, vision, values and purpose like mentioned above, for many different clients ranging in scale from small businesses to national organizations. We’ve seen first-hand the value it provides to an organization and its stakeholders, including employees. If you’re curious to know more about our strategic planning practice, please reach out.

Want to learn more about The Worldcom 2018 Confidence Index Report? Download it for free at