Leaders lose confidence amid COVID-19 pandemic: Worldcom Confidence Index

The Worldcom Confidence Index, an annual global survey assessing the confidence and concerns of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), has now expanded to provide current perspectives of global leaders mindset every month.

As expected, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, overall confidence among global CEOs and CMOs has continued to slide since November 2019, down 9.5% to a Worldcom Confidence Index score of 18.03. The analysis in April 2020, of online content from more than 54,000 CEOs and CMOs, has uncovered useful insights into leaders’ confidence about issues central to the COVID-19 crisis.

Read: Worldcom Confidence Index – Australian Report

The key global findings include

Leaders least confident about government and legislative change

While governments around the world have made unprecedented responses to the current crisis, business leaders are least confident about handling government and legislative change.

Huge rise in focus on suppliers while opinion leaders and influencers remain #1 audience for leaders

A huge increase in attention paid to suppliers, up 273% over the November 2019 result suggests the COVID-19 crisis has focused leaders’ attention on securing their supply chains.

In 2019, CEOs were most concerned with reaching influencers. And, while influencers remain the #1 audience for leader attention, the level of engagement fell 35%. However, confidence in reaching influencers and opinion leaders increased significantly, up 68% since November 2019.

The impact and role of the media becomes the #1 topic for leader attention

The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the media to a centre-stage role. It is not surprising that the impact and role of the media has moved to the #1 topic for leader attention (from #3 in November 2019). Global leaders are also slightly (5%) more confident about dealing with the media.

Retaining talent, upskilling employees and engagement remain high priority

Retaining talent, upskilling and reskilling employees and employee engagement remain high priorities for business leaders across the globe. Upskilling sees the biggest improvement in confidence (17%), but confidence in other employee-related topics attracting talent experiencing  the biggest fall – down 13%.

Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic drove increases in topic engagement

The biggest increases in topic engagement relate to responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: government and legislative change increased 1280%, global trade agreements and tariffs increased 779% and crisis management increased 472%.

Advanced Symbolics Inc.

For the Confidence Index, Worldcom commissioned Advanced Symbolics Inc. (ASI), a research company that uses artificial intelligence (AI), to create a fully representative understanding of what audiences are saying. The Artificial Intelligence provides an unrivalled view of trending topics and leaders’ confidence and concern in addressing them.

About Worldcom Public Relations Group

Phillips Group is a founding partner of the world’s leading partnership of independently owned public relations firms Worldcom Public Relations Group, with 143 offices employing over 2,000 staff in 115 cities across six continents. In total, Worldcom partners reported a combined revenue of US$288 million (2018) from 3,034 clients.