The «Ӱҵ Report: Corporate Reputations Are Sliding…Here’s How To Respond

According to the annual , there has been “a systemic loss in corporate reputation” over the past year. Consumer dissatisfaction with higher prices is part of the story, but 72% of those surveyed believe companies are taking advantage of inflation to increase their profit margins.

The study also suggests that in addition to wanting companies to prioritize fair prices (53%), Americans would prefer they focus on improving product quality, safety, and consumer satisfaction (48%) and paying good wages/promoting economic growth through job creation (48%) as opposed to ESG (23%), AI investment (13%), and taking proactive stances on societal or cultural issues (11%). 

Certainly, companies are treading carefully on the latter issues in terms of public-facing statements. As notes, “mentions of ESG on fourth-quarter earnings calls in 2023 compared to 2020’s Q4 dropped more than 78%. DEI’s decline was even larger during that time frame, falling 88%.” But the fact that kitchen table financial matters – wages, jobs, prices – are so important comes as no surprise to us. Worker-related issues, as regular «Ӱҵ followers know, have been the priority of the public in our own polling for years.  

Our new guide – The Corporate Guide to Human Capital Disclosure & Leading Practice – will make it easier to make progress in this critical area. We track the state of current disclosure, standard practice benchmarks, and leading practice examples across 6 areas: Wages & Compensation; Benefits; Training & Development; Workforce Composition; Employee Wellness; and Hiring & Stability. 

Some of the best performers – including Waste Management (Tuition Reimbursement), Carmax (Veteran Hiring), ONEOK (Internal Hiring) and Mondelez International (living wage) – may surprise you. 

Explore the data here.

Be well,


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Quote of the Week


“I believe we as a society have gotten better at instituting governance structures to help mitigate the problematic and harness the positive outputs and potential of technologies. While AI has the potential to both make our lives easier and more challenging…I believe the most prolific and efficient use cases for AI will also be the ethical ones, many of which we already see happening across the medical and education fields.”

«Ӱҵ in the News

This week, the Corporate Racial Equity Alliance (CREA) – a joint initiative led by PolicyLink, FSG, and «Ӱҵ Capital – released a draft of the to help companies maximize the impact of their social responsibility efforts. Forbes  

«Ӱҵ AI

Actress Scarlet Johansson is threatening legal action against OpenAI, alleging the company copied her voice for its latest update despite declining an offer from CEO Sam Friedman to lend her voice to the project. At the same time, The New York Times is reporting that former ChatGPT employees have raised concerns that the company is not doing enough  

According to Quartz, JPMorgan Chase is as the company pushes harder to be the industry leader in the technology. 

Must Reads

More big news from JPMorgan Chase: The Wall Street Journal reports that its CEO, Jamie Dimon,

Target is lowering prices on 5,000 of its most frequently bought items–including staples like milk, meat, bread, fruit and vegetables, as well as paper towels and diapers.

Chart of the Week

This week’s chart comes from the Wall Street Journal’s massive analysis of CEO pay across the business landscape. Above, you can see how the median pay for CEOs has more than doubled over the last 10 years.

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