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Culture Connects to the Bottom Line

CEO Outlook: January 2023

How important is your corporate culture? According to these manufacturing leaders, culture is deeply connected to how companies make decisions. Manufacturers Alliance surveyed manufacturing CEOs about corporate culture, and 81% agreed with the statement, "We live and breathe our culture. It is deeply connected to how we work, make decisions, address issues (internally and in our communities), and attend to / manage people." The remaining 19% thought that culture was one factor among many that contributed to a company's success, but absolutely no one thought that culture didn't play some role.

Nearly Half of CEOs Expect Changes

When asked to project business impacts into the future, two-thirds of the CEOs predicted low employee turnover and high satisfaction rates by 2028.

Over the next five years, CEOs expect their culture to change in order to attract and retain talent in their professional ranks and on the factory floor.


In 2028, where do you expect to see the greatest successes?



Let's Talk About Skills Gaps

Much has been written about the skills gap in manufacturing, which often looks like a tech-savvy worker rather than a traditional factory employee that repeats the same task over and over again. But in our study, half of the industry CEOs said that the two biggest gaps in skills in their companies were social and emotional intelligence (52%) and ability to learn and use new technologies or tools (e.g., AI or automation) quickly and effectively (52%). This was closely followed by critical thinking skills at 41%.

Workers Expect More Flexibility

What are the top two issues where CEOs expect to make the most significant degree of change? More flexibility and choice for workers and open communication and stakeholder engagements according to the study. These were followed closely by new or different D&I strategies and a emphasis on corporate social responsibility.

In a follow up question, CEOs ranked what they perceived as areas to change based on wider public expectations, and flexibility took the top slot there as well.

Where do CEOs see the greatest need for change to reflect broader generational and societal expectations?