The evolving role of the CEO
In this survey fielded in June 2022, 116 leading CEOs representing more than 15 industries answered a series of questions presented through Deloitte and Fortune to analyze and predict the growth and trajectories of their own organizations in today’s climate. Heading into 2021, CEOs described the year ahead as “a year of hope.” Now, 7 months into 2022, Deloitte and Fortune found that CEO optimism has declined, and we wanted to find out why—plus, what to do about it. Their latest research also brings to light the “increased expectations on the evolving role of the CEO.”
Uncertainty and unknown
While about 50% of CEOs expect strong or very strong growth for their own organization over the next 12 months, Deloitte notes this as a “far cry” from the previous optimism levels CEOs had expressed regarding their overall trajectory decreasing 28% from June 2021 (77%) and 16% from January 2022 (65%). So what’s the disruption? Here’s what the CEOs had to say about what’s standing in their way for the next 12 months.
What external issues do you expect to disrupt your business strategy in 2022?
- Market instability23%
- Labor shortage71%
- Ideological polarization22%
We already know a scarcity of skilled talent to meet the demands of the future, along with an unprecedented exodus of labor has made 2022 a year where recruitment and retention require a new focus and approach. And, based on Deloitte’s findings, it’s clear this new climate is affecting organizations from the top-down. But at Kantola, we’re all about the solution. So let’s see what the CEOs are planning to do when it comes to combating their fear of disruption.
So… what’s the plan?
Regarding the significance of various tactics and tools meant to combat the Great Resignation, CEOs believe there is more to be gained by providing more employee flexibility, training leaders to empower and engage workers, offering more financial-related incentives, and expanding benefits. What’s more, CEOs recognize that training should not solely be for leaders, as some offered comments suggesting that the way to “combat the current talent gap is through reskilling, upskilling, and more career development opportunities.”
Which of the following tactics do you expect to have the greatest impact on combating the "Great Resignation"?
- Flexibility of time and location83%
- Training and employee engagement62%
- Strengthening our company's purpose37%
Overall, Deloitte found CEO commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has grown over the past year, including increases in weaving DEI into strategic priorities/goals and disclosing DEI metrics to employees. This comes after 92% of CEOs reportedly integrated DEI into their 2021 strategic plans and 84% say leadership training has been a tactical support to their DEI work over the last two years.
At Kantola, we know employees are looking for a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment that fosters a sense of belonging. And not only that, they want their personal experience–their life as a whole–to be a top priority. That’s why we’re not surprised that alignment with their organization’s strategy, purpose, and values remains a top factor for determining the decisions of a CEO.
As Deloitte’s findings show, we could be observing today’s CEOs going through a shift from an “unflappable optimist (always seeing opportunity in adversity) to a more vulnerable, servant leader.” This transformed, more evolved CEO could be more “relatable and in touch with their many stakeholders, including workers, shareholders, customers, and communities.”