Survey: Economic, cultural impact of virus concern Va. execs
Culture Conundrum survey polled leaders from Central Va., NoVa and Hampton Roads
A newly released survey finds that Virginia business and nonprofit leaders are concerned not only about the financial but the cultural impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Culture Conundrum survey, which polled 365 leaders across Central Virginia, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia, was conducted from May 19-31 by Williamsburg-based marketing research firm Brand Planning LLC and Richmond marketing firm Elevation on behalf of a coalition of six Virginia businesses and nonprofit organizations, including the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Richmond consulting firm Floricane, Richmond-based strategic communications firm The Hodges Partnership and Virginia Business.
Highlights from the survey include:
- 90% of people polled say that the pandemic has been a threat to their business, and 87% reported a loss of revenue.
- Among nonprofit leaders, 47% say they are “extremely” concerned about revenue loss, while 37% of business leaders share that level of concern.
- Among respondents’ top priorities in moving forward, 88% say they are working on engaging with employees to build morale; 88% are improving products and services; 84% are working to improve communication with internal and external stakeholders; and 81% are searching for new revenue sources.
- 89% of respondents say their current mindset is “determined,” while 73% say they’re concerned, and 62% feel stressed. On the positive side, 58% say they feel confident, and 43% are optimistic.
“There is no denying the economic impact that this crisis has had on businesses and nonprofits alike, but the story lingering beneath the surface is the effect the pandemic is having on our human connections — with customers, employees, board members, donors, vendors — all of the people that comprise our work communities,” said Cleve Corlett, president of Brand Planning, in a statement. “The survey exposes that loss and underscores the fact that workplace leaders recognize how fragile and important these cultural connections are to their organization.”
Although “this research tells a story of the virus’ impact in qualitative terms,” said John Sarvay, founder and president of Floricane, “there are real human stories behind these statistics, stories of hardship and struggle but also stories of resilience and perseverance.” Interaction is important for organizations’ missions, purposes and cultures, he added, a fact that many business executives and nonprofit leaders recognize now.
Sherrie Armstrong, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, which manages more than 1,200 charitable funds, said that although the pandemic has been “absolutely devastating to countless organizations throughout the commonwealth,” the survey has revealed “a powerful sense of grit and determination among our business and nonprofit leaders. It’s this kind of leadership that will not only help buffer the ultimate impact of the pandemic in Virginia but position these organizations to better compete in a post-COVID climate.”
The full report is available at TheCultureConundrum.com.