What Keeps CEOs Up at Night?

What Keeps CEOs Up at Night?

Fears of inflation, recession, and overall slow growth are the top worries interrupting the sleep of many CEOs around the world.

Slightly more than half (51%) of CEOs surveyed by The Conference Board also say that they aren’t expecting the economy to pick up steam until late in 2023, or even 2024.  

“CEOs say they plan to mitigate risk by accelerating innovation and digital transformation, pursuing new opportunities in higher-growth markets, and revising business models—the three most-cited actions,” says Dana Peterson, chief economist for The Conference Board.

Some concerns are abating. Although COVID remains top of mind for many CEOs operating in Asia, their U.S. counterparts seem to have placed the issue in their rear-view mirrors. By-products of the pandemic, such as labor shortages, remain constant. Finding and retaining talent continues to be a huge challenge that nearly all CEOs place at the top of their internal priority list. 

“To attract and retain talent—the biggest internal worry of CEOs worldwide—leaders are focused on building stronger cultures,” says Rebecca Ray, PhD, executive vice president, human capital, The Conference Board. “But some key factors that contribute to such an environment—including addressing pay inequality, development opportunities, and a psychologically safe workplace—are relatively low on their list of priorities.

“This presents an opportunity for C-suites to revisit their companies’ goals for strengthening organizational culture and the specific actions required to do so,” she adds.