Having survived two years of the pandemic, it’s reassuring to hear that leaders around the world are relatively optimistic about the future. Indeed PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) 25th global survey of 4,446 CEOs from 89 countries and territories reports that today’s leaders “display optimism about continued economic resilience”. There were some other great insights to come from this report, including a growing trend towards more purposeful business practices. And, as Sarah Moore, Head of Purpose at PwC in the United Kingdom, said, “These trends are only heading in one direction. A clear purpose, backed up with authentic action, makes an organisation more investable, more productive, and more attractive to talent and customers. For those organisations already making purposeful commitments, there will be no turning back, and others will follow.” In other words, while CEOs are confident about economic growth, they also realise the need to align with the values of more ethically minded customers, employees, and investors to capitalise on opportunities. In the UK, CEOs are focused on making their organisations accountable – not just to stakeholders and investors but to the public as well. Organisations are writing metrics into their corporate strategy on issues such as climate change and equality, and CEOs are including these metrics in their own bonus and incentive plans. Key metrics included in corporate strategies were customer satisfaction (71%), employee engagement (69%), gender representation (51%), greenhouse gas emissions (47%) and race and ethnicity representation (40%). Key metrics being written into the CEO’s plans reflected this prioritisation. As Steve Gray, CEO of Nuffield Health, said, “CEOs have to have 360-degree responsibility, not just to the board, the shareholders and the City analysts. CEOs have a responsibility to everyone and everything that goes on within an organisation. We are just at the start with this trend. It’s going to grow faster and faster.” When it came to net-zero commitments, CEOs around the world were split in their views, with 22% having made a commitment; 29% working towards a commitment and 44% not having made a commitment. However, in the UK, CEOs showed a greater commitment to net-zero than their global collective. Among 24% who have made net zero commitments, 43% said it was investor demands and 72% said it was customer expectations that were “very, or extremely, influential in their decision”. In terms of business concerns, unsurprisingly, CEOs were most worried about the potential for a cyberattack or macroeconomic shock to undermine the achievement of their company’s financial goals. You can check the full report here. Go for Growth The International Monetary Fund projects the global economy will grow 4.9% in 2022. Are you ready? If you’re considering taking on contractors to grow your business, talk to the Ayers Group about how we can help. We can look after all your administration and migration needs from one easy platform that integrates with your existing software.