Insights

In this time of crisis, Canadians expect companies to act now and lead with purpose

Posted by
Angela Carmichael
Insights

In this time of crisis, Canadians expect companies to act now and lead with purpose

Écrit par
Angela Carmichael

No one expected the world to change virtually overnight, but it did. And with this change came a more engaged consumer – conscious about what companies they align with and where they spend money. Consumers are treating each purchase like a pledge of support, and companies are being scrutinized by Canadians like never before, and it’s time for companies to take note.

Our new global study, COVID-19 Mindset: The Collision of Issues, prepared by FleishmanHillard HighRoad (FHR) in conjunction with FleishmanHillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence, analyzes the inflection points taking place around the world as consumers’ thoughts on health, finance, government, and community shift. The report shows that compared to other countries surveyed, Canadians expect more from the companies and institutions they deal with regularly and want them to take a stance on important social and political issues.

It should be to no one’s surprise that the enduring presence of COVID-19 and its economic shock – along with growing awareness of systemic racism, social injustice and other issues – has shifted consumers’ outlook significantly. Canadians are expecting the companies they interact with to make value-led decisions on important issues like racism, the environment and wage gaps.

The study, which also includes data from seven other major countries, reveals that Canadians on average hold companies and CEOs to a higher standard than other countries around the globe. The proof is in the data:

-69% of Canadians believe that companies should take a stand on equality and racism, as opposed to 59% of respondents in other countries.

-55% of Canadians want companies to take a serious stand on data privacy and security, 5 points more than the global average of 50%.

-45% of Canadians think companies should take a stand on income and wage gaps, while only 39% of global respondents feel the same way.

-60% of Canadians expect CEOs to act on health and safety measures to protect their employees and customers, as opposed to 51% of global respondents.

-46% of Canadians expect CEOs to take a stand on issues related to racial inequality, as opposed to 32% of global respondents.

What does all this mean? Canada has long held a reputation abroad for progressive views on equality and fairness, and the public expects companies to reflect those same values. During a global pandemic and raised awareness of inequality, Canadians are looking to companies to help solve society’s most pressing issues. To state it bluntly: if you’re sitting in the C-suite and thinking you can continue watching from the sidelines, you’re sorely mistaken. Gone are the days of corporate neutrality and inaction. If you want to win the hearts of the public, you must take meaningful actions to meet their expectations.

Apathy just isn’t acceptable. Canadians are expecting more, and they deserve it.

If your organization needs support or advice in these uncertain times, here’s where you can find the latest news, insights and resources related to COVID-19.

No one expected the world to change virtually overnight, but it did. And with this change came a more engaged consumer – conscious about what companies they align with and where they spend money. Consumers are treating each purchase like a pledge of support, and companies are being scrutinized by Canadians like never before, and it’s time for companies to take note.

Our new global study, COVID-19 Mindset: The Collision of Issues, prepared by FleishmanHillard HighRoad (FHR) in conjunction with FleishmanHillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence, analyzes the inflection points taking place around the world as consumers’ thoughts on health, finance, government, and community shift. The report shows that compared to other countries surveyed, Canadians expect more from the companies and institutions they deal with regularly and want them to take a stance on important social and political issues.

It should be to no one’s surprise that the enduring presence of COVID-19 and its economic shock – along with growing awareness of systemic racism, social injustice and other issues – has shifted consumers’ outlook significantly. Canadians are expecting the companies they interact with to make value-led decisions on important issues like racism, the environment and wage gaps.

The study, which also includes data from seven other major countries, reveals that Canadians on average hold companies and CEOs to a higher standard than other countries around the globe. The proof is in the data:

-69% of Canadians believe that companies should take a stand on equality and racism, as opposed to 59% of respondents in other countries.

-55% of Canadians want companies to take a serious stand on data privacy and security, 5 points more than the global average of 50%.

-45% of Canadians think companies should take a stand on income and wage gaps, while only 39% of global respondents feel the same way.

-60% of Canadians expect CEOs to act on health and safety measures to protect their employees and customers, as opposed to 51% of global respondents.

-46% of Canadians expect CEOs to take a stand on issues related to racial inequality, as opposed to 32% of global respondents.

What does all this mean? Canada has long held a reputation abroad for progressive views on equality and fairness, and the public expects companies to reflect those same values. During a global pandemic and raised awareness of inequality, Canadians are looking to companies to help solve society’s most pressing issues. To state it bluntly: if you’re sitting in the C-suite and thinking you can continue watching from the sidelines, you’re sorely mistaken. Gone are the days of corporate neutrality and inaction. If you want to win the hearts of the public, you must take meaningful actions to meet their expectations.

Apathy just isn’t acceptable. Canadians are expecting more, and they deserve it.

If your organization needs support or advice in these uncertain times, here’s where you can find the latest news, insights and resources related to COVID-19.

Angela Carmichael
President
With over 20 years of communications experience, Angela leads our talented FleishmanHillard HighRoad team and plays an integral role helping our clients through issues, crisis management and corporate reputation initiatives. She inspires her teams to produce compelling programs that are insightful, creative and drive business success for our clients.
Angela Carmichael
Présidente
Avec plus de 20 ans d’expérience en communication, Angela dirige notre équipe de professionnels doués chez FleishmanHillard HighRoad et joue un rôle essentiel en aidant nos clients face aux enjeux, en gestion de crise et dans leurs démarches pour la réputation de leur entreprise. Elle inspire ses équipes à mettre en œuvre des programmes efficaces démontrant une grande pertinence et créativité, tout en contribuant à la réussite commerciale de nos clients.