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The year 2015 ended in a series of terrorist attracts and news of the Chinese economy slowing down, making it natural for CEOs to feel cautious towards global economy and their companies’ growth prospects.
Perhaps that is why only 27% of CEOs believe global economic growth will improve in the next 12 months, according to PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey.
Surveying 1,400 executives in 83 countries, 23% of CEOs said they were, in fact, convinced that things will get worse.
In addition, 66% said there are more threats to growth today compared with 59% last year. The top three concerns were over-regulation (79%), geopolitical uncertainty (74%), and exchange rate volatility (73%).
Availability of talent is another key concern for CEOs, with 75% saing that a skilled, educated and adaptable workforce should be a priority for business in the country where they’re based.
More than seven out of 10 (72%) are concerned about availability of key skills.
To develop the workforce thye need for, nearly half of the CEOs stated they are making changes to how they develop their leadership pipeline in order to attract, retain and engage talent for the business to remain relevant and competitive.
Focusing on the leadership pipeline will help ensure that future leaders can present consistent messages to the wider employee base, and the visibility and ‘tone from the top’ that’s necessary to turn words into action.
Other major change in talent strategies that CEO plan to make are changing workplace culture and behaviours (41%), 38% said they will alter the current performance management system and 33% will adjust their pay, incentives and benefits.
48% also said they are planning to increase headcount in the coming year.
Key threats cited by global CEOs:
Geopolitical uncertainty: 74%
Exchange rate volatility: 73%
Availability of key skills: 72%
Government response to fiscal deficit and debt burdens: 71%
Increasing tax burden: 69%
Social instability: 65%
Cyber threats: 61%
Shift in consumer spending and behaviours: 60%
Lack of trust in business: 55%
Climate change and environmental damage: 50%