Five issues keeping bosses awake at night

woman having a nightmare, covers over her mouth

CEOs are suffering sleepless nights thanks to five recurring issues, according to new research, which has highlighted some of most stressful aspects of running a business.

Research conducted by the CEO Institute revealed the five biggest issues weighing heavily on the mind of CEOs, some which are a direct result of the post-GFC climate and some of perennial leadership issues.

CEO Institute spokesman Evan Davies has detailed the top five concerns revealed by the organisation’s research:

1. Sourcing and retaining skilled staff (keeping “millennial gen” employees interested)

This issue weighed heaviest in the mind of CEOs 12 months ago and still remains of greatest concern. Despite relatively high unemployment rates, CEOs are finding difficulty in recruiting young talent and retaining them.

“Our members are indicating the millennial generation just don’t stay at companies too long,” Davies said.

2. Achieving top-line growth

The most prevalent concerns about top-line growth relate to increasing customer retention, boosting customer loyalty and finding new ways to attract customers. The greatest challenge for CEOs in this area is to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of their customers.

3. Reducing costs

Cost reduction is an issue that featured prominently on CEOs radar. According to CEO Institute research, the biggest concerns relate to the potential impact of the Carbon Tax, as well as wage and salary increases

4. Improving operational efficiency

When it comes to improving operational efficiency, “Our CEO members are concerned about making sure their strategies are appropriate for the business and managing risks effectively,” Davies said.

If a business is struggling to increase sales, it should look to operational efficiency as an effective means of reducing costs.

5. Managing increasing competition

The research found CEOs regularly question the management of customer service, to ensure it matches with it’s competitors. They’re focused on getting their business models right so the business is in a position to capitalise when opportunity knocks.

“Changing customer demand is the biggest driver of change to corporate strategy. Success involves truly understanding customer segmentation and the dynamics driving it,” Davies said.

In spite of these recurring concerns, the research found members of the CEO Institute were optimistic about growth.

“Our members’ expectations around employment, capital investment, profit and sales is relatively steady right now,” Davies added.