Boosting the Employee Experience a Key Opportunity as CEOs Drive Growth in Unsteady Economic Times

Amidst fast-paced change and economic volatility, chief executives are doubling down on the employee experience by redefining the workplace and investing in employee well-being and retention.

Two-and-a-half years after the onset of the pandemic, inflation, mental health, hybrid work and employee retention are top of mind for chief executives and their outlook for 2023, according to a new survey by YPO, the global leadership community of chief executives.

These findings were released this week at YPO’s premier event EDGE, where 2,500 YPO members from more than 80 countries are gathered in New York City for immersive programming and collaborative learning aimed at bridging perspectives on these critical topics.

Conducted 23 September – 10 October with responses from 1,681 chief executives representing 96 countries and 47 industries, top 2022 YPO Global Pulse Survey findings include:

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  • The majority of chief executives (60%) are optimistic heading into 2023, although down 26% from last year (81%).
    Main issues impacting this outlook are:
    • 48% of respondents cited inflation as a top concern with the average anticipated increase rate of 11%. Some anticipated increase rates over the next 12 months are Australia – 7.9%, Brazil – 9.6%, Canada – 7.6, India – 9.5%, EU – 10.3% and United States – 7.9%.

    • 39% of respondents cited supply chain issues as an ongoing challenge.

    • Talent shortages and labor wars were a top concern as 66% of respondents reported difficulty finding general workforce employees.
  • CEOs are offering compensation, flexible working hours, and hybrid or remote work options to employees to stay competitive.
    • The top three avenues for workplace improvement are:
      Competitive compensation and bonuses (71%),
      Flexible working hours (57%)
      Hybrid or remote work environment (53%).

    • Only 6% of respondents have already implemented a four-day work week, with another 7% considering it.
  • Despite growing economic concerns, chief executives are focusing on key drivers of growth
    • Chief executives have used the past two years to bring enhancements to their organizations. Key areas of improvement are:
      Communication (59%)
      Innovation (52%)
      Collaboration (52%)
      Diversity and inclusion (49%)

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  • Chief executives are taking a flexible approach to workplace settings
    • Compared to 18% pre-pandemic, 53% of businesses are operating in a full-time hybrid or remote setting.

    • Chief executives of work-from-home companies had the highest percentage of improvements regarding productivity (55%), diversity and inclusion (60%) and employee retention (40%).

    • Businesses operating onsite reported these areas had improved from pre-pandemic: communication to and amongst employees (65%), collaboration (59%), employee engagement (57%) employee development (55%) and team building (55%).

    • Remote work is most common in the United States (13%) where onsite is most prevalent in South Asia (76%) and Middle East/North Africa (73%). Hybrid is most common in Canada (61%) and Europe (58%).
  • Each work environment comes with its own unique benefits and challenges.
    • Onsite employees have easier times building relationships, are able to build teams more easily, collaborate better and are more engaged.

    • Remote employees are more productive and are more diverse, and hiring is easier due to a much larger pool of candidates.
  • Chief executives are focusing on mental health.
    • 78% of respondents said supporting their employees’ mental health is a priority and 49% have or plan to implement a mental health policy.

    • Key wellness initiatives being utilized include:
      Counseling (25%) 
      Mental health service benefits (11%)     
      Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) (9%)   
      Coaching (6%)

    • By region, mental health benefits are most prevalent in Canada (60%), the United States (59%) and Australia/NZ (50%).

YPO Global Pulse Methodology:
The YPO Global Pulse was conducted by YPO from 23 September – 10 October via an online questionnaire. A total of 1,681 YPO members responded to the survey. The members in this sample are representative of the larger YPO population and come from 96 different countries. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

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