Statistics, schmatistics

Do you have the right employees? How worried are you about sales/revenue levels? Are you growing your business as much as you want? Can a report that combines statistics for all kinds of businesses accurately reflect your real concerns?

One of the not-the-big-8-anymore, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, helped run a survey of the top concerns for several hundred private-company CEOs this coming year. Nearly 1 out of 5 (18%) said finding and retaining good employees was their top concern. That was followed closely by a combination of answers–sales/revenue/demand in the marketplace (15%), and next by a slightly different but similar concern: growing the business (14%).

But when you get down to the next section of the report, Success Factors, you get a different picture. You see that executives’ concerns vary widely by the type of industry they’re in. For example, everyone except those in service businesses seemed more worried about things other than worker retention.

  • High-tech businesses–those hives of brilliant math and science minds–were more worried about putting that brain power to work to create new producs (47%), and secondly about forging new business alliances.
  • In the Products and Non-Tech sectors, their chief concern was increasing productivity (each 39%).
  • In the Service sector, retaining key employees was tops by far (77%), and was followed by expanding to new markets in the U.S. (40%).

Here’s the rest of the report. How do your concerns jibe with these stats?

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