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Top 5 Findings for Leaders’ Confidence Amid Pandemic

Leaders’ confidence levels for branding, employee engagement & more

If you’re anything like us, you’re pensively waiting for the world to change back to something that might resemble “normal.” While you’re waiting, your confidence level in everything from the strength of your branding to employee engagement to using technology varies wildly. Leaders during COVID-19 are all having a hard time. We have good news to share: You aren’t alone.

KGBTexas is the only South and Southeast Texas member of Worldcom, an exclusive, worldwide partnership of agencies in 114 cities across six continents that collaborates on projects by providing unique subject-matter expertise. As a member, we have early access to the Worldcom Confidence Index (WCI), unique research and data that are the result of surveys of more than 54,000 leaders across the globe.

“Our monthly tracking of leaders’ confidence is uncovering invaluable insight into the trending issues. The results for brand and collaboration topics show that CEOs have many challenges to consider if they wish to emerge from the crisis with loyal customers and empowered employees,” said Roger Hurni, Chair of The Worldcom Group.

KGBTexas is pleased to share highlights from the top five findings for June 2020, as well as some thoughts on how the information may affect how we all move forward toward Q4.

#1 As predicted in May, the impact of the George Floyd murder saw brand reputation fall out of the top five CEO topics of confidence.

Leaders’ confidence in their brands’ strengths and reputations fell significantly as businesses worked to craft appropriate and genuine reactions. Leaders during COVID-19 define their brands’ positions with regard to racial and social injustice.

Consumers are actively evaluating whether or not the brands they prefer align with their personal choices. If your brand has yet to address the issue, now is not the time to sit back and stay quiet.

#2 Decline in confidence of leaders over age 65 may be a bellwether for the severity of the economic crisis to come.

Worldcom notes that our older generation of leaders has experienced its fair share of crises during their careers. That these experienced CEOs seem to be hedging their bets and moving forward cautiously speaks volumes about their declining confidence in our economy’s ability to rebound quickly.

#3 As the financial implications of the pandemic began to bite, leaders’ confidence in financial and economic influences on success saw the fourth largest decline (down 4%) to #18 on the WCI.

A drop in confidence regarding the U.S. economy isn’t unique to our older generation. Across age brackets, leaders are losing confidence in their businesses’ ability to succeed given the current circumstances. Recovery may take much longer than we would hope.

#4 Employer brand, keeping employees and giving them the new skills they need to be more productive in the ‘new normal’ all saw increases in leader engagement.

The June 2020 WCI indicated that employee-related topics commanded the attention of leadership as demonstrated by increased level of engagement. In this topic area, upskilling and reskilling was the number one concern of CEOs.

A key take-away here is that while businesses pivot, they want to take their employees along with them. Rather than reducing their workforce, businesses are looking to retrain or boost skill sets among their teams.

#5 Confidence in using technology to collaborate and innovate saw the fourth largest fall. Perhaps this points to employees beginning to struggle with lack of face-to-face contact.

While the pandemic prompted a sharp increase in the use of online collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, leaders are losing confidence in their employees’ ability to effectively use the technology to support collaboration.

With many employees missing in-person opportunities to connect, they may also be experiencing growing fatigue with online meetings. Corporate culture is at risk as much as successful teamwork, so leaders during COVID-19 are looking for ways to somewhat replicate watercooler conversations in a virtual environment.

This information and data is just the tip of the iceberg of all that was uncovered during June. As you are planning for Q4 and work to determine what success will look like as you close out the year, we invite you to review the additional insights and charts here, or view the findings of the June 2020 WCI in a summary video.


KGBTexas is a full-service marketing agency based in San Antonio and Houston, Texas. Explore more of our advertising, public relations, public affairs and crisis management work here, get a full download on all of our marketing services, or contact us today to set up a consultation. Our award-winning team of creatives and communications experts are ready to take your brand to the next level.